Eliot Jackson Launches Grow Cycling Foundation to Promote Diversity in Cycling

Aug 13, 2020
by Brian Park  


Words: Brian Park
Images & Video: Grow Cycling Foundation


The cycling world is not immune from a culture of exclusivity and racism, and as 2020 progressed, pro DH racer Eliot Jackson felt a growing need to help within the cycling community. So he has started Grow Cycling Foundation with the aim of promoting education, access and opportunities that increase diversity and inclusion in cycling.

This new foundation aims to create new avenues for inclusive community building and career development in the cycling industry, as well as to empower existing programs working to tear down the barriers to entry in cycling for marginalized communities.

With a five-year plan in place, Grow Cycling's first initiative is to build a pumptrack in a historically diverse neighbourhood of Los Angeles, CA. Grow is aiming to inspire career paths and involve the local community by using this space for world-class events, community building and programs that teach various cycling industry skills.
Grow Cycling Foundation
Eliot Jackson, Giant Factory Off Road team.

bigquotesMy parents taught me to work hard, do my best, and to dream big. The world taught me that there are no excuses. My whole life I put my head down and focused on that, reminding myself that I am the one that makes things possible. The only problem was, that when I picked my head back up, I realized that most of the time, I was the only black person at the starting line.Eliot Jackson

Grow Cycling Foundation
Velosolutions is on board to help construct a world class pumptrack.


How is Pinkbike involved?

Back in June I wrote about Race and Accessibility, and we told you that Pinkbike would be committing time and money to improve diversity in mountain biking. Since then many of you have asked how and when that was happening. Well today I'm excited to tell you that we've been working behind the scenes with Eliot Jackson as he launches this foundation, and we're proud to be supporting their efforts.

In addition to financial support, ad value, and fundraising, Pinkbike is also working with Grow Cycling on an internship to offer opportunities for those looking to enter the media, journalism, and content-creation sides of cycling. We're looking forward to what these new voices will bring to the industry.

We're also particularly excited about working with Grow Cycling for this fall's Share The Ride initiative. Over the years, our Share The Ride program has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to provide disadvantaged kids from all backgrounds with bikes and gear. The details are still being worked out, but by using Grow's ear to the ground in those communities we'll have the opportunity to address some of the barriers they face.

Grow Cycling Foundation

bigquotesWe started Grow Cycling Foundation so that the next Eliot Jackson can be even better than I am. So that the industry I love can speak to more people that look like me. Because there is nothing inherent in the colour of a person's skin that makes them not want to ride a bike.Eliot Jackson

How can you help?

If you'd like to support Grow Cycling Foundation, please consider donating. The foundation is organized as a nonprofit corporation and is a 501c3 public foundation partner. All donations are 100% tax deductible.


In addition to Pinkbike, brands like Yeti Cycles, Santa Cruz Bicycles, FOX Suspension, Rebecca Rusch's Be Good Foundation, Red Bull, and more are all on board and committed to doing the hard work to build a more inclusive future for cycling. We hope Grow Cycling's efforts inspire other individuals, brands, and organizations to step forward and help tackle these problems positively and proactively.



Grow Cycling FAQ

Is Grow Cycling just to help build inclusion for people of color or will you help other marginalized groups as well?

Historically, people of color have been largely underserved in the outdoor industry, so we are starting there with the understanding that the same systems of power that exclude people of color, exclude other marginalized groups as well. Our ultimate goal is for the world of cycling to be representative of the world around us, full of all genders, colors, and backgrounds.

How much of my donation goes to Grow Cycling initiatives?

We aren’t taking salaries or any wages to do this. Currently, everyone working at Grow Cycling Foundation is a volunteer. Aside from platform hosting fees and administrative costs, 100% of your donations go directly to Grow Cycling initiatives and are tax-deductible.

Our dream is that Grow Cycling grows large enough to have global reach which may, in the future, require full-time, salaried staff. If this happens we commit to being fully transparent with our donors and community about where their donations are going.


If I can’t donate, how can I help?

• Spread the word to your cycling friends and communities - tweet, repost, share or pin
• Tell your employer about us and ask them to share the story and get involved
• Commit to spending time educating yourself on inequalities of access to your sport or industry
• Show empathy daily and be intentional about inviting new people into your cycling circles
• Be empowered to speak up when you notice homogeneity in your companies or social circles. Ask why that might be and how you can open the doors to different groups of people


Learn more at growcyclingfoundation.org.


A note on the comments section

Pinkbike's new community guidelines aren't quite ready for prime time. So in in the meantime this is the tl;dr: don’t be racist, sexist, homophobic, or otherwise bigoted. Don’t deadname or misgender trans people. Don’t mischaracterize or discuss in bad faith. Do be constructive and welcoming. Do try to see things from others’ perspective.

We value freedom of speech in society, and we will always remain a place that encourages unvarnished, critical discussion, but Pinkbike is not a government and we will moderate this community as necessary.



269 Comments

  • 591 6
 Thank you! A lot of long nights. I am so happy to bring this out with Pinkbike as one of our partners. We have been working side by side and want to continue to for a long time to come. I posted this on my Instagram and I wanted to share it here.

Today we are launching Grow Cycling Foundation. Today I feel like I am also launching a new chapter in my life. Over the last few months I’ve worked countless 14-15 hour days, hit an unimaginable amount of dead ends, juggled 3 full time jobs, and gone to bed every night wondering if what I want to do is even possible.

I spent 10 years of my life traveling the world racing at the highest level. I started Reggy, a startup that will allow more people to race and now has two engineers working on it. And now I helped bring Grow Cycling Foundation into the world. As I reflect on my life and where it has led me, at the root of it all is one thing: Bicycles.

Bicycles are what got me here today. They are what took me around the world. They are what let me make the connections to start this foundation.

Grow Cycling Foundation to me is about providing the opportunity to achieve the life that I have and way more. When I look back there are a few lucky moments, like @kragarchery dragging me up to Whistler, that if they didn’t happen, I probably wouldn’t be talking to you today.

Life is serendipitous. Grow is about making it slightly less serendipitous, clearing some of the weeds from the path and inviting all of the explorers in the world to travel down it. Wherever it might lead.

Because if my life is any indication, I’d say it’s a journey worth taking.
  • 42 1
 Thank you for the work you're doing! I'm sure you're crazy busy, but if you had time, I'd love to read a semi-regular column from you about how this initiative is going (and what else went into getting it to this stage), and other thoughts on diversity, equity, and inclusion in mountain biking. A concerted push towards more inclusion in this sport is long, long overdue.
  • 19 0
 Congrats Eliot! Can't wait to see Grow Cycling grow!! Thanks for your hard work and for being such a great ambassador for mountain biking.
  • 30 0
 @steezysam: Yes! For sure thank you! We a newsletter that you can sign up for on the site that will give updates and info on all kinds of good stuff Smile We should be releasing the first issue in the next few weeks
  • 22 0
 @bobbys13: Thank you!! Thanks for listening and taking the time
  • 8 0
 @EliotJackson: Sweet, I'll sign up!
  • 9 0
 This is awesome! Congratulations on launching this and much respect for taking this up.
  • 7 0
 This is an awesome initiative Eliot, definitely donating. Thank you!
  • 12 0
 Way to go, Eliot, this takes a lot of work and a ton of guts. With everything going on, I've been thinking you would be a great leader when it comes to diversity and racial awareness in the mtb community. You're a great communicator and have that high-energy, welcoming personality that people are attracted to--I hope you get more opportunities to show that, be on screen at big events (if that's something you desire) and share your story and stoke for mountain biking. I'm damn near flat broke but I will make a small donation momentarily. All the folks who know what's good in the world appreciate you!!!
  • 9 0
 Beyond happy to be in a place where I could make a small donation to Grow today and excited to see where this goes.
  • 8 1
 Nice work dude. Real work that will grow the sport!
  • 9 0
 Well Done Elliot and congrats and all the success with this opportunity. I hope you can take it global.
  • 10 0
 If you're aiming to do work in Utah, hit up the Park City Community Foundation. They love to hand out grants to organizations which promote diversity. Good luck!
  • 9 0
 Congrats on the new venture and I wish you all the best luck! I think you are doing amazing things with the right reasons behind them and I applaud you and your hard work! A real role model for the next generations to look up to! Cheers Eliot!
  • 8 0
 @scott-townes: Thank you, Scott!!
  • 10 0
 @Mattysville: Thank youuuu!!!
  • 9 0
 @gemma8788: Thank you so much for the kind words, Gemma! It's OK if you can't donate! The FAQ question about what you can do if you can't donate is so incredibly important and we all have the opportunity in the little interactions we have every day to be a little bit more inclusive and empathetic to others Smile Including me!
  • 6 0
 @EliotJackson always a class act! Congratulations and bravo for doing something like this!
  • 6 0
 Respect. You've got my support.
  • 8 0
 This is really great and I applaud your initiative Eliot! I'd say to make a real difference, a person of your influence is needed in mountain biking. The hurdles are pretty big and will require a lot of support. I work with a nonprofit 501c3 organization to get at-risk youth involved in taekwondo in south Seattle. We have about 150 kids participating, mostly black, latino and asian. The local community center kindly donates space and all of us instructors volunteer our time. It's great but I'd really love to get these kids into mountain biking as well. Just being out in nature, especially with all the great trails in our area, I think would be life-changing for them. But mtn bikes, even cheap used ones, plus protective gear are out of reach for most. Not to mention the real trails are over on the east side, which is pretty far from south Seattle. Some big hurdles.
  • 5 0
 Eliot, you are the best kind of human there is and sadly I’ve never meet you.
  • 3 0
 Nicely done
  • 16 45
flag likeittacky (Aug 13, 2020 at 20:59) (Below Threshold)
 Eliot, I think your a great person and an incredible athlete with all do respect. Although I'm not on board with the NWO of things and the crying here on PB about diversity. People have different interest in life and whichever vehicle they choose to navigate their endeavors with, whether it be a ball, wheels, or wings; the environment He / She chooses to immerse themselves in is one that takes determination, passion, work. and camaraderie to stay the course.
I have spent time mentoring kids of different race and getting them involved in an activity was always a chore, though sometimes an individual would take to a certain thing and reap its rewards by diligent acquisition.
Your commercial video explains this and illustrates, that when Parents instill into their children a hard work ethic promoting a healthy lifestyle, giving them the tools needed and sacrificing themselves to enable their offspring to grab life by the horns is where these endeavors begin. Unfortunately within minority communities this is not the outcome; therefore, not many will gravitate towards certain activity's nor find any or much interest with.

This is merely a choice and not racial inequality as being propagated and imposed on all of us.

Thank's for being Yourself and giving to this sport, that is why you are loved; there is no color.
  • 3 0
 This is awesome! There are grass roots efforts being made in a few places around the SF Bay Area with the same goals in mind!
Dirt World BMX park was built by volunteers in the heart of Richmond, Ca. They are slowly getting to the point of sustainability with the dirt jumps and BMX race track. Here is a link to a story on that one:
www.mercurynews.com/2018/07/08/dirt-world-the-east-bay-gets-its-first-urban-bmx-park
And Bicycle trails Council of the East Bay is working to build a pump track near Joaquin Miller Park in Oakland.

