Dear Readers,

I’d like to share a quick story about how and why I started Bikerumor. Mainly, it’s because I didn’t want to get a real job. But as I mapped it out, I knew it could become a platform for anyone, not just my voice. So I designed it from the ground up to allow for other voices, opinions and writing styles.

So far, it’s worked. Our team has grown to include men and women from around the world. I’m proud to say that Bikerumor was one of the first mainstream digital cycling media outlets to have a full time female editor. Our team is small, but it’s a healthy mix of men and women, from freelancers to “full time”, who come from a variety of locations, backgrounds and lifestyles.

That’s by design, and I’m always on the lookout for talented riders who can also write, regardless of ethnicity, gender, orientation. And lately I’ve been actively reaching out to more people from a variety of communities with writing opportunities. Which is a good start. We can’t hire everyone, but we can still find ways to include a more diverse group of faces and voices, and that’s what we plan to do.

What Bikerumor will do

We acknowledge our part in upholding the status-quo. By not actively seeking out Black and People of Color to highlight in our posts and stories. By not actively seeking out companies owned by BlPOC.

That’s tough to do in an industry dominated by white people, but we will look a little harder. And we can extend this invitation: no matter who you are, if you’re making a cool cycling product, let us know about it. We want to share all the stories.

We’ve signed onto the Outdoor CEO Diversity Pledge and the Cycling Industry Pledge. We are making our commitment public and inviting you to hold us accountable.

Why is this good? Diversity and inclusion helps all of us. Sure, it expands the potential market for our industry. But more importantly, it opens it up to new ideas and energy. Bringing in new perspectives and enthusiasm means better products and experiences for all of us.

Bikerumor was built on a love of all things cycling, and we want to share that with everyone by showing that it is for everyone.

A few ideas for the Cycling Industry

rahsaan bahati interview on how to make cycling more inclusive and introduce it to a more diverse audience
Rahsaan Bahati (left) helping fit a kid to a demo bike. Photo courtesy of the Bahati Foundation.

I like solutions, and I realize the limitations of what we can do on our own. So here are a few ideas I came up with for the industry:

Often times, the images we use are provided by the brands. Increasingly, brands are including more women and people of color. Keep ’em coming and we will incorporate more of them into our stories.

Bigger brands with demo fleets can extend their scheduled stops to add a day for diverse community groups to come try their bikes. Work with the local bike shop to reach out to groups that wouldn’t otherwise consider mountain biking and give them the opportunity to test a bike. Think this would hook some folks on the sport? While we’re at it, could your demo drivers be people of color?

Think about cycling from a different perspective. I’ve made my Peak Content Summit session by Emmy nominee Nzinga C. Blake free to watch (free registration required, only takes a sec), and I’d highly recommend it for any brand trying to figure out how to speak authentically to a more diverse audience.

Host press launch dinners and events at locations owned by people of color. We all post a lot of pics and videos on social media when we’re on these press junkets, and we have an audience. It’s subtle, but these things all add up to make diversity seem normal. Which is what it should be…normal.

What you can do

Start by listening to our recent podcasts with Rahsaan Bahati – which ends with some great advice on how to be more inclusive in cycling, and our friend Christian – a Black cyclist who’s worked in the cycling industry for more than a decade who speaks about his experience as a Black person in a White dominated industry. We also interviewed Ayesha McGowan a few months ago, who helps explain why a more diverse peloton helps everyone.

diversify instagram feed

Diversify your IG feed

This is a small selection of people to follow. Don’t just take our word for it, find local groups and people to follow as well, use the Google.

Spread the wealth

Like beer? Search “black owned breweries” and you’ll find this list. Find a real Mexican restaurant, not Chiles or Taco Bell. Find an ethnic food market in your town. Wherever you like to end your rides, a quick Google search will almost assuredly give you new options. You might even find a new favorite!

Got spare bike parts laying around? Donate them to a local co-op that rebuilds bikes for people who need transportation. Invite a more diverse group to meet you for a social ride after work, or maybe take someone who’s interested out for a mountain bike ride if you have a spare bike to lend.

What do you think?

Got an idea for the industry? Follow a black cyclist or black-owned cycling brand we should know about? Drop your ideas and any links in the comments!

Thank you for reading this. We’re looking forward to the long ride ahead, together!

Tyler Benedict
Founder, Bikerumor.com

37 COMMENTS

  1. Not everything should be about politics or race. I want to read about bikes here and not race or politics. Do what you feel as right but you don’t need to buy into all of the corporate pandering we are currently seeing all over. You don’t need to be making statements like this. The goal should be for race not to matter or even be noticed or commented upon.

    • JeffG, everything you and I do is “political”. Do you care where and how your bike parts are made? That’s political. Noticing and including people of different races in our staff and articles can only make our industry more robust and interesting. It benefits you, too.

