Bicycle groups of minorities are springing up all over the country, trying to lay waste to the idea that only white people bike. A recent article by NPR details a group of bikers simply called “Black Women Bike: DC”, started by a woman named Veronica Davis, that has now grown to 800 women strong. Similar biking groups now exist in LA and New York, signaling a growing trend aimed at sparking a change in the societal perception of biking. And they’re doing so in different ways: some for a simpler commute, some for training, and some just for enjoyment with their kids. As long as they’re biking, and doing it together, the message is clear: it’s silly to think minorities shouldn’t ride bikes.
The League of American Bicyclists reported that people of color are the largest growing demographic within the biking community, and that biking within these communities is becoming more prominent. Whether riding home after a late shift when public transportation isn’t convenient or just taking a daytime joyride, the increased prominence of biking in these neighborhoods is becoming an influential part to the growing national support of increased biking access. These groups are not only shifting community attitude, but they are supporting the demand for more biking routes and increased street safety.
With increasing diversity within the bike community, the cultural movement gains more force. It’s no longer just white suburbanites hoping for longer Sunday rides or young hipsters hoping not to get hit by taxis downtown. Bicycling is moving towards a more legitimate form of transportation. As many European cities have shown, this is only a good thing. It means less pollution, less traffic, and more exercise. It means healthier cities. And with more minorities, it means a more integrated culture, together working towards the same goals.
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