Access to a good, well made and legal riding area is huge! The town I grew up in built houses on all of the old dirt lots we rode as kids and now the youth in that town have only a small skate park on the new side of town. I wish every city could have a pumptrack at a minimum!
  • 10 0
 Wishing you every success with Grow Cycling Foundation @EliotJackson and given your obvious enthusiasm and love of riding bikes, I’ve little doubt that you’ll succeed.
  • 13 29
flag youknowitsus (Aug 14, 2020 at 5:51) (Below Threshold)
 @likeittacky: Thank you for keeping it real as f*ck. It's all just so people can feel warm & fuzzy about being good people but the fact is this perceived inequality is just that, perceived. Just because a kid doesn't have an opportunity to be exposed to an activity doesn't f*cking mean the activity is inherently racist. People have lost their ability to see that difference. If you want to form a charitable organization to help minorities gain possible entry into cycling, I'm all for it. But spinning this off as a way to curb inherent racism is assumptive and downright asinine. I don't know a single cyclist nor have I heard a single word spoken in nearly 20 years that would deny ANY PERSON a warm and welcoming treatment due to the color of their skin. It's simply not something that exists in our industry. If they do exist in any vocal capacity, they don't have many friends I can guarantee you that much. Want to curb "exclusion"? Start calling out the egomaniac bro rider that has ruined this industry that once wasn't so much about Gram feeds and brand sponsors and claiming to "race Nationals" in the first 10 seconds of speaking. I can hardly be around other riders anymore without feeling the urge to punch someone in the face for putting themselves above others for riding a Yeti and having a Sprinter van. This shit has got to stop and I'm sorry, but while I fully support giving underserved populations access to cycling, contributing to perceptions of inherent bias is only continually futhering a self-fulfilling prophecy. Since people "want" to believe it's the case, it's only going to further create it, not lessen it. Is anyone else out there seeing this?
  • 5 2
 @youknowitsus: Yes the egomaniac bro riders are a problem, but are you really saying that Eliot (or anyone else on here) has lost the ability to see the difference between access and racism? Surely he has traveled more/farther, met more bikers/people, had more bike-related experiences than anyone else commenting here. He is also Black, which means his experiences have been different from yours. I'm only two hours away from you in Richmond, grew up in VA my whole life, and I've seen and heard plenty of racism in cycling. It may not be overt--for example, I've heard bikers talking about other bikers at trailheads, and while the POC may or may not have been out of earshot, you can't tell me these bikers are going to be welcoming/inclusive on the trail, drinking beers afterwards, etc. I think we have one of the best communities out there overall--I've always felt you can't be a biker AND an a*shole; like, if you're an a*shole, I don't care how good you are on a bike, you aren't a mountain biker--but it's not perfect and people who have had these experiences are trying to get people to understand it's a real thing. It isn't perceived; it's as real as the ego bros, people just aren't shouting racism from their sprinter's; it's a quieter kind of f'ed up. Just wanted to say my experiences have been different and it makes me sick to see it in a sport I champion to pretty much everyone I meet.
  • 6 7
 @gemma8788: Hey man I see your point and I do appreciate it. What I'm against is people furthering an agenda while remaining willfully ignorant of the distinction between access ans racism. Basically, I'm for conscious thought in approaching any issue. I think it's easy to believe the strong feelings behind the fact racism does exist in the first place as an indication of a much larger problem. And in some ways you sorta proved my point: The people who ARE racist can get the f*ck out, but will they even bare any impact on a culture that simply doesn't tolerate it in the first place? What I worry about most is people creating a bigger problem that may or may not exist. Just because I'm not black doesn't mean I personally haven't witnessed my black friends fking CUT IN FRONT OF while standing in line at a convenience store. Racism obviously impacts us all, but we need to understand that there IS a distinction between access and assumed inherent racism. As in, can the fact that minorities may have not received larger access really just be because of assumptions they don't want to ride? Or maybe that activity just isn't prevalent in that area? We CANNOT assume the cause is racism by default, because in doing so we paint a more racist world, which is doing the exact thing we're fighting against....lessening racism. It just seems a bit backwards to me and we can position our efforts to promote equality without using the past as a lens of certainty for what in all honesty, may or may not be true. Can you see where I'm coming from?
  • 6 0
 @youknowitsus: I think I see where you're coming from and I do appreciate that neither of us are being combative here. However, I am very clear on the fact that access and racism are different, but I think a lot of people believe they are mutually exclusive (not saying you, just lots of folks in general). They are NOT mutually exclusive, which also means: no, I don't believe the fact that minorities are not more involved is because they simply don't want to ride. MTB is so global now you can look to many countries (Central/South America, Asia, Eastern Europe, a few select parts of Africa, etc.) whose populations would be considered minorities in the US, where MTB is flourishing. So I see access and racism as very closely connected, which I think it what Eliot is trying to tackle here: more access (first pump track to be built in LA where there are tons of minorities), more inclusiveness, more bikers. Finally, bringing pre-existing racism to someone's attention is not increasing racism in the world, it's addressing the problem (which I believe to be true and real based on my experiences and certainly based on those of POC, such as Eliot). I'm guessing we aren't going to come to an agreement today, but I wholeheartedly agree with you that people who ARE racist can gtfo. I think we both need a ride now lol.
  • 10 7
 I think its funny how you can have an entire mountain bike community that is wholeheartedly accepting of and wants more for Eliot, yet we are all racist. Don't buy into the BS, it only divides us further. Eliot, glad for you as always.
  • 5 0
 We will support this effort and signed up... Cycling over the year has introduce me to so many new place faces and places... It is time to give back.
  • 2 4
 @youknowitsus: Well said.
  • 2 1
 @gemma8788: Yeah I think there is something in the middle that prevents full agreement but I will have to admit I do see new purpose in the whole discussion around combatting racism that does exist. In theory if we have more efforts to show we're against it while not excluding those whose minds need to be changed, THAT is something I can get behind!
  • 4 4
 @gemma8788: When is the last time you have shared your number; inviting a person of another color to ride? Are you being Hypocritical and why would you not intervene those insinuating comments at the trailheads ?? Offering an opportunity to experience the sport of mountain biking, no strings attached, befriending and conversing with them without awkwardness??? This is the avenue which to introduce another person into any activity.
This sounds to me that maybe people here on PB having not made any efforts, nor boldly intervening in any wrongful activity, are doing nothing to promote this action of diversity and are merely pandering to the addressed atmosphere with bigotry. Thus, exacerbating this notion of inclusiveness of race; hence, creating animosity and division of race, of which is being perpetuated here.
  • 10 8
 @likeittacky: And this is why your message will fall on dead ears. SHAMING OTHER HUMAN BEINGS who are not racists will NEVER be an effective path to change. Tearing down the human spirit with this powerful negative emotion is the only thing worth shaming. You should honestly be ashamed of YOURSELF for perpetuating such negatively and such an evil approach to creating change. I'd strongly encourage you to check yourself as you're only seeking to incite conflict when there are FAR MORE effective approaches to influencing people to change their behavior than shaming a good person because they don't act how you think they should! Can't even believe you'd be so brainwashed and hypocritical to think a negative approach to a positive movement is a good idea....so fall the f*ck back real quick homie.
  • 4 7
 @youknowitsus: * "SHAMING OTHER HUMAN BEINGS who are not racists will NEVER be an effective path to change." *"You should honestly be ashamed of YOURSELF for perpetuating such negatively and such an evil approach to creating change." *"Can't even believe you'd be so brainwashed and hypocritical to think a negative approach to a positive movement is a good idea"

youknowitsus,
If there was ever a statement to be taken out of context and used as a means to degrade someone ,You may have just awarded Yourself a Plaque Of Achievement. Credence of this Narrative and hostilities exemplified here, are a window into the very essences of which my previous statement identifies and is the basis for defining your mishandling and abusiveness towards others with different views in this hypersensitive topic. Fear Mongering and ideological based change by crucifying all who are not on board with this radical way of thinking and change, is perhaps the most concerning of all.

I therefor challenge you to remove yourself from your comfort zone (that being you are not of darker skin tone) and go find a person of color and do what i suggested to do in my earlier statement, "to introduce someone of different Race and Ethnicity to this dynamic sport of Unity"; where Race, Religion,Culture and Physicality are all welcomed into. It's Just That Simple!
  • 10 2
 @likeittacky: Yes! "...go find a person of color..." like they are a Pokemon, and recruit them to the sport. It doesn't matter what color, just so long as they aren't white. Be sure to brag about it on social media so that you can claim your Diversity Points™ to be redeemed at a later date.

Absolutely gross, dude. Let's not treat minority populations in the US like they are devoid of any self agency. White saviorism is nasty. Maybe we can just agree to be kind, inviting stewards of the sport regardless of who we might encounter, yeah?
  • 1 1
 @mikealive: Well have to laugh at that, because I'm a fan of raw comedy( Chappelle, Burr, Pryor,Carlin, Kat etc., etc..) but honestly your absolutely right and thanks for pointing out my error in wording ! Although the point I'm making remains the same, in suggesting to befriend people of other Race and invest your personal time entertaining them with this sport and nurturing that interaction. And Hey, if it is not their cup of tea or the friend ship doesn't work out than move on. It's not the the end of world; or maybe it is who knows!
  • 3 5
 @likeittacky: Everyone is racist to a degree, that's a fact. Saying, "I'M NOT RACIST AND I DON'T KNOW ANYONE THAT IS!" because you don't hear people blatantly using racist slurs or minorities being rejected from businesses is an easy escape. Educating yourself on institutional racism throughout the history of the U.S. and recognizing your own prejudices is the hard first step towards achieving equality.

Your post is not edgy or unique. Its the same BS that's been played for decades to defend institutional racism by pretending it doesn't exist. I'm by no means calling you a bad person. You're simply someone who has yet to be educated and doesn't understand the extent of racism and what role its played since the inception of the U.S. to this day. You're just simply ignorant.
  • 4 0
 @scott-townes: Well first off this education you speak of is currently being abolished by radicals in order to magically make disappear. Secondly, the assumption that I'm unaware of Jamestown 1619, Rosa Parks, Jim Crow, Malcolm X, C.R A.-1957,1964, Louis Farrakhan, Robert E.Lee, MLK Jr., Roots, Neil Young- "Southern Man" Tupac Shakur, The Roots, NAACP, Collard Greens and Chitlins (yes i attended an all Blk church only white present) but wait there's more - Rodney King-during which, me and blk coworker shooting pool together in Hammond, LA. at a bar with hateful onlookers.

Is this all Virtue Signaling? NO, Not by any means; but rather a rebuke to you vilifying your insidious comments.