    • “The goal should be for race not to matter or even be noticed or commented upon.”

      That’s exactly the goal. For us to get there — where it’s entirely normal to see a full spectrum of people represented in all aspects of cycling — it will take deliberate effort. It won’t happen by doing nothing.

    • JeffG, I absolutely disagree with you, and I am really proud of Tyler for sticking his neck out and leading the conversation. I got a lot out of listening to the podcasts and I look forward to more content in future – a statement like this is really important and I whole heartedly endorse it. @Tyler, one idea I’d love to see from you would be inviting some of your recent guests to help review products and provide content on a regular basis – some product reviews from Ayesha McGowan would be awesome as an example!

    • “The goal should be for race not to matter or even be noticed or commented upon.”

      The problem with this statement is that unfortunately a “color-blind” society has not emerged in the US. The only way this will change is if we change, and that means having a more proactive approach to business just as BikeRumor! is trying to do.

      One of the main thrusts of the Civil Rights movement of the 1950’s & 1960’s was about obtaining legal rights. It was thought that with equal rights for everyone, social and economic integration would follow. This did not happen. Today’s movement is more about social & economic equality; as responsible citizens, the bicycle industry & bicycle society must do their part as well.

    • JeffG. I agree with you. And you know I’m not the only one… But out of fear people aren’t speaking up because of mob violence. Or commenter vitriol (feel the flack…). Everyone is making these big bold statements these days, because it’s the “IN” thing to do. I like bikes, I ride bikes, and so I find myself on Bikerumor. Same way I find myself on other interest websites, yet I don’t care if they don’t pander to the current group-think of all hail diversity and inclusion. I see someone on the trail, I’m think, “cool – they’re a biker.” I don’t care their sex, color or creed. I’ll high-five anyone, I’ll fix anyone’s flat tire. When I ride, I don’t think “gee, I sure would like to see more asians riding here, or blacks, or latinos or whatever…” Keep your helmet and goggles on, who cares. So yeah, way to speak up JeffG. We’re in the minority here, well, at least in the comment section. Irony is – I AM a minority. But you know, If I was logging in from another place in the world, I’d be the majority… And for those comments about the US being a racist country?! Oh Please. First, learn your history. It’s called a 3/5 compromise for a reason. Without that compromise we’d be two countries. Think America is racist? Go live around the world. No, don’t just travel like a tourist – actually live around the world. Then you’ll see America, in spite it’s history, it’s current state of affairs – is a damn great country.

      • Kay, you really believe America is not racist?? You must have lead a very sheltered or perfect existance because I unfortunately have racist family members, and they are 100% American. If you dont see it or know it or believe it, well, good for you because ignorance is bliss.
        The crazy thing is they all claim they arent racists after saying racist statements… They arent the problem in America, the other person is, right?!

    • JeffG. I think you need to take a step back and realize that you probably have it pretty good in life. The least you could do is show some support for those that do not. Think about people who actually have to deal with racial discrimination on a daily basis. Or any kind of discrimination. Only the most privileged of people are able to say they don’t want to hear about politics on a site like this. The politicians are already working in your favor, so you can’t see the struggle many people are going through just to be treated equally. If you belonged to one of these marginalized groups, you wouldn’t be able to simply ignore politics because politics would be negatively affecting many aspects of your life.

  2. The fact is, if I see someone on a bike (at the trails or a road ride) they are my friend. If I behave differently because of their skin color, at worst I am racist. at best I am prejudiced. In any case, I do not care what color someones skin is, if I did…well, I would be racist or prejudiced.

    As for the snow flake cry babies? Simply, no time for them.

  3. Thank you, Bikerumor! As a person of colour, I am glad to see this site recognize the current shortcomings with regards to inclusion and representation within the cycling community. I am also glad to know that you are trying to do something about it. It gives me hope for the future of this sport.

    I would like to make a shout out to and perhaps add an organization to your list: Richmond Cycling Corps. RCC is a cycling organization based in Richmond, VA that aims to provide support, educational guidance, financial assistance, and positive mentoring to black children from the under-represented communities of colour within the inner city. They work with kids who come from severely disadvantaged economic backgrounds using the Legacy 2020 cycling team as a way to build a base for these kids to break away from the cycles of systemic poverty and lack of opportunity created by 400 years of systemic racism in United States political, economic, and social policy. They are a small organization, but they do some really important work, which could easily be emulated by like-minded and driven individuals in any city. Definitely check them out, as they are doing some awesome work!
    https://www.richmondcyclingcorps.org/

    Again, thank you Bikerumor for bringing these issues to light, and working towards a brighter future for this sport. Y’all used to be my favorite site because you were some the only cycling journalists who’d ever bother to do write ups and reviews for my favorite bicycle brand, BH Bikes; now y’all are my favorite site because of so much more. From the bottom of my heart, thank you, and keep up the good work!

