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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well I guess my title said it all. Mountain Biking really does need to be bigger...especially in the African American Community.
According to my personal observation anyway.
Anybody out there agree?
When I go places (work, around the way,etc., and folks see my bikes or when I ask about Mountain Biking, I either get laughed at or hear, "Whats that?" or ignored altogether.
Seems like such a shame to me.
A lot of talented people missing out on such a cool sport.
...:confused:
Well, I guess I'll keep on tryig to spread the word. (but for how long? I'm 57 years old! :eek: :D )

Hey guys- anybody want to comment on this subject? here's a good place ! :D
Take care,
zarr :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I don't expect to get very many ,if not ANY replies in this thread guys. I guess you guys don't know of a solution either. But do me a favor. If you get to know any good people from the African American community or wherever, enlighten about our sport. :cool:
The only question I have is...Why me??? :confused: I was somehow led into this by a series of mysterious events.( Magazines etc.)
57 years old African American Mountain Biker?
Well...whatever.
I'm gonna enjoy myself while it's there !
:cool: zarr :)
 

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Regardless of color, I believe there are lots of people in the world who have never been to a place where you cannot see a building. Cannot imagine you can do something interesting in a place that is not built up.

I am lucky to be in a location and generation where going out into the woods for a few hours is a normal thing to do, and easy.
 

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As a massive generalisation, I think cycling in general isn't that popular with black people. I know this sounds like an off the cuff remark, and no, I haven't taken any statistics, but it seems very unusual to see someone of African descent doing cycling for recreation - and come to think of it, possibly other peoples too, for example, Indians.

It may be a cultural thing, but it does feel like a white mans sport.

Don't bash me, just calling it as I see it.
 

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zarr said:
Well I guess my title said it all. Mountain Biking really does need to be bigger...especially in the African American Community.
According to my personal observation anyway.
Anybody out there agree?
When I go places (work, around the way,etc., and folks see my bikes or when I ask about Mountain Biking, I either get laughed at or hear, "Whats that?" or ignored altogether.
Seems like such a shame to me.
A lot of talented people missing out on such a cool sport.
...:confused:
Well, I guess I'll keep on tryig to spread the word. (but for how long? I'm 57 years old! :eek: :D )

Hey guys- anybody want to comment on this subject? here's a good place ! :D
Take care,
zarr :)
Why bother? I rather prefer doing things that not everyone else does. Sheeat that becomes too popular gets bastardized, mainstreamed, and then you get all the wannabe's and posers who all of a sudden are hardcore bikers. I've been doing this since i was a kid and i like that i have that reputation of "biker-boy" among my friends and aquaintances.

The only thing you should be spreading around is your seed with other mtn biker chicks lol:thumbsup:
 

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I think that the number of African Americans in mountain biking has more to do with demographics than with anything else. The nation is approximately 14% African American yet a "mountain biking" state like Colorado is less than 5% African American.

Conversely, 58% of African Americans live in a metropolitan area, with cities like New York having a 28% African American population and Chicago having a 18% African American population. With mountain biking not being a cheap sport, I would doubt a person living in the city, African American or not, would buy an expensive bike that could/would get stolen quickly and the ability to get to trails would be difficult at best. When I lived in Colorado there were people that I met that lived in Denver and had NEVER been out of the city in their whole lives!

In addition, if a person (or a group of people in this case) are never exposed to the sport, then odds are they won't participate in that sport. This is why a group like Trips for Kids is so important. It gives kids in big urban/inner city settings an opportunity to go mountain biking, giving them the exposure that might plant the seed.
 

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I'm glad you love your chosen passion, but you need to pull it in a bit.

You won't convince anyone who doesn't want to be convinced, about MTB'ing or anything else.

I live in 'the hood', and while I see folks on bikes, none of them are worth more than $100, and NOT A SINGLE ONE is ridden energetically. Jogging speed on a bike in the hood is normal -- and rarely more than a couple miles. Bikes in the hood are utility devices, there is no interest or desire to get silly on one.

The money factor is also valid; even when someone 'from the hood' has that kind of money, they WILL NOT spend it on a bike. It IS a rare 'person of color' who won't spend disposable income on clothing, jewelry, and 'stylish' transportation, sorry to sound stereotypical. After 15 years, I'm convinced I'm right.

My brother-in-law (black, Vietnam vet, raised in an area when & where segregation was the norm -- back doors, separate water fountains, etc.) has told me about his experiences, and I am convinced from this that all the 'trappings of success' that are evident in the hood are because of not being ABLE to get them before. A bike is a symbol of the poverty that has stained an entire people for over a century. An EXPENSIVE bike is just 'silly'.
 

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Well I see an older black gentleman jogging a lot where I mountain bike. So obviously he is familiar with the opportunity, but would rather pursue other recreation opportunities.
 

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I agree with you, Zarr. I regularly see a few African Americans cycling on road bikes and mountain bikes on our roads and trails, but the community is definitely underrepresented. Don't let people knock your enthusiasm.
 