Have a good day
  • 2 5
 @likeittacky: "Well first off this education you speak of is currently being abolished by radicals in order to magically make disappear"


You seriously need to educate yourself.
  • 5 1
 @likeittacky: No man, I wasn't arguing semantics, I was quite literally taking issue with the notion that any person should seek out any other person *on a primary identifier of skin color* to be recruited to any activity. This isn't a Diversity Bingo to be played with other human beings. That is quite literally the definition of Tokenism. How do you think that makes the other person feel? "The primary reason I invited you was that you are Asian". Huh? That's just gross in my eyes--what a perverse motivation. On the other hand, you're somehow being chastised by Scotty-Townes for not being woke _enough_, so what do I know, lol.

Maybe I just have a different point of view on these things because my entire adult life I've had friends of every skin color and ethnicity--such interactions are not foreign to me. But if I ask any of my friends to come do X activity with me because, as a primary factor, there is an 'under representation' of Y skin color in said activity, they are going to look at me sideways. And rightfully so.

Thought experiment: let's pretend you are a white person in a group of 10 people.. we'll say at a workplace. Somehow this group of people happens to be a direct reflection of the US demographic: 6 white, 2 hispanic, 1.5 black, but we'll round that to 2 for the sake of whole numbers (sorry to my asian friends, indigenous people, and others--I see you, but bear with me here). You have two spare bikes and weekend lift passes at Whatever Mtn. Who do you take?

If anyone reading this reaches a conclusion other than 'the 2 people who most want to go', then you are engaging in some form of racism, sexism, prejudice, etc. End of. Remember, nothing has been mentioned about skillset, ability to travel, whose company you prefer, or anything else. If you choose the two black people simply for the fact that they aren't white, you're perpetuating racism, the same as if you had chosen two white people for the sake that they weren't black. The actual truth here is that there is nuance in every situation, and choices to be made that are often relative. This truth is often lost in such discussions.

Let me be very clear here--I absolutely believe institutional racism was and continues to be a thing. It is getting better, for sure, but the effects of such policies are long lasting and thus, take years to overcome. I continue to learn about the fallout of such policies--it was 2019 before I knew redlining was a thing! The resulting suppression of generational wealth 100% has had an impact on the opportunities afforded to many black Americans, there is no doubt. That said, I don't believe it's a matter of institutional racism, or overt racism, that we don't see more black and brown faces on the trails. Common interests among peer groups and access to trails are a couple reasons, among many.

This reply is getting long-winded, I apologize. It's an important topic worthy of discussion, but I have work to do this weekend and likely won't be able to come back to the conversation. So lastly, anyone here ever play the game Six degrees of Kevin Bacon? You pick a person and try to connect them to Kevin Bacon in 6 moves or less. Sometimes I feel like people are playing Six degrees of Racism. As in, how can I tie this outcome to racism in 6 moves or less. There being few black or brown faces in mountain biking in the US is not the result of overt racism, and is a stretch to say it is due to institutional racism directly. There are absolutely barriers to entry for the sport, exactly ZERO of which are tied to the color of someone's skin specifically. Socioeconomic factors have to be the number one barrier to the sport of cycling, and if the correlation to a historically lower average household income for black Americans versus their white counterparts is being argued, I can meet you somewhere on that bridge perhaps. But if that's the case, why not just develop a program to serve all poor/underserved populations, regardless of skin color? You mean to tell me you have 10 kids in front of you, all from poor households, all who want to ride mountain bikes... and you tell a portion of them that they are not welcome because of the color of their skin?? This is racist on its face! This heals nothing! A missed opportunity to normalize kids from similar circumstances but different backgrounds having the opportunity to share interests and develop friendships (and understanding!). All for the sake of meeting some arbitrary 'diversity criteria' that remains undefined and ever changing. Look, give me a finish line. Give me a "When we have reached X number of mountain bike participants that meet Y criteria (race, gender, etc) we have achieved our goal" and I might be inclined to sign onto the mission if, for no other reason, we can attain said goal and go back to acting like the kind, decent community most mountain bikers already are. Until then, such initiatives come across as, at best, well-meaning but misguided and exclusionary.

Remember to be kind to each other, and happy trails.
  • 2 0
 This might be the best news in 2020. Congrats Elliot for starting this new foundation and bringing our sport to even more people who will love it. I am feeling the deepest respect for all the work you had to lay down in your career. You are one of the rare but truly inspirational riders out there. My son is a hughe fan of yours. I wish you personally and for your project only the best.
  • 143 6
 I don't think that the lack of diversity is so much advert racism as it is decades of housing patterns and wealth inequality. I have never met a MTBer in real life (not on Pinkbike forums) that is racist, but mountain biking is an expensive sport and you need to have access to trails to participate in. Certainly this disadvantages minorities in the US. I am glad that he is specifically addressing this issue through funding. There is also a cultural aspect to it (i.e. you do what your peers do), so having someone like Eliot be a role model is much needed.
  • 9 1
 Well said.
  • 50 37
 You are totally correct that decades (or more accurately, centuries) of housing and economic policies have negatively impacted non-White people, and limited their access to activities like mountain biking.

But those housing and economic policies are harmful to non-White people because they are racist policies, and racism is very alive and well in the mountain biking community (even offline).
  • 137 0
 I always say, if I had stayed in my hometown I would have NEVER become a mountain bike racer. Not because I wasn't capable or because I didn't have the money to get a used bike, but because I didn't even know mountain biking was a thing. We take for granted that we all got introduced to it in some way. That's one of the things we are doing is providing an entry point for people. Bikes are a vehicle, physically and metaphorically and it's important for new people getting into the sport to see that!
  • 51 32
 Both housing segregation and wealth inequality are because of racism stemming from white supremacy in the United States, so you can't separate one from the other.
  • 26 1
 @matadorCE: Yes, but my point is that it isn't necessarily overt (used the wrong word in my original post SMH) racism that is the cause in the modern day, but historical patterns and legacies of racism. Racists are certainly still out there, but I have a hard time believing that is why most minority kids and adults don't participate in the sport.
  • 10 0
 @EliotJackson: Rad dude. You are an awesome influence on the sport. Certainly doing for MTB what the Williams brothers are doing for road cycling.
  • 5 0
 @EliotJackson: 100%. I hope you can succeed in creating pathways into the sport!
  • 41 44
 @HB208: Can't speak for everyone, but for me it's definitely a big consideration. When you pull up to a trailhead and see a bunch of Trump and confederate flag stickers on trucks and cars, you can't help but a) wonder if you should even the at that particular trail in the first place and b) wonder if you should still be participating in this sport/hobby.
  • 15 5
 @matadorCE: I live in the PNW, so I mostly see Tacomas, 4Runners, and Subarus, usually with Patagonia or Backcountry stickers on them. I can certainly see how this is a factor in the south.
  • 28 8
 If you’ve never met a racist mountain biker you’ve def never rode in Orange County.
  • 22 3
 While I don't encounter outright open racism frequently I can most definitely confirm it’s certainly happens as a minority rider
  • 60 49
 @matadorCE: So Trump voters cannot MTB? Saying all Trump supporters are racist is no different than any other stereotype with black people,Asians etc.. I am sure I will be down voted into oblivion here. That said, it's BS assumption.

@EliotJackson what you are doing is Rad..you are an inspiration and an all around great guy from all I see. Kudos man!
  • 46 13
 @bman33: Nah dude, one is basing your opinion of someone based on their political beliefs (which someone determines themselves) and the other is based on an inherent characteristic that you cannot change. Believe it or not, a lot of people don't like Trump supporters because of the shit that has come out of the man's mouth.
  • 21 20
 @bman33: Not all of them but the ones it is particuarly referencing, with confederate flags and whom base their entire personality on loving a far right politician, are almost, if not all, racists whos predjudiced attitudes to outsiders of various socioeconomic and ethnic groups make it hard for mountain biking to embrace diversity, so yes if we want to share the love of mountain biking with more people and push for diversity then those particular loud outspoken trump supporting people and their mindsets should not be welcome in mountain biking.
@EliotJackson big love my guy, what your doing for the sport is really great
  • 32 27
 @bman33: If the shoe fits, and it doesn't go unnoticed that those individuals at the very least are giving their passive approval. If someone goes out of their way to include a "Trump 2020" sign in their strava pictures, then yeah they're most likely racists.
  • 74 34
 @bman33: all Trump supports support Trump - Trump is objectively racist - so Trump supporters are supporting racism, period.
  • 17 5
 >I have never met a MTBer in real life (not on Pinkbike forums) that is racist

Come to Texas, we have plenty of those.
  • 16 1
 I don’t know if money has anything to do with it. I’ve been to Bali and Thailand and in both places I managed to find local bikers to hit the trails with. These guys really didn’t have much money, but they did manage to buy a functioning bike. I think having access to trails is much more important. This is probably what’s mostly lacking for inner city kids.
  • 23 18
 @matadorCE: i mean there even are some dumbasses in the forums here with trump 2020 as their profile picture. You can't tell you you agree with the incredible amount of SHIT that comes out of his mouth but not agree with his racism as well. He is the person that made racism more socially acceptable in the US than before.
  • 19 9
 @Upduro: Yep, the plausible deniability excuse some people used in 2015/2016 is null and void now. This guy has put out exactly what he is and what he's about, so if you support him you're by default cosigning everything he's doing.
  • 2 3
 @matadorCE: that is most certainly a Florida thing, not a mountain biking thing.
  • 23 28
flag Anbrewski (Aug 13, 2020 at 13:47) (Below Threshold)
 @matadorCE Your train of thought here is flawed in that, you're choosing to ignore any good that someone/something has achieved in favor of a perceived malice. We can support the great things that are achieved by someone without supporting their missteps. Humans are inherently flawed. Well, at least the rest of us are.. perhaps you're so #woke that you have ascended to a higher plane of existence.

Here's an example to illustrate the holes in your reasoning.

By your logic: MLK Jr.'s groundbreaking civil rights actions should be ignored due to his horrible treatment of women.
www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/martin-luther-king-rape-fbi-tapes-video-mlk-laugh-files-a8932206.html
  • 17 6
 LOL, your community sounds rad. Unfortunately, here iin Virginia there are numerous racist running around on mountain bikes.
  • 12 14
 @HB208: So by your logic discrimination based on religious beliefs is cool?
  • 11 6
 Aside from the usual comment ridiculousness, @EliotJackson this seems like a rad project to bring access to crucial exposure of the sport, to a wider range of people. Right on!
  • 14 16
 @Anbrewski: Trump supporters act like it is a religion, but no. I would say that it is cool to discriminate against a cult though... which Trumpers are close to being.
  • 14 14
 @HB208: Do you see how ridiculous this sounds? I would prefer a society where we don't discriminate against anyone!