    “Can’t stop, won’t stop!”

  4. America is a racist nation and has been so since the very beginning. Our founding fathers were mostly slave owners, and slaves were codified as worth 3/5 of a person in our constitution. Slaves were freed over 150 years ago, but it has been a slow march to equality since then. Whites have begrudgingly given up their power over society. What the recent BLM protests have shown us is there is no hiding from our responsibility to make this country a more inclusive place for everyone. Thanks BR for stepping up.

  5. Anyone who seriously rides bikes for enjoyment should want as many other fellow citizens to ride as well because that will increase infrastructure and overall awareness of cyclists making for safer roads for all. You can be inclusive for selfish reasons, and that’s okay. So with that in mind, why wouldn’t you want a site like this and the industry in general do everything they can to be inclusive to all citizens, regardless of skin color.

    Cliff notes, more people on bikes is good.

  6. Marlin-

    What is the difference between a snow flake cry baby (your words) and somebody bringing up valid complaints? Perspective. That’s all. Try slowing down and listening.

    Forgetting or ignoring race helps nobody.

    Get used to us because we aren’t going to be quiet.

  7. Thanks for speaking up, Tyler! Raising awareness in the community and grassroots initiatives for diversity in the sport is where I think it’s at. As for the big brands, I don’t think they’re going to do much more than write some press release or other, but I’d love to be proven wrong.

  8. cycling doesn’t discriminate…in fact it has produced many many sports stars from all manner of disadvantaged back grounds throughout its history.

    its a humble sport….that is its beauty!

    most people could buy or borrow a bike to train on.

    …like training, you get out what you put in. watts dont lie…if you can produce enough you get signed and go pro.

    equality of opportunity not equality of outcome!

    anything but feels like the very thing you oppose.

  9. For someone reading this and thinking that they “don’t see color” and would treat everyone the same no matter what – this is NOT about that. Don’t feel like you have to comment on this. This moment is about recognizing and addressing the systemic racism that occurs throughout the United States and, specifically for us, the cycling industry. Take a moment and think about what that means. Take a moment and think about how a whole group of people are saying they don’t always feel welcome in our spaces (and oftentimes unsafe) – should you discount them just because you don’t see it?

  10. Tyler, where is your voice for the innocent cyclists of all races that are killed every day by vehicular homicide on America’s roads?

    • It’s on numerous other posts over the years.
      Nobody ever thought “Save the whales” meant “F*** the dolphins, I hate their smug smiles and think they all deserve a second hole put in their heads”, so why the constant whining that Black Lives Matter excludes you?

  11. Numerous posts? That’s a good one. I read bike rumor every day. Cycling advocacy articles are very rare here. How many articles have there been on bikerumor about justice for cyclists in the past year? How many articles on safe passing legislation? Tell me. Every day in the US, scores of vulnerable road users are murdered by negligent drivers, yet Tyler stays silent. This site is 99% about pushing product.

    • VK – When we launched, I literally tried to cover everything. Advocacy, industry news, racing news AND all of the product launches. It was exhausting, and it meant we couldn’t do a great job at any one of them. We made a decision to focus on the products and tech, and then roundup the most important industry and advocacy news into our weekly Friday Roundup posts. These include opportunities to reach out to your representatives about important bike lane, trail access and other cycling related laws and regulations.

      My daily Google Alerts make it all to clear that we need better infrastructure. Cyclists deaths by motor vehicle are an almost daily occurrence in this country, and it’s sickening. Even more so because the drivers almost always seem to get away with murder with little more than a slap on their wrist.

      I do not feel like Bikerumor is the best platform to relay this news, and here’s why: You, me, and the rest of our readership already understand this. Bikerumor’s audience gets it. We are acutely aware of the problems, so our better option is to make everyone aware of opportunities, as they arise, to effect change.

      If we reached a more general population audience, like average motorists, then yes, we think we could have an impact in, at least, increasing awareness.

      Good or bad, we simply have to focus on what we’re best at and what we have the bandwidth to cover well. That said, we are always looking for talented contributors and invite anyone to submit ideas for articles or series that they’re able to contribute.

      Thank you for sharing and for reading.
      – T

  12. Well written Tyler. I especially appreciate the ideas of including bipoc voices in our social media feed. I had never stopped to think how little diversity I see in my ‘following’ list. Thank you for speaking up and for the suggestions.

  13. …I read cycling articles on many websites from many countries…unless relevant to the article I have not once paused to think about the race, nationality, sex, colour, sexual preference etc etc of the author.

    content is king…

    I come on here to read about industry tech.

    great website.

  14. Nice to see a commitment to me more inclusive. One of my favorite sites to visit and now more reason to visit here.

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