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Team Fubar Rider said:
Conversely, 58% of African Americans live in a metropolitan area, with cities like New York having a 28% African American population and Chicago having a 18% African American population. With mountain biking not being a cheap sport, I would doubt a person living in the city, African American or not, would buy an expensive bike that could/would get stolen quickly and the ability to get to trails would be difficult at best. When I lived in Colorado there were people that I met that lived in Denver and had NEVER been out of the city in their whole lives!
There are legal MTB trails in 3 of the 5 NYC boroughs and a hell of a lot of places to ride outside the city accessible by public transport with your bike.
 

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I only know one really serious African-American mountain biker, but he is very good. He's a friend of a friend. He is fit and also road bikes at a high club rider level. He had a mountain bike ride for his birthday party, it was very racially mixed, but only his white friends had "serious" mountain bikes, and the skill to go with them. We mostly stuck to double track and easy single track. I've run into him since then on group rides, but haven't seen any of his black friends out with him.

You see the same thing in skiing. It's part opportunity, part attitude.

To the OP, I'd play up the fitness aspect of riding first, then let your friends find out how fun it is. People seem to understand cycling for fitness more than cycling for fun.

David B.
 

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Zarr I live and ride near Wissahickon Park in Philly and I'm happy to say I see about 10% of the mountain bikers being African American. Even more ride the main Forbidden Drive cinder trail. I also ride all over PA, MD, DE, and can't say I've ever encountered an African American is any "mountain setting" while riding. Note: I am also a hunter, hiker, and fisherman and could make the same statement about those sports as well....

My guess is access to good bikes might be the problem, but it's probably also something cultural, but I don't know what. I'm not sure why but especially close to cities and urban areas, I see so many crappy Wal bikes and can only imagine that 2-3 rides on a real trail and they are toast. It's hard to get into any sport with junk equipment.

Anyway -- I hope whatever the reason I hope folks like you and others can help spread the word. :thumbsup:
 

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no mountains in the hood, no forests.
BMX'ing and urban biking needs to blow up in the hood.

as pertime mentioned, if you can't see the forest for the buildings, it's hard to want to be there.
once you get a kid on a bike of any kind they tend to start travelling, once they travel a bit they'll eventually find their way to a park, once they find a park they'll find how much fun it could be offroad, and they'll start looking harder for mountain biking locations...

but get a kid on a bike of any kind and it will escalate eventually.

EDIT: and you have to get a decent bike into some kids' hands... get 3 or 4 kids on your leftover bikes, or CL bikes.
I have 3 kids (besides my own) who I support with upgrades and maintenance etc, 3 or 4 kids riding around in the neighbourhood generates interest in other kids.
(when there's only one kid doing it eveyrone just thinks he's a weirdo, ask me how I know! :D )
 

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zarr, it's an interesting topic but i think you've really made it difficult to discuss. you have blurred the lines between the hood and black people.

1) not everyone in the hood is black
2) are you trying to spread mountain biking to the hood or to black people?
3) there are plenty of black people who don't live in the hood who have the $$ to spend on a bike.

i would love to comment, but i would need you to clarify a bit first.
 

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I basically live in the hood unfortunately and ride my MTB through the streets a lot. Have to ride through the streets to get to the woods. Being of a black descent I get a lot strange looks from my people and honestly I really don't care who looks at me. Like already mentioned having an expensive bike is usually silly to the uneducated white, black,green, yellow, purple, or whatever skin color you have.

Its always funny when I tell people about the ride I went on this weekend and their like "You have a bike.... cool, what size, what color"? Then I start talking about my rig and they have the WTF face......its priceless believe me.

My neighbor asked me if I go sking, because of my roof rack. I told her its for my MTB's and she looked puzzled.

Road bikes are a lot more popular in the older black community compared to MTB on a recreational level. Along with BMX bikes are a lot more popular to the younger black kids in the hood compared to MTB.

On side note I see more black kids on skateboards with skinny jeans then bikes now. This was totally unheard of 5 years ago, but its accepted now. Wonder who broke that wall. Its funny because I used to get roasted for trying to skate board 15 years ago...lol
 

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African What???

What the FVCK is an "African American"? Is that like some fancy hybrid blended between the continents or something, Seriously? I know America has whites, blacks, hispanics, asians, people that came from all over the wrold, but don't get this BS :rolleyes:
 

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I live in the deep South and we have a large african american population. In the city you'll see black folks from the 'hood on bikes quite a bit because that's probably their sole source of transportation.

The number of recreational cyclists of the black persuasion is very small and I agree that it would be great to see more. It is, as mentioned before, an expensive hobby, so that limits the sport to at least middle-class folks of any color, and, admittedly, there are more white people above the poverty line than people of color.

I do have an african american guy on my cycling team and he's very competitive on the MTB and road. In fact you may have seen him during the Tour De France, putting the hurt on old Bob Roll climbing Mont Ventoux after he won a sweepstakes that awarded him the trip!
 
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