Generalizing a group of people based on an external factor = no good.
  • 13 14
 @Anbrewski: We all discriminate to some extent. You discriminate when don't associate with all sorts of people. Whats not cool is discriminating because someone is of a certain race, religion, gender, heritage, etc. It is totally fine to discriminate against people who hold views that you find abhorrent.
  • 15 9
 @Anbrewski: It's the intolerance paradox. For example, you can't let even one Nazi start to hang out in your bar. Yeah he's come alone for the past few weeks, and he's polite to you. But pretty soon he's going to bring his other Nazi friends. Hell, maybe the first two Nazi buddies he brings are polite and keep to themselves. But eventually, you're in a Nazi bar and no one is being polite anymore.
  • 6 3
 @jwdenver: Experienced the same thing in Texas, even within the local mountain bike club.
  • 26 12
 @Anbrewski: Except Trump hasn't achieved good for this country. He's stirred up xenophobia and encouraged racist attitudes and caused more division in this country than any other political figure in modern american history. MLK might have had his flaws but he was fighting for an oppressed minority, Trump is fighting for the opposite of that. What are these great things you refer to, he inherited a strong economy but managed to drive the federal deficit (which had been shrinking) up more and more each year. He ignored and dismissed the risks of Covid and promoted conspiracy theories about it and now we are the world leader in Covid cases and deaths. The economic fallout from his mismanagement is only going to get worse.
  • 16 18
 @HB208: lol. Do you see where this becomes dangerous? Allowing discrimination based on beliefs is hugely dependent on the people in power holding the same beliefs as you.

For an oversimplified example, your local government decides to levy an additional property tax on those that registered to vote as the opposing political party.
Still fair?

Or for more fun, your LBS decides to give those that support their stance on politics a 30% discount on all bike purchases.

Or anyone that doesn't think vaccines cause autism is banned from Facebook and suddenly everyone thinks tumeric cures Polio.

There's no way to draw a line in the sand.

In conclusion.
Discrimination = still not cool

Disagreeing with someones beliefs = cool
  • 7 20
flag Anbrewski (Aug 13, 2020 at 15:17) (Below Threshold)
 @pmhobson: I see your logic on this. However, your example is dependent on the assumption that it is universally accepted Nazi's are bad. It is not universally accepted that the opposing political viewpoint or any other number of external factors are bad, though you might not agree with them. Substitute the word Nazi for "conservative" or "jewish" and see how that reads.
  • 12 35
flag Anbrewski (Aug 13, 2020 at 15:41) (Below Threshold)
 @shami: If you cannot find a single good thing achieved by the Trump presidency you're part of the problem.

For starters, riddle me this:
Historic low unemployment and record wage growth for minorities under the trump presidency.
www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-11-06/trump-s-economy-is-historically-good-for-minorities

Evil Orange Man?
  • 10 2
 @HB208: Are you absolutely positive the word you're searching for is discrimination? If it is, your perspective is a bit of a case study in naive realism and asymmetric insight. We don't have room for any discrimination in this world.

The casualness with which people are throwing around systemic, racism, and discrimination these days is absolutely dangerous.
  • 18 2
 @Anbrewski: Wait, it’s not universally accepted that Nazis are bad?
  • 3 1
 @cuban-b: Yes, I would agree Nazi's are definitely evil scumbags. As are all racists, homophobes, sexists, etc.
  • 5 1
 @Anbrewski: ok whew... for the record I do agree with the point you’re making regarding assumptions in a logic argument
  • 2 2
 @cuban-b: thanks buddy lol.
  • 16 8
 @Anbrewski: the article you just cited is an opinion article. If you look at overall economic growth under Trump it's basically just a continuation of the trajectory of the Obama presidency, not remarkable considering.
markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/9-charts-comparing-trump-economy-to-obama-bush-administrations-2019-9-1028833119

Besides that have you looked at unemployment rates lately?
  • 10 3
 I havnt totally understood the mechanics, but hasn't trumps administration basically undone Obamas attempts at universal healthcare? Perhaps someone in the US can clarify?..but that seems like a big step back when trying to reduce income inequalities? If people didn't have to worry so much about their health costs, perhaps they'd feel more able to spend their little money on leisure activities.
  • 10 0
 @nordland071285: the ACA isn't anything remotely resembling universal healthcare and Trump hasn't yet been able to undo those efforts, although he naturally has tried. The real trouble with this is our idiotic two party system that's hell bent on opposition vs building on what's been accomplished by the other side--unfortunately (and worryingly) Trump is just a symptom of this.
  • 6 1
 @HaggeredShins: amen. You get the bigger picture
  • 26 12
 @bman33: I’ll say it: all Trump supporters are racist.
  • 20 12
 You cannot support Trump without being inherently bigoted. The only alternative is complete ignorance. @bman33:
  • 12 8
 @bman33: all trump voter's are a-okay with Trump's racist actions. Whether you want to say that makes them racist or not depends on how thick-skulled you are.
  • 8 3
 @Anbrewski: That's why it's called the intolerance paradox. You cannot tolerate ideologies whose intolerance of other is a literal existential threat to large swaths of humanity.
  • 4 6
 @dratm: Can you give an example of how racism is alive on PB?
I can. Your comment above is racist just for fingerprinting and putting the racist label on us.
You just called yourself out too.

Land values are priced in a free market. There is a reason land in a flood plain is cheap. If you are suggesting we give people something for nothing then please tell me what philosophy that is or the philosophy you think we all should follow.

If you believe in karma and reincarnation like the majority of people in the world, then we all have chosen the lives we lead, and there is a reason and a purpose to our lives. Without suffering through problems, we will not learn, and we will not evolve. if you want to point a finger, point to the kings and queens and their belief and claim that they have the divine right to rule as direct descendants of the "gods" above. That's the real source of racism- king and queens, not Pinkbikers.
  • 2 1
 @HaggeredShins: it seems you're right, it is a long way from universal health care.
But the point still stands, free healthcare would go some way to putting everyone on a similar starting line
  • 8 6
 @dratm: Just because racist people exist in the sport doesn't mean that there is a problem of racism. That's called overgeneralizing and it's literally a psychological symptom addressed in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. You need to be clear on that distinction. It's because you WANT to believe there is a problem of racism to feel the safety of being in the majority. Snap out of it.
  • 7 3
 @Anbrewski: Yes, some of them are 'genuinely fine people' much like the nazis marching in charlottesville, right?
  • 7 12
flag Anbrewski (Aug 14, 2020 at 8:17) (Below Threshold)
 Alright, I'll say it...
Someone please provide an example of "racist" action taken by the Trump presidency. Emphasis on action, not just an awkward statement taken out of context.

To be clear, I am not a fervent supporter of trump or all his policies, but I am not convinced that everything put out about him on mainstream media is accurate or fair. The guy is an oaf at times, undoubtably, but I would not characterize him as an alt-right nazi deplorable. It seems to be, subjectively, that discriminatory terms such as racism, sexism, etc. are being thrown around without much supporting evidence, which is dangerous considering the true evil that words like this represent. I do not think it is healthy or productive for us to be lobbing out accusations like, "All Trump supporters are racist" @BrambleLee . How could you possibly rationalize a stance like this?

I think we all need to make a better attempt at understanding the viewpoints of those across the political aisle. Burying your head in the sand when confronted with an opposing viewpoint is just as ignorant and stupid as some of the Orange Man's tweets. Worse still, is immediately assuming anyone with an opposing viewpoint is "less-than" yourself for not sharing your beliefs, much less generalizing a group of people as racist, bigoted, and fascist. It's sad to think that a majority of America, and I'm sure other countries as well, feel more aligned with extremists on their side of left or right, than those barely across the center line. In reality, those of us in the middle, whether leaning left or right, have a lot more in common with each-other than we do with the socialists and libertarians popularized by the media.

Once again, not a die-hard Trump fan, just trying to be a decent human being and see both sides of the story.
  • 21 7
 @Anbrewski:

I can think of several. He has a pattern of falsely claiming that non-white politicians aren't actually American or or US citizens eligible to hold their office. Now that his Obama boogie man is no longer a viable target, he's going after Kamala Harris:
www.oregonlive.com/nation/2020/08/trump-gave-credence-to-a-false-racist-conspiracy-theory-that-kamala-harris-isnt-eligible-to-be-vp-its-not-true.html

He took out full-page ads in the NYT calling for the conviction and death of 5 non-white youths in New York, where systemic racism lead to their false accusation and conviction of murder. They were later proven innocent. (This is a tragically short recap, please more about as the story illuminates much on systemic racism and Trump's overt racism): www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/feb/17/central-park-five-donald-trump-jogger-rape-case-new-york

He still hasn't backed down on calling non-white immigrants and asylum seekers from Central and South America "rapists and drug dealers":
www.msnbc.com/msnbc/totally-accurate-trump-defends-calling-mexican-immigrants-rapists

He continues to minimize or erase the generational trauma caused by the violent subjugation of our country's history of slavery by refusing to acknowledge that naming US military installation after traitors who sought to tear the country apart to preserve slavery is frankly, insane. abcnews.go.com/Politics/trumps-history-defending-confederate-heritage-political-risk-analysis/story?id=71199968

At this point I want to point out that the last point took me a long time to realize. I grew up in GA and had a generally positive view on confederate imagery and sort of a regional pride thing. The rednecks and racists at school bothered me, but that was separate from southern pride. Knowing what I know now and looking back on it, you can't separate the Confederate Battle flag, added to states' flags in protest of the Civil Rights Act, as a symbol of regional pride only. It has baggage. Own that baggage, or drop it.
  • 6 8
 @pmhobson: Firstly, thank you for taking the time to craft a reasonable post without immediately attacking my morality for not agreeing with you.

Here we go:
1) In this instance, Trump was responding to being asked about a column published in Newsweek by Conservative legal scholar John C. Eastman. In the column Eastman questions Harris' eligibility due to immigrant parents. Trump's response to this line of questioning was, "I have no idea if that is right."
Racist?

2) At the time of taking out this ad, the alleged rapists had all confessed to the crime. Was Trump responsible for the behavior of the New York police department? Or just on the wrong side of history trying to take a stance against rape and crime in his home.
Racist and Sexist?

3) My interpretation of the quote you're referring to was that, a lot of crime and evil comes across our southern border. In the same sentence Trump says, "..some, I assume, are good people." It is a fact that crime, drugs, and criminals come across all of our borders. Why wouldn't we want to keep that out if possible. Perhaps if we curbed illegal immigration, we could allow entry to more people of the world that would like to be productive, good people, of our country.
Is having a front door on your house racist?

4) I agree on this that we could likely rework some of our nationally owned and operated institutions that bear the "baggage" of historic wrongdoings. I don't know if the best way to go about this is trying to erase their marks on history. However, here, I think trump was refusing to endorse the actions of anarchists hell bent on destroying any history of the United States they don't like the look of. For example, in Boston a statue of Robert Gould Shaw, a memorial to black soldiers, was destroyed. How is this productive?
  • 15 2
 @Anbrewski: of course.

1) I view that as one of his many tactics to dog-whistle permission for people to be their worst selves. "People are saying", "I've heard it said", yada yada. In cases where there's clearly a lie to be told, rather than leaning into the truth, he won't even point out that something is wrong if people believing it serves him. Also that's just one example, go back and listen to what he's said about Obama's, AOC's and Ilhan Omar's eligibility to serve. I see a pattern there.

