Cycling Athletes Speak out Against Racism and Inequality

Across all social media platforms, BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) cycling athletes are protesting police brutality, institutionalized racism, and the discrimination they experience in their daily lives. Online messaging intensified following the tragic killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. These athletes are fighting for necessary changes in American policing policies and procedures and advocating for an end to racial discrimination, once and for all.

We are posting some of their messages here with the hope that we can all learn from the experiences and insight they have shared. If you know of other BIPOC bike athletes who are speaking out about racism, please share with us and we will add their stories to this article.

Editor’s note: Comments have been disabled for this post to encourage readers to listen, rather than speak, in light of these powerful stories. Also note that some of these videos and posts feature adult language.

Alex T, @alextoussaint25

Ayesha Rosena, @ayesuppose

Brooklyn Bell, @badgal_brooky

Dave Kurian, @dave.kurian

View this post on Instagram

Can you breathe? #blacklivesmatter ??

A post shared by dk (@dave.kurian) on

Eliot Jackson, @eliotjackson

Kurtis from Roll Bicycles, @auto.velo

Nehemiah Brown, @_nehemiah_brown

Leo J Clark, @leoj_clark

Rachel Olzer, @rachel.olzer

View this post on Instagram

I am Black?? …and I am a transracial adoptee. My family is white and conservative. They voted for Trump and they hold many racist beliefs. Growing up, my grandmother would flagrantly use racial slurs to refer to people who look like me. She held many other racist beliefs about which she was very vocal. It’s been hard coming to terms with this. It’s taken most of my adult life to understand that so much of the shame I used to feel about who I am, stemmed from my grandmother’s attitudes towards people of color and Black people, in particular. Even still, I love my family. I see their humanity. I see that they have been hurt and as a result, they have a tendency to hurt others. I see how being educated in a racist system has contributed to their misunderstanding of the world. It’s because I love them, that I talk to them about their beliefs. I hold them accountable. I let it be known where I stand on issues and why. I don’t yell at them and I try my hardest not to fight with them. I always let them know, at the end of the day, that I love them. I often hear white people say things like “I unfriended/unfollowed ‘so and so’… they were just so racist, I couldn’t deal with it.” But what do you mean “you can’t deal with it”? If you don’t deal with it, who will? If you don’t deal with it, then WE are left to deal with it. Our lives depend on YOU dealing with it. Talk to your people. Talk to your friends. Talk to your family. Talk to your co-workers. Don’t shout at them. Don’t fight with them. Listen to what they are saying and try to understand before offering your perspective. Love them. Encourage them. Hold them accountable. Real change CAN happen this way…But don’t expect it to happen over night. It takes time. It takes showing up every day, ready to have those hard conversations. If I as a Black woman can have difficult conversations with my white family, then you as a white person can have those conversations with yours. It will not kill you to have those conversations, but if you don’t have them, it could kill me. Photo credit: @dr.brapp.snaps

A post shared by Rachel Olzer (@rachel.olzer) on

View this post on Instagram

I was originally going to post this on Wednesday… But then a man was murdered in my town in broad daylight and nothing has been the same since. That’s the really horrifying part about being Black in America, you don’t get to pick and choose when racism and terror show up at your door. It just barges in—unannounced and uninvited. I believe that despite all that’s going on, Black and brown people deserve to experience joy. So I’m posting this because it was a genuine JOY to produce and I’ll be damned if I let them take that away from me! ____ You’ve heard about #adventurecoffee but have you tried #backcountrybreakfast ? While restaurants and other dining experiences are largely inaccessible right now, that doesn’t mean that you have to stay home for every meal! Recently, I’ve been taking advantage of the early morning light to load up my bike, head into the woods, and cook breakfast outside before starting my work day. This is a great way to get some adventure in my day; get on my bike and move; and make use of that bikepacking gear that’s been accumulating dust as of late. PLUS I find that food always tastes better when I make it outside! Shoutout to @kenapeay for reminding me that cooking outside isn’t just a necessity when camping—it can be a super fun activity by itself! Check out my story to see what my breakfast in the woods was like last week and let me know if you feel inspired to give it a go! Finding that adventure in everyday life is so important! That’s why I’m psyched to be partnering with @backcountry They have a huge selection of gear for all your outdoor recreation and knowledgeable gearheads to help make sure you find the equipment to make your adventure happen. Use the code RACHEL15 to get 15% off your first purchase! *exclusions apply* #FindYourBackcountry #ad #sponsored Photo credit: @dr.braap.snaps

A post shared by Rachel Olzer (@rachel.olzer) on

Reggie Miller, @reggiemillertnt

Again, If you know of other BIPOC cycling athletes who are speaking out about racism, please share with us and we will add their stories to this piece.