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ELSEWHERE: Why don’t more African-Americans ride bicycles?


From the states, but equally applicable here?

It took a week in Copenhagen for Albus Brooks to start thinking seriously about bicycling.

The Denver city councilman, 35, had never owned a bike. By the time he headed home from a study tour in Denmark last month, he knew those days were over.

“We biked every day, so I found myself, on a personal point, increasingly happy,” Brooks said, laughing, in an interview last week. “I was a very happy person by the end of that trip.”

via Why don’t more African-Americans ride bicycles? | PeopleForBikes.

  • paige

    For me, coming into biking late (my 30’s) was mostly because it was never really on my radar. I don’t know any other Black cyclists and rarely see any on my daily commute. It was never seen as “cool” in my circle to cycle after my teens and even then I can’t remember anyone cycling. Bikes just aren’t apart of our culture. I’m sure there’s some socio-economic reasons as well…concentrations of Black folk in lower-to-middle-income brackets etc.

    But I guess the biggest issue is my hair. Society at large doesn’t like the way my hair naturally grows out of my head at the best of times. It can very quickly turn disastrous without any outside influence. Add a bike helmet and sweat and just forget about looking “respectable” for the rest of the day…without a ton of product and tools.

    Also, in the wake of Trayvon Martin et al, the idea of tooling around on a bike with overzealous police officers looking for any excuse, seems very daunting. Growing up in Parkdale I remember the police stopping Black kids on bikes all the time for no good reason.