2) At the time of taking out the ad, it was well know that those confessions had be coerced and given under duress by psychological interrogation tactics that frankly, we should all be scared of. Again, DJT conveniently ignored what didn't suit his narrative.

3) And a lot of crime is committed at the hands of white people inside our borders. Look at all of the politically motivated killings of past 3 decades. Where did they come from? Look at who harvests our food at criminally low wages and in dangerous conditions (especially now). Where's the real problem? I don't doubt for a sec that this was an attempt at "othering" a large swath people, again, giving permission to bigots to be their worst selves.

4) I understand the sentiment, but disagree that renaming US Military installations and removing monuments celebrating the confederacy is erasing history. To erase history, we'd remove that era from text books, we stop teaching it school, we'd ban discussing it on the internet. That's not happening and I don't want it to happen. I think confronting the past should be done with an open mind and clear eyes, and definitely that didn't happen in RGS statute case. But that's kind of an outlier, isn't it? It's also unrelated to Trump's behavior and attitudes towards the preservation of honoring confederate leaders, which is what I'm really talking about.
  • 9 1
 @Anbrewski: I think it is missing the point by requiring an example of a "racist action" to make an informed decision about it. If it was truly a matter of one or two awkward statements taken "out of context" that would be one thing but when it's a long running pattern of remarks that are overtly xenophobic or derogatory towards certain nationalities or ethnicities that's another. The problem with him spouting these remarks is that it encourages and emboldens people who have racist ideologies and helps reinforce their bigotry. Just for reference here's a list of examples:
gen.medium.com/trump-keeps-saying-racist-things-heres-the-ever-growing-list-of-examples-21774f6749a4
I agree we should work at understanding the viewpoints of those on the other side of the aisle and I think previous presidents both Republican and Democrat may have disagreed with their political opponents but did not attempt to vilify and belittle them. Even if I don't necessarily share their views I have respect for politicians who can work together. Unfortunately Trump ostracizes even the members of his own party who would like to do that, John McCain specifically comes to mind. He dared to disagree with Trump who ostracized him and went on to be extremely disrespectful to him even on his deathbed.
I don't agree with others here that are saying you are a racist if you vote for Trump but consider that by supporting him you are supporting those sentiments he is expressing.
Trump has adopted the extremely antagonistic language previously only used by extreme far right talk show hosts and the such, calling all of his political opponents socialists and insinuating they are criminals of some sort, his antics in the 2016 elections with getting the crowd chanting "Lock her up" exemplifies this as does his name calling of his political opponents: Crooked Hilary, Sleepy Joe etc..
It's hard to feel like we can have respectful dialogue when the leader of our nation cannot lead by example.
I appreciate the thoughtfulness and constructive tone of your post and do hope we can all have more civil dialogue in the future.
  • 4 6
 @pmhobson: So, we have established different interpretations of Orange Man's rhetoric on certain issues. Rather than debate the semantics, let's jump to the point. Does the fact that you believe your interpretation is correct negate any opposing viewpoint? Does it make someone like me, who doesn't necessarily agree with everything you're saying racist?
For the record, I am one of those individuals that "harvests our food at criminally low wages." A group that is often "othered" by those with more left leaning beliefs, as unintelligent, ignorant, and needing of aid in order to see the "correct" understanding of the world around us.

Basically, are we okay with people having and formulating their own opinions, or do we "cancel" anyone that doesn't conform to our own beliefs.
  • 15 2
 "China Virus"
  • 7 7
 @Anbrewski: you're suffering from your own insecurity, unfortunately. who specifically on the "left" is calling you unintelligent, ignorant, and needing of aid? where is this sentiment that youre second fiddle coming from? no one is explicitly "othering" you personally. the idea that people adapt and pull themselves up by their bootstraps traditionally is espoused by the "right". if you consider yourself center moderate, these assumptions are in conflict with that stance.
  • 4 5
 @Anbrewski: oh and BTW, using MLK's treatment of women isn't really a good comparison in this case, considering Trump's history of his treatment of women. there are plenty of documented examples: "grab em by the p****". since we brought it up and all...
  • 5 7
 @shami: Another reasonable and constructive opinion. Thanks.

Once again, DJT can be an ass to opponents and party-members alike.
Probably not a guy I would want to hit the trails with, I assume he would ride an eMTB.

The reason we need concrete examples of racism in order to apply that terminology, is due to the seriousness of the accusation. We can all interpret rhetoric differently, so therefore, in this instance, as with many other aspects of life, actions speak louder than words. They're much clearer to interpret. For example, Joe Biden voting to oppose busing and school desegregation, is racist. This is a concrete example of political action to oppose people of color, ie. systemic racism.

However, I also think that the argument contesting his aggressive rhetoric should be applied to the other side as well. I have never seen a president, or other political official in the US attacked so viscously, and I think this is part of the issue with our current political climate. Having DJT as president is a symptom of large swaths of America being fed up with the way things are going. Hopefully, we can see more moderate political candidates in the future that we can all get behind.
  • 6 9
 @cuban-b: Insecurity? Dude. Look back in just this comment thread to see what I am referring too when I describe "othering." I think it is fair to say that there is a general attitude amongst those on the left, and many commenters here, that anyone who voted for Trump is; too stupid to see the truth regarding Trump, too ignorant to understand politics, and in need of education on these topics by the wokest of the #woke. I know where I stand on issues and why I stand there. What's wrong with that?

Also, please reference where you got the impression that I think I am second fiddle to anyone or any group. I am an American, proud of it, and stand with any of my countrymen's rights to free speech and freedom to the pursuit of happiness. First-fiddle at least, if you ask me.
  • 2 0
 @EliotJackson:
Absolutely!! I only got into mountain biking about 8 years ago! I was never aware of it. I was into street bmx riding. We had no exposure to the sport in my youth days. Certain schools, mainly private offer mountain biking and surfing as a sport as well as quite a few other sports that public schools dont offer.
  • 3 0
 @Anbrewski: theres nothing wrong with that, but these are just opinions that we debate on an internet thread. nobody cares about cancelling you when we're just having a conversation here. you keep coming back to this idea that people on one side are tired of being told what to do and think by people on the other side - i.e. tired of being second fiddle. in reality both sides are doing this to both sides. ultimately this is a class struggle, the result of which is voting behavior.
  • 7 0
 @cuban-b: To be fair, that isn't what he's talking about--what he is talking about is a cognitive bias called naive realism (I recommend reading on this), which yes, both "sides" (how sad is that to say?) are increasingly guilty of. "Second fiddle" isn't an appropriate description, condescended and patronized are.

This thread is really interesting because its a good demonstration of how we can become so incredibly entrenched in belief to the point of no longer being willing to come to the table with someone who might be considered opposition, even if fractionally. Its really quite disturbing but it is the norm in 2020.

Personally I agree that Trump is, motive aside, pretty overtly racist in action, but something I will agree with Anbrewski fully on is that people who try to take a logical approach from the middle out (as opposed to the fringes in) are totally f*cked and hated by both "sides"
  • 10 6
 To all: This has been a largely constructive, civil, and logical "argument", no negative connotation implied there.

This is how we truly change the world around us.
This is what we need more of in this country.
  • 6 1
 @Anbrewski: 100% agree. also agree with @HaggeredShins regarding my vernacular - you're pretty good at words n stuff. might have used the wrong term regarding this phenomenon. if you guys are ever in cali hit me up and we'll ride the santa cruz trails!! Smile
  • 1 4
 @HB208: Same here. However, even in the liberal PNW there are far too few people of color out on the trails and you have to start asking yourself why that is. And what changes should be made...
  • 5 1
 @NWBasser: There aren't a ton of minorities in the PNW in general. Which is almost certainly due to historical prejudice.
  • 3 1
 @HB208: Oh I agree. Portland, for example, has a horribly racist past. Even so, I'd say that minorities are very much underrepresented on our trails as a proportion of the population. I'm not going to dwell on the past, but would very much like the future to have more people of color on our trails and in our communities.
  • 11 7
 @Anbrewski: Yes you are a racist. I'll come out and say it.
  • 4 3
 @radiohedwig: based on what?
  • 6 8
 @radiohedwig: No sir, you’re a racist. Prove me wrong.

..such a ridiculous thing to say.
  • 8 3
 I shouldn't have to preface my following comment with the fact that I did not/will not vote for Trump, or that I think he is a buffoon...yet here we are.

The idea that if you support a political candidate that you are signing onto *one hundred percent* of every action or stance they take is absolute nonsense. Period. (And this goes doubly so within a broken either/or system like the US has). To say that if a person voted for Trump they are vis-a-vis a racist is reductionist, lazy, and dismissive. Did some proud racists vote for Trump because Trump has, at times, been racist? Surely. Does that make every Trump voter racist? Hardly. Ohhhh you're such a hero of the common man for bravely proclaiming the socially accepted narrative! Knock it off, lol.

Thought experiment: Are all these would-be Biden voters willing to accept that the man is an accused sexual assaulter of women? A blatantly obvious uncomfortable-toucher of children? Can I make the leap in logic that any Biden voter is thereby a rapist/rape apologist? Of course not.

A wise person once said, 'When faced with poor choices, one cannot be blamed for choosing poorly'. Donny or Hilary was a poor choice. Don or Joe is also a poor choice. I would love nothing more than for ol' Donald to be put on a rocket and shipped off to Mars... but that doesn't fix the inherit problems in this country, and calling people racist by default for making a lesser of two evils decision is divisive and helps no one. A year from now Kamala Harris will be the president, and the vast majority of Trump voters will be no more racist for it. Feel free to check out the Unity2020 movement, or in the mean time at least *try* to find some common ground with your fellow Americans. Thanks.
  • 1 0
 @dratm: Not in the UK buddy
  • 1 0
 @nordland071285: @nordland071285: No. Obama tried to get universal healthcare through the door - and succeeded. However he made too many compromises because at the end of the day the health care industry in the Usa wants to make money. right now they are struggling because of covid. No patients no money = bankrupt hospitals. Trump has tried to improve the deal but it is still not perfect - its a big fight with too many vested interests. The biggest cause of bankruptcy in the USA is a result of medical bills which cant be right in a civilised country - please correct me if I am wrong.

