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Biking: Not Just for White Guys With Tattoos


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JL
- 548 days ago - sierraclub.typepad.com
Cycling is starting to happen. Bike commuting is up 47% nationwide between 2000 and 2011--and the largest increases are being seen among women, youth, and people of color.



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JL A. (276)
Monday June 17, 2013, 7:37 am
May 30, 2013
Biking: Not Just for White Guys With Tattoos

ACT_01Cycling is starting to happen. Bike commuting is up 47% nationwide between 2000 and 2011--and the largest increases are being seen among women, youth, and people of color. "The New Majority, Pedaling Towards Equity," a new report by the League of American Bicyclists and the Sierra Club, lays out how the fastest growth in percent of all trips by bike is among African-Americans, Asian-Americans, and Hispanics--and how cycling numbers could be even higher with better cycling infrastructure, safe places to store bicycles, and riding clubs like Red, Bike, and Green or Black Women Bike. Allyson Criner Brown is on the leadership team of the latter; Sierra interviewed her for our upcoming issue. --Paul Rauber

"People just lose their minds when they see a black woman on a bicycle. You should see the looks of shock. The message that's out there is that it's unusual to be a black woman biking in D.C., that biking's not for us. That's not true.

"Our mission is to get black women on bicycles. We aren't going to get you to the point of high skill, but we want to get you on a bike. Last year we had a woman who was in her 60s who lived in one of D.C.'s underserved neighborhoods where you don't see much bike infrastructure. She hadn't been on a bike in 40 years. She rented one from Capital Bikeshare, and her face was glowing afterward. We always have women who come out and say, 'I'm so glad that I found you. I'm so glad that you exist.'

"I came back to biking as an adult. I didn't know what kind of bike I should get, how to lock it up, how to be safe. Who do you ask? A bike shop can be intimidating. Look at who works there -- people wearing bike-chain bracelets and with bike tattoos. Is that the person you want to be asking for advice if you're a beginner?

"And there's another type of interaction: I can walk into a bike shop and nobody will say anything to me until I'm about to walk out the door, even if I'm looking at high-level gear. At Black Women Bike, people can feel comfortable asking questions. One of the things we talk about is what shops will give you good service.

"I ride on a nice piece of '70s red steel named Starburst. I've done three triathlons, but I started as a commuter, and I mostly use it to commute, which takes about 14 minutes. I work in education, and when I tell the teachers I work with that I rode my bike to school, they say, 'What?' I tell them there are hundreds of us, and we all ride our bicycles."
--interview by Jake Abrahamson

Photo: Benjamin Tankersley
 

Kit B. (276)
Monday June 17, 2013, 10:16 am

I had no idea that anyone viewed bicycling as belonging to one race or group. Back to profiling.
 

JL A. (276)
Monday June 17, 2013, 10:19 am
Thanks for noting the connection between the two posts Kit! You cannot currently send a star to Kit because you have done so within the last day.
 

Angelika R. (144)
Monday June 17, 2013, 10:45 am
Like Kit said...that would NEVER have come to my mind. But I'm glad to see biking is on the rise, just signed yesterday for more bike paths in L.A.
 

JL A. (276)
Monday June 17, 2013, 10:46 am
You cannot currently send a star to Angelika because you have done so within the last day.
 

Terry V. (30)
Monday June 17, 2013, 11:39 am
Does that mean I'm a person of no color??? What has "color" have to do with anything other than to aid prejudice?
 

JL A. (276)
Monday June 17, 2013, 12:01 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Terry because you have done so within the last day.
 

Rodney Paige (45)
Monday June 17, 2013, 12:44 pm
It's unfortunate that this article has credence, but I'm afraid it does. It's all about experience. Doing something progressive about it is better than complaining, so way to go JL A!
 

Jude Hand (59)
Monday June 17, 2013, 12:46 pm
Noted. Oh, yeah. bicycles! In Conn. 25 years ago, bikes were the thing to do for exercise and often for rides to and from work or school. Bike messengers had been in NYC for a long time. I came to northeast Florida and bikes in the Daytona Beach area were mostly ridden by locals, not usually for exercise. Many of the bikes are transport for drug dealers' deliveries, however. Stealing of bicycles is pretty common. A different world. I biked, too much perhaps, for many miles a day. If my knees and hips can handle it, post ortho issues, I'd love to get on a bike again. I remember the sense of freedom! And how wonderful to not have to fill it with gas.
 