Income in equalities are growing all over the world - you are right to highlight this but Trump is not the cause of this. Fiat money and the city/deep state vested interests across the world have caused this.
  • 49 1
 This is great. Thanks for supporting this initiative, Pinkbike.
  • 34 1
 Love the initiative! I do believe MTB mainly has entry barriers caused by income and geography and not directly race. I therefore wouldn't say it's racist, but disadvantages poor and urban people of all kinds. A rich black woman living in BC has practically no entry barriers. A poor white boy living in New York has huge entry barriers. Because black people are on average less wealthy and often live in urban areas, their entry barriers are high. However, every initiative that gets people to experience the joys of mountainbiking (or other bike sports) that otherwise wouldn't be able to gets a thumbs up from me! Hopefully people of all races, genders and orientations can enjoy it together at the new locations. Great work!
  • 17 3
 Well said! I’m trying to phrase this correctly...
The discussion should really be, “How do we fight income inequality?” Not, “How do we get black people on bikes?”
Income equality is a major issue. Black people not riding bikes is a problem the industry made up to sell more bikes.
  • 14 0
 Thank you for your balanced perspective. I work side by side with various minorities. We all make the same wage. We all have trails five minutes from work. It's accessible and affordable for them, just as it is for me. We are taught to view minorities as poor and disadvantaged(arguably derogatory stereotype), which may be true as an average, but is by no means universal. Millions of Blacks and Hispanics achieve greater prosperity than I, and can certainly afford the sport, but choose not to participate. It's not that they bought a bike, showed up at a trailhead, and realized we were all racist. It's that they never would consider buying the bike to show up in the first place. Our local group has some Asian, Black, and Hispanic representation, in numbers you'd probably expect. They're some of our most enthusiastic members. I won't try to speak for any group, but there are obviously a multitude of factors at play. Mountain biking certainly isn't the most practical, visible, or accessible activity where large populations of blacks tend to reside. And there's a lot of politically motivated, and tragically simplistic, messaging about causation that inhibits honest conversation and understanding. Anyway, I hope Elliot can find successes in this endeavor. I suspect if I asked a thousand black youth who Elliot Jackson was, I'd get a thousand blank stares. And that's a shame.
  • 1 0
 @skelldify: Ok i agree. here we go.

Got to have a tight range of interest rates to have money equality within a single country or currency.
Low interest rates for bankers and high ones for everyone else is the problem.
Rates should be 5% minimum for a government bond and 10% max on a credit card.

Money changers at it again. We need to turn over the table and a world digital currency is exactly the opposite of what we need. The bankers have already started pushing the idea and calling it a way to money equality. Don't be fooled. A world digital currency removes the sovereignty of every nation and will have negative rates attached. Goodbye freedom, hello communism. game over.

Think the Chinese voted for communism? haha. read about the 1960 Chinese revolution and you will see the 5K HD writing on the wall.
  • 33 3
 Really glad to see this and proud of Pinkbike for how far it's come in just the last few months. Good on it
  • 10 2
 Also donating now!
  • 14 1
 @yesimaddicted: Thank you!! We have been talking with them at least once a week because this needs to work for people outside AND inside the industry. We couldn't be more proud to have them as a partner.
  • 23 0
 Just think of all the awesome legendary athletes in the world that just didn't get a chance to be introduced to a sport because of standard limitations. The sport of mnt biking is not the only sport that is out of reach for a great number of people, but maybe with this new effort it will be the first to help close that gap.
  • 53 29
 Would love to see more diversity in mtb. It has been a privileged white boy sport for too long. Great work Eliot.
  • 30 0
 that being said, my experience has been that MTB has brought people of all colors and backgrounds together in a very positive way.
  • 11 20
flag tremeer023 (Aug 13, 2020 at 10:56) (Below Threshold)
 @cuban-b: that's good to hear. In 20+ years of mtb I'm struggling to think of more than a couple ethnic minority riders i've encountered in the UK. It's a very tech heavy sport which can be expensive (and therefore exclusive). Hopefully now that proper geometry is trickling down to low cost bikes it will make the sport more accessible and therefore more diverse.
  • 22 1
 @tremeer023: Yeh minorities tend to be very worried about bike geometry, when they buy their first bike.
  • 10 1
 @IntoTheEverflow: can confirm!

Dentists: Yeti or GTFO!
Minorities: less than or equal to 64 degree head angle or GTFO!
Joeys: Walmart bikes
Dads: New balance sneakers w/ white socks
  • 8 0
 @IntoTheEverflow: LOL, fair enough. My point wasn't very well made. Was trying to say that mtb has become more mainstream, partly due to the trickle down effect, and this should lead to more diversity generally (there are a lot more female riders nowadays for example).
  • 46 30
 This is what most people seem to miss when we talk about racism in mountain sports. Sure, there isn't that much overt racism when you're out at a crag, on the slopes, or on the trail... but the wealth inequality and even just access to areas outside of cities greatly limits minority participation. Mountain sports have a textbook systemic racism issue. All the companies and all the products are designed and marketed towards a single demographic. I'm heartened to see this changing slowly, but we've a long way to go.
  • 62 22
 This notion that black people can't do anything because they're so broke just sounds like racist generalizations to me. I grew up in a very diverse environment and essentially everyone my age, regardless of color, had the same or better chances to buy bikes/tents/sleeping bags/whatever outdoors crap... because I was basically one of the poorest people in my school. My black friends were never into the outdoors because they had other interests, not because they couldn't afford it. As an adult one worked with and been friends with people of every race and color, all with the same opportunities as me, and no black guys seem to be into outdoors sports, again not because they can't afford it but because they have other interests. There are many black people outside the hood! I wonder if you've ever known a black person in real life, or if all your knowledge comes from a professor feeding you the standard line.
  • 31 18
 @TheLoamDeranger, way to completely miss the point.

First off, nice one assuming I'm talking about black people exclusively.

My comment referred specifically to minority participation in mountain sports. I can only speak to my experience in Canada, but basically everyone is white. Lots of reasons for that, but the fact that minorities aren't represented in ANYTHING doesn't exactly help.

Look at the Pinkbike staff page for example: www.pinkbike.com/about

Every outdoor company basically looks like this.

If you don't think that's an issue, great, carry on, but it leads to systemic barriers for minorities to access and feel welcome in mountain sports. That's just the truth.
  • 42 10
 @byfan: It's all good, I just see lots of folks parroting what their university/the media taught them with no real experience. Makes me a little frustrated because I get the impression that all educated white people think that all black people (plus Asian, Latin, and everything in between) are poor, inept, uneducated, helpless beings who need the white knight to come in and represent them in every facet of life. It's insulting to me and to lots of ethnic people as well. My wife is Latin and is a very capable woman, my brother in law is black and runs a private high school, and my best friend is Laotian and is a respectable, responsible family man. Those are three people you can take off your list of incapables, and I suspect there are more!
  • 18 9
 @TheLoamDeranger: rad anecdotes
  • 10 2
 @TheLoamDeranger: I think that is hard generalization to make though given what we know about the disparity of opportunity to engage in these sports. Absolutely there are examples across all cultures of people showing different recreation preferences. Across a random sample of 100 white guys in an urban area only a one or two might be into mountain biking. However, it appears likely that across samples, the opportunity to participate is likely higher for whites whether it be due to socio-economic factors, community mentors, peer engagement, geography, etc. I don't think the goal is to have equal numbers of riders from all races/genders forced to participate but rather to make sure that opportunities to engage in the sport are equal and promoted. I love @eliotJackson thoughtful approach to this and focussing on opportunity vs. outcome. I look forward to the sport being more inclusive and would love to support efforts to make it so. This is something I often find hard to do living in a middle/upper class mountain bike community in semi-rural BC with a fairly homogeneous population of melanin starved folks.
  • 14 23
flag byfan (Aug 13, 2020 at 11:33) (Below Threshold)
 @TheLoamDeranger: Saying there are barriers to access for minorities =/ calling them incapable, buddy. You're trying to reframe the argument to make an argument.

Giving me anecdotes about all the minorities in your life is hilariously cliche.
  • 32 16
 @byfan: The point is that there are plenty of non whites who have the chance to get into the mountains by have little desire to. If we're taking inner city folks in bad situations, a bike between their legs isn't going to replace a stable home life and good upbringing.

Everyone on the PB staff is white? It's Canada, I'd be surprised if they were all Mexican.
  • 24 25
 @TheLoamDeranger: wow! So many assumptions!
  • 31 23
 @TheLoamDeranger: visible minorities make up 22.3% of the population according to the last census in 2016. That number is only increasing.

If mountain sports have a much lower participation than that from visible minorities and the companies that support those sports have like 1% visible minorities working from them, what does that mean?

Systemic barriers to access.

Non-whites love the outdoors, you don't have a bloody point, just a bias.
  • 17 26
flag cuban-b (Aug 13, 2020 at 12:02) (Below Threshold)
 @byfan: can u imagine if this guy was a hiring manager at one of these mtb companies? “I thought you people didn’t have the desire to work here let alone ride a mtn bike, so why should I hire you?”
  • 13 28
flag byfan (Aug 13, 2020 at 12:05) (Below Threshold)
 @cuban-b: I've encountered enough bone-headed ignorance from people in the mountain community to know they're no more woke than anyone else.

And yeah, exactly... This dude talks about all the capable minorities in his life just having no interest in mountain sports. Give me a break. People like him are part of the problem.
  • 16 17
 @byfan: I really hope he thinks I’m actually Cuban. Should make for an interesting but awkward exchange
  • 24 26
 @byfan: YOU are part of the problem because you're trying to fix damaged people and damaged communities you've never even seen using worthless tools from your over-privileged life.
  • 21 20
 @cuban-b: You being Cuban would be no affront to me. More likely though, you're another over-opinionated, over-privileged white person out to save the poor brown world with the rest of your white knights.
  • 22 21
 @TheLoamDeranger: lol, the leaps in logic you're making are hilarious.

All I said was there are barriers to entry for minorities to mountain sports and now you're to tell me I'm trying to be a great white hope who thinks mountain biking is going to lift people out of poverty?

f*ck off. I'm a minority myself. I love the mountains and just think there needs to be more opportunities for people to get exposed to mountain sports.

You only think people don't have interest because they aren't given the chance.
  • 15 3
 @byfan: Ah, you're right man. Not sure why I flew off the handle like that. Sincerest apologies.
  • 5 23
flag cuban-b (Aug 13, 2020 at 12:43) (Below Threshold)
 @TheLoamDeranger: your assumptions are very funny. I feel super embarrassed for you. But keep going. This is hilarious AF.
  • 27 3
 @cuban-b: No need to be rude, I was wrong and I apologized. We've all got biases in our lives due to our various upbringings and world views, and this discussion somehow got under my skin. After some reflection, I think I was approaching it the wrong way and making some pretty stupid presuppositions. I'm pretty sure we're all on the same side here, as I detest racism.
  • 5 14
flag cuban-b (Aug 13, 2020 at 13:19) (Below Threshold)
 @TheLoamDeranger: cool, glad to know that you didn’t really mean it when you said that I’m an “over-privileged white person out to save the poor brown world with the rest of your white knights”. I’m actually neither of these Big Grin . But you detest racism, so everything is cleared up now.
  • 8 6
 @cuban-b: Sure thing buddy.
  • 15 14
 @byfan "Mountain sports have a textbook systemic racism issue. All the companies and all the products are designed and marketed towards a single demographic. I'm heartened to see this changing slowly, but we've a long way to go."

Do you actually think that mountainsports companies are actually racist ? Maybe they just know their target and are marketing for them ? It's bussines, you point your marketing to direction where most potential clients are located. If you profit, have enough money to pay your employees and prosper then you might think about making world better place. Ofcourse there are companies like let say Benetton which were always promoting race diversity and other positive values. But i don't think that not being so active in that area makes you racist. And not diving into history just looking at geography and demographic shows that many mountainsports areas are lived by white people, like Alps or north America. How exactly enduro bike is designed for whites more than any other race ?

You said that you have never experienced racism on a slope or on a trail... me neither. And i don't think i have seen actually single racist comment on pinkbike either. So maybe reason for such state of this particular sport is not racism ? Saying it't racist is actually easy explanation. I think it's more complex. Don't get me wrong. I would love to see more diverse MTB scene. Especially black guys, seeing how they performe in many other sports i bet they would do wonders in MTB. But i think it's up to them and nobody from MTB scene is holding them back.

And if we are talking about economic aspect, that is whole different topic. It's more about general politic and not sport itself.
  • 5 6
 @TheLoamDeranger: what part of my post are you confused about? I’m quoting directly what you wrote and truly believe.
  • 11 4
 @akozz: you're not discussing in good faith regarding the comment you quoted. There's clearly a difference between there being systemic race issues in the outdoor industry and mountain sports companies being actively racist.

And even if it were true that "nobody from the mtb scene is holding them back," it doesn't mean we can't also take active measures to help.
  • 8 10
 @brianpark: I would say the opposite, that i have good faith but in MTB community and industry. My point is that just because there is lack of diversity this odesn't mean racial issues by default. There is plenty of mondain reasons for such state imo and ignoring them and pointing straight to racism is not fair. There are many areas that are dominated by one race, gender, or nationality and it has nothing to do with discrimination. It's good to consider other factors before assuming bad intentions or wrongdoing. Ofcourse that having more diverse MTB community would be great but it not being diverse is not inherently wrong either.

Having said that if there are any disadvantageous groups, no matter their race, skin colour, ethnicity, gender etc. that are interested in MTB and have troubles starting their journy then by all means they should recive helping hand. Just like Share The Ride helps poor kieds starting their bike journey. But once they start, MTB can be pretty demanding leisure activity. It's expensive yes, that is one thing. But also it demands certain lifestyle. It's hard to ride MTB if you live in huge city in mostly flat area, you need to organise your life around it to a certain degree. But i guess some pumptracks, dirt jumps and skill parks for kids in urban areas would help to get them going.
  • 6 1
 @akozz: Happened to see your post and I agree with a lot of what you're saying except one part: just because you live in a city doesn't mean you can't be a "mountain biker"! I grew up in/around a city and I'd say I rode MTB as a kid--I didn't have any money and wasn't given any so I had to work for my first bike, a shitty, used Raleigh M80. We started a MTB club at my highschool in my freshman year, which out of my less than half white school turned out mostly white, whatever that tells you (it told me nothing then and tells me nothing now, YMMV). We more or less just rode dirt jumpers around for the next four years, periodically did our best impression of trail riding, and enjoyed whatever our version of the MTB life was, inclusive of anyone with any bike who wanted to have a good time and hang with friends.

So, do you need world class trails to be a mountain biker? No. Do you need wealth to be a mountain biker? No. Does it benefit this sport and community or any other to be truly inclusive? Absolutely. Do EACH OF US need a good attitude? Its complicated.

If we want to fix problems in this culture, we can start with the ridiculous judgement riders casually pass on others for their gear/equipment and riding ability, the former which typically has an obvious tie to financial standing, race irrelevant, and the latter a disgusting disparagement of natural ability and athleticism. The number of times I've witnessed riders overtly or behind someone's back belittle another for not having a "real" mountain bike, not having the talent to match the gear, or being a "bad rider" outnumber the race issues I've observed dozens to zero. Not saying there aren't issues with race, but this community doesn't need any more scapegoats for its wide-open, non-race related bad behavior. Riders build a barrier to entry with their judgement and 'hArDcoRe' self-image, which I'd bargain (and have been told by quite a few directly) is the overwhelming reason people--of any race, nationality, religion, upbringing, or background--don't get more involved in the sport.

What EJ is doing is 110% what this community needs, but everyone still needs to be individually accountable for their attitude and willingness to include.
  • 11 2
 @akozz: that's not what "in good faith" means. You're misrepresenting your "opponent's" arguments. There's still a difference between overt racism or discrimination, and systemic racial barriers existing.

All this whataboutism is essentially saying "I don't believe you" to black mountain bikers that are saying there's a problem, and that seems well, pretty awful.
  • 5 1
 @TheLoamDeranger: Cheer and beers to you. It likely took a lot to admit that you were wrong and it looks like we all have more in common than we think at first.
  • 4 1
 @byfan: I agree with the barriers to access. I'd like nothing more than to identify those barriers and kick them down. Any step towards a future with more people of color out in the mountains is worthwhile.
  • 2 4
 @NWBasser: it’s called backpedaling. Much easier to do behind a screen in moms basement.
  • 1 1
 @cuban-b: You are incorrect on both fronts, but it's OK. You surely reap the consequences of your actions and conduct as we all do, and I'm content in that.
  • 16 3
 Congratulations Eliot with this big leap forward, do you also have any plans to activate a european movement? I have searched the internet lately and all the initiatives a come across are US or Canada based. I see similar issues in Europe but I can not find anyone taking action. Maybe it is time to do it myself.
  • 13 4
 We do have plans for this! All people deserve opportunity around the world Smile We will get there, one step at a time.
  • 14 2
 Props to Elliot for starting a foundation to address the lack of diversity and... Doing it the right way! I'm black and I live in the white privilege capital of the US. The adirondack's. Lately I've been seeing two groups of people when it comes to addressing the lack of diversity. People like Elliot who are doing things the right way. Then you have some who are using the push for a more diverse sport to line their pockets and "boost their brand". Others in the industry should follow his example.
  • 15 5
 All the races and events I have been to all showed a lack of diversity. Mostly men, very few women by proportion and all but a handful were white. I would love to see more people and more diversity in cycling and I know Eliot Jackson can make it happen. I have faith in his cause.
  • 14 2
 Really like seeing people move quickly to move beyond talk and actually make stuff happen in the real world for real people. Big thumbs up and just made an initial donation.
  • 15 1
 Heck yeah, Eliot. You're awesome.
  • 10 1
 This is an awesome project to share with the minority community. As a fellow black MTB rider I don’t run into too many people who look like me in the woods. Road biking is different though, a lot of my boys do the road bike thing. My dusty ass Lynskey hanging up in my garage tells a different story with me though.
MTB in general is not marketed toward black/minority in general. Most people in general outside of the MTB don’t even know MTB racing even exist and if they do know its probably from watching the Olympics.
  • 16 6
 Yes Bring diversity to MTB, I AM tired of Here where i leave every time i am riding People get scare or think i have stole my bike...
  • 8 1
 Definitely worth thinking about if you need that next bling part or upgrade, this might be a much more worthy cause to spend money on. That is the decision I made. It is awesome Elliot put in the immense time and effort into this, his love of the sport is clear and he is working to tackle a huge issue in our sport and the world at large. Equity and accessibility is everything!
  • 8 1
 Eliot: @EliotJackson
You can't go wrong with this. Over the past five years besides faith and wife biking has been the greatest source of good in my life.

I've also worked with marginalized and vulnerable populations and figuring out how to make these two world meet in a meaningful way is no small feat.

Recognizing you are the man for the job and acting on it is capital "L" leadership.

Cheese
  • 7 0
 Maybe the problem with so few black people in mountain sports is it's just not that cool from an outside perspective, and to be fair, a lot of mountain bikers are (imo) pretty lame.
It's just a fun as hell way to spend your time.

Bmxer: FFS something broke on my bike
MTB'er: Bro, I bust my cranks, my wheels because I rode so damn hard.

To compare to other similar sports...

Surfing is seen as cool but now THAT has an accessibility problem. You really have to want to go surfing.
Not a massive amount of black people surfing, in the UK at least.

Climbing is accessible, certainly urban climbing walls don't rule out participants. Not a massive amount of colour there, in London at least.

That being said, the local skate park has kids from all walks of life, skin colours and no-one gives a f*ck. Whether BMX or skateboarding is cooler, up to you but I've got my own personal anecdote, from 20 years ago... When I was 16, my squeeze at the time sneered when I said I mountain biked but her attention perked up when I said I rode BMX too
Needless to say that's the information I led with in future.

I'll leave a quote from GZA who as we know speaks for all black people. /S

"Who's your A&R? A mountain climber so plays an electric guitar?"

(GZA, 1993)
  • 5 1
 I think you nailed this perspective. As a minority, you often find yourself trying to establish an identity. Picking up something that isn't outright 'cool' can be difficult, especially when there is zero representation in the sport. That makes you the oddball minority in an oddball sport. Besides some confidence and self assurance, you really do need to be taken you out for a ride first in order to fall in love with the sport. Then add the layer of accessibility. That's why it's not something most will seek out.

For me, the stars kind of aligned. My mom was a road biker, a friend took me out on my first mountain ride, I lived 5 minutes riding distance from a hard core mtb shop and 20 minutes biking distance from a trailhead. And yes, I came from an affluent background with parents who cared enough to take me to races and shuttle from time to time.

I did face overt racism a couple times in the dirt jumping days.

And at the end of the day, girls still thought skating was cool but biking was nerdy. Too late, I was already obsessed. Little did they know I was sending 15 foot drops in a full face on the weekends.