Fred Krohn (34)
Monday June 17, 2013, 1:02 pm
Just let the @*%^ing fuel prices go up another buck or two and watch the rise in bicycling. Now if we could just get the railroads to make a bike-rack universal in the baggage car and the Greyhound busses to mount racks on the back.
 

JL A. (276)
Monday June 17, 2013, 1:04 pm
Thanks Rodney.
You cannot currently send a star to Fred because you have done so within the last day.
 

Michael O. (175)
Monday June 17, 2013, 2:24 pm
Everyone should be encouraged to cycle, not just certain ethnicities, genders, etc. The problem is that too many people have been conditioned to believe that a bicycle is a child's toy or that cycling is simply a recreational activity. Once you "grow up", an adult uses a car to get around. We need to break out of that mindset and start to see the bicycle as a viable transportation option, not to be ridiculed, but admired.
 

Michael O. (175)
Monday June 17, 2013, 2:26 pm
BTW, I'm a white guy, but I've managed to avoid getting any tattoos thus far in my life ;)
 

JL A. (276)
Monday June 17, 2013, 2:28 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Michael because you have done so within the last day.
 

Birgit W. (152)
Monday June 17, 2013, 7:38 pm
I don't like the title of the article, and I do not agree with the content either.
Who cares what colour one has, and why should only white guys with tattoos right a bike? I like to ride my bike, and I am white, and I do not have a tattoo. So why should a woman who is black not also be able to ride her bike?
This article is a lot of bull, sorry.
 

JL A. (276)
Monday June 17, 2013, 7:53 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Birgit because you have done so within the last day.
 

Past Member (0)
Monday June 17, 2013, 8:33 pm
Afaik, everyone who has a bike rides it. We do. It's not a race thing, it's good for our bodies, good for environment, and good for everything. I am a white girl with one tattoo, oh man, profile me! LOL!
 

Past Member (0)
Monday June 17, 2013, 8:39 pm
Btw, I'm all for riding a horse to the store to buy groceries, and have done so. They even come with their own natural fertilizer.!
 

Shawna S. (44)
Monday June 17, 2013, 9:57 pm
Thanks JL :")
I walk wherever possible.
I'd ride a bike...if I owned one. I am white with 4 tattoos, lol. The stereotyping, or whatever you want to call it, in the article is news to me. I guess I've never noticed.
The title got me because I thought I'd see hot guys in tattoos, lol.
 

Jim Phillips (3201)
Monday June 17, 2013, 11:20 pm
"Biking: Not Just for White Guys With Tattoos"

Profiling is a yes for this article. Maybe the title should have used the word cycling instead of biking. After all, what the article suggests is that what you are riding is a bicycle. The official title for the Olympics is "Olympic Cycling".

This title is very mis-leading. My first thought was white guys riding their Harley Hogs.We "bikers" sometimes refer our beloved "HOGS" as "bikes". Yes, there are a few guys who ride their "bikes" that have "tats" or another word is tattoos. Not all of us have tats. Yes, the majority of guys riding their hogs/bikes are white in this country, USA. Not all of us bikers are members of the Hell's Angels. Most bikers ride with independent Chapters/Clubs while others ride with Official Chapters of Harley-Davidson. There are those who ride independently of any chapter or club; They ride solo or with like-minded friends.

Yes, Harleys are for women too and not just for hairy, pot-bellied, beer guzzling guys with colorful prison tats. lol.

For those of you interested in biking on a Hog (Harley), here is the official web site:.

http://www.harley-davidson.com/en_US/Content/Pages/home.html

Ty, JL.
.
 

Winn Adams (203)
Tuesday June 18, 2013, 7:16 am
Thanks
 

JL A. (276)
Tuesday June 18, 2013, 8:59 am
You are welcome Shawna, Jim and Winn.

Jim, thanks so much for your insightful explanation of some of why the stereotyping/profiling of this story was so misleading for so many.
You cannot currently send a star to Jim because you have done so within the last day.
 

Suzanne B. (246)
Tuesday June 18, 2013, 9:18 am
thank you for sharing this!
 

JL A. (276)
Tuesday June 18, 2013, 9:22 am
You are welcome Suzanne!
 

Helen Porter (40)
Tuesday June 18, 2013, 4:14 pm
I'd rather walk.

But that's me.
 

JL A. (276)
Tuesday June 18, 2013, 4:38 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Zee because you have done so within the last day.
 
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