Long story shot, I appreciate everything you do for the sport @EliotJackson and I know you'll make some waves!! Will be donating
  • 1 0
 On another note though, people seem to think mountain biking is way cooler these days. Could just be an age related thing, but I'm sure the exposure of rampage does help.
  • 10 2
 Setting up a recurring donation now. Hoping at some point this can expand to include operations in my city!
  • 19 14
 Honestly i don't see how MTB by itself can be racist in any way. I agree that it is expensive which can exclude less wealthy folks but i wouldn't assume that beeing non white makes you instantly poor. And beeing from Poland i remember times when owning full suspension bike was something beyond 80% riders in my area. Yet still everybody was riding their crappy hardtails to their limits and having fun. Just because whites are overwhelming group in any sport doesn't mean it's because of some white privilege conspiracy. From what i understand NBA in USA is dominated by blacks but i assume it's because of their fantastic anatomy predispositions and not some race lobby in that area. My point is you can't assume a certain sport is racist by nature because there is no equal race and ethnicity representation in it. While we all are equal as human beeings we have different interests, clutural and historical backgrounds, we live in different geographical areas which are suited better or worse for certain activities. Guess why there so many successful winter sports athletes from scandinavia or areas around Alps.... This is obviously oversimplifying but you get the point. And if you look at USA demographic most black people don't live in areas that are very MTB/bikepark oriented, just because of geography. There is many black folks in big cities and they are active on BMX sceene. If you are living in huge city miles and miles away from any serious mountains and forest, not to mention bikepars. Do you think your race makes it harder for you or your location ? Does that white kid from whistler has it easier because he's white or because his backyard is biggest bikepark in the world.... So to end this. Just because sport is not diverse enough it doesn't make it instantly racist. And why at all it SHOULD be ? Let the people do whatever they want and make them happy. Is somebody is less fortunate in their lives by all means do help them to make their dreams com true, i support that. But before acusing of racism and discrimination check your facts and use your logic.
  • 13 3
 It's not racist. At the same time, it's not very diverse compared to some sports. Would it be a better scene with more different types of people in it? Well I reckon yes.
  • 5 6
 @Dobbs59: I bet it would, we are on the same page with that. And it's true that is not the most diverse sport. Still you can find hundrets of photos and users from Asia on PB. I think blacks are mostly underrepresented in MTB. But my belief is that reasons behind it are more mondain. Or related more to general race/minorities issues present in the world rather than some specific MTB industry/community negative attitudes towards those groups.
  • 5 0
 Thanks for doing this! Equity needs to be had throughout the bike and outdoor sports industry and non-profit organizations. I hope NICA and other groups like Little Bellas as well as a host of other national and local groups follow in your foot steps!
  • 5 0
 Awesome work @ElliotJackson! If you find yourself in Philly, or looking for partners in the area, the Philly Pumptrack is an awesome asset to the city located in a neighborhood that is historically less advantaged that has great programming for getting more neighborhood kids on bikes.
  • 9 3
 Excellent job Eliot and great to see the industry actually putting in some action behind words by supporting this! I donated too.
  • 7 0
 Thank you!! We are so excited!
  • 8 2
 Rad!!! Anecdotally I’m seeing a lot more diversity at my local trails and the bike parks. Miles and miles to go but great seeing progress.
  • 3 0
 There is a program in Barbados that brings in shipping containers of donated bikes from the UK. The bikes are sold for very reasonable prices and the money goes to pay the locals who run the "bike shop". it's very effective. Retail bikes there are twice the cost we pay and the Barbados dollar is worth half as much. I bet someone on here knows about Pinehill.

Shouldn't be hard in this environment for Elliot to collect tons of bikes and ship them off to remote places.

Good luck Elliot!
  • 4 1
 This sounds like a great initiative from one of the sports great ambassadors. Congrats to Eliot and your team for starting this venture as I think the sport and the people who are in it will largely benefit from it.

One question I did have was in regards to the first FAQ where the company answered, "Historically, people of color have been largely underserved in the outdoor industry, so we are starting there..."

So my question is, does this include Hispanic people? Although the majority of Hispanic and Latino Americans identify as white (~53% in 2010), we are still a minority (POC) and there are a lot of Hispanic people in the greater LA area, many of whom have also not had the exposure to MTB as you mentioned. So my hope is that they're also included in this initiative from the start (in addition to Asians, Native Americans/Alaskan Natives, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander and Black people).
  • 3 0
 Elliot, you’re an inspiration man!

Do you know of the Williams brothers on the cycling team Legion of Los Angeles? They’re some of the top road cyclists in the US right now. Would be cool to see some collab between you all. I’d love to see more diversity in cycling.
  • 5 0
 This is great! Street skateboarding is a great example of how diversity can thrive in a scene - hopefully MTB can make strides in that direction.
  • 4 1
 As a mixed race individual in this sport I cannot support this more. It's a sport that has always been for the privileged, unfortunately this just highlights the racial inequality we face here in North America. My Arab African father never understood mountain biking. To him it didn't make any sense because he never had the privilege or opportunity to enjoy risking your liveyhood for sport. That's what happens when you grownup in a third world country. And that's exactly what mountain biking is. My relationship with him suffered due to this difference in lifestyle. And it's a shame. This really just highlights other racial inequalities in our world that are far more engrained than people think. I have sub'd for a monthly subscription.
  • 5 4
 I agree with you completely. But would you say this is rather world issue in general and it is affecting mountain biking or any other sport in fact. Or have you actually experienced any form of discrimination from MTB community or MTB industry ? Because while i belive that Eliots motives are right, he in this post give false impression that MTB community and industry have some big racism issues and MTB is somehow racist by design which i strongly disagree with.
  • 8 0
 Very cool project.
  • 10 2
 Fuck yeah Eliot!
  • 7 0
 Stuff like this makes me so excited for the future.
  • 3 1
 @EliotJackson this is the quality content I love to see on pb! Thanks so much for putting in all your effort to make mountain biking accessible to everyone. Your hard work and efforts have and will continue to pay off! Keep up the great work and try to get a little bit more sleep here and there Wink
  • 4 0
 @eliotjackson great project ! Happy to support this with donations, but also happy to volunteer if you ever need support in the Santa Cruz / Bay Area
  • 6 0
 Good for you Eliot. Great work.
  • 5 1
 Hard to create diversity and get more people into sport that aren’t middle class and up to when a decent bike is 2k... and we accept that
  • 5 0
 Also, nowadays bikes that make sense for the more urban disciplines (DJ, street trials and the like) seem to be almost nonexistent in most of the major brands' product portfolios and marketing efforts. This wasn't the case 10-15 years ago, was it?
  • 7 3
 Back in the Europe of the 90's, I didn't need TV ads, the internet, support movements or anything in particular to have the desire to ride a bike. That just probably came naturally by the fact I had the chance to ride a tricycle when I was 3 y.o. Then, from a middle-lower class family of 5 members, you can easily imagine how hard was for me to get my first MTB as such (A Walmart-like 90$ bike). And I used to love it! I remember how creative we teenagers were to get out the most of our humble equipment at that time.

I am lucky enough though to have worked my ass off to get a high end enduro bike these days. I know that I won't be ever able to ride it like a pro though... an who cares? I like both sides of the coin. I am older now and can appreciate a good quality product and I pay for it. Folks who want to get into this sport can surely be happy with a second hand MTB/BMX, they will learn and enjoy!

Ah! and my "riding group" when I was a teen was as diverse as it gets, with other really poor teens and some foreigners. Teenage girls for some reason weren't that interested in getting dirty and breaking her bones with this kind of stuff. We did play exotic sports with them in the countryside though. I am talking about baseball ;-) (as an European, that is exotic for me)...and I would have been more than happy to have them beetween us in that for biking. You going to force them to do what they don't want?

That, in particular, is what I think people are wrong about these days. Maybe I am an old fashion mindset that believes everything that you really want to put and effort in it. So, you only need a driving passion and perseverance with things... who is gonna stop you to ride your bike (or whatever you have that resembles to one!) the way you want otherwise? In fact, there is much more bullying and humilliation in a regular high school. Why not to address that first? or it is just it is little human's condition while growing up?

Now, the non-p.c bit. This kind of movement is perverse as it manipulate things, using false stereotypes and problems to try to convince(endoctrinate) people to think the way they want, and ultimately make them be on a side(political) or to make whatever profit from it. You pick the wrong side and then you will suffer the discrimination for sure. And that, is fundamentaly wrong!

If you are really commited with a cause like this, why not to focus in where the help is really needed, i.e. poorer countries? I pay a monthly fee to an NGO to help poor kids in one of these poor countries, so to me I do the most I can / feel like doing, and respect other people approches.

That said, I like the fact that they are people interested into supporting communities without resources, but I don't think what these minorities mostly need is money to get a bike, get a pump track built, let alone one with new geometry. As nice as it sounds.

Buy them a bl**dy tricyle and leave them do! :-)
  • 5 3
 @carldg: Words of wisdom man. Also i don't get how nowadays everybody have to do everything and if they don't the very first explanation we get is some related to race or some other privilege. I find this kind of thinking to be very pro conflict oriented. And at the end of the day MTB is still leisure activity, it's not like we are talking about education, healthcare or jobs.
  • 9 0
 Pump tracks in underprivileged areas and manufacturers making inexpensive pump track bikes. It would be huge, even better than the BMX track formula of the 80's because pump tracks can fit anywhere.
  • 6 0
 If someone really wants to ride, they don’ need a $2000 bike. That’s a lame excuse when you can get a used bike for $200...the price of many of the basketball shoes I see kids wearing. Maybe it’s possible that mountain biking isn’t of interest to kids brought up in the city.
  • 6 1
 @bchampig: I always wondered why a lot of poorer kids in the UK all have the latest £200 nikes.. And one article I found suggested that it was a way for kids from less fortunate backgrounds to hide that they had less money and avoid the stigma of being poor.. A bit like having a nice car but struggling to pay the rent.
Ever since I read that, I've seen kids in those shoes and understood it a bit better.
That's why I'm a big supporter of mandatory school uniforms until the age where kids can earn for themselves.
The fact that 200£ shoes for kids even exist is a travesty imo
  • 5 0
 Bought 1 sq ft! @EliotJackson how many sq ft must we buy in order to name a section?
  • 3 1
 So let me get this straight...mountain biking is racist? There is nothing wrong with promoting diversity, or promoting the sport in general, but I'm a little worn out of hearing how racist every aspect of our society is. But it's cool. All the sheep are crying about it these days.
  • 2 0
 I think a lot of people here are confusing racist with exclusionary to people who have low incomes..many of whom are in racial minorities I have never seen any evidence of racism in mtb, and the fact that it excludes those with less money is tricky because those on low incomes are normally in that situation because of all sorts of factors that aren't in their control.. And it's often imposed on them Can't really hold the sport to account, when wealth inequalities need working on as a whole
  • 8 2
 LEGIT...!
  • 9 5
 More of this plz! Love this kind of content, and I wish there was more of this on PB.
  • 5 1
 Stepping up to the plate, thank you Mr. Jackson. Liking that first initiative!
  • 8 3
 Donating now. Cheers Eliot, great initiative.
  • 12 3
 Thank you!! This is just the tip of the iceberg Smile
  • 4 1
 @EliotJackson: donating and checking out the shop, I'd rock a t-shirt if there was one...just sayin Smile
  • 2 1
 This is awesome! We need a lot more of this in our biking communities. It reminds me a little bit of Surfers Not Street Children, in SA. As a whole, I believe the barriers to entry are even greater for the biking community.
  • 5 4
 I of course like the initiative a lot. There is a velosolutions pumptrack near my house and it’s amazing how many people enjoy it. I’m sure it will also be popular in big American cities.

Regarding diversity in mtb, there are however other factors at play as well. Comedian Al Jackson explained it in his show:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuDT4J6Y4DY

Spoiler alert: it’s not necessarily racism or related to socio economic status.
  • 5 1
 @EliotJackson Just donated! This is awesome! Thank you for spear heading this. Our community needs more diversity.
  • 5 0
 Great to see this! Superb initiative.
  • 4 0
 Great project! a pump track is perfect imo because any age can ride it, on any bike
  • 4 1
 I am very happy to donate to this project. I believe increased diversity will significantly increase the height of style in the sport.
  • 2 0
 More of this please. Constructive solutions to welcome underrepresented people in riding. Awesome! The cancel culture, political correctness, woke outrage and virtue signaling won't make riding more inclusive.
  • 2 0
 I think what Eliot is doing is great ... the more people exposed to biking the better. That being said Biking is elitist by default because it is a damn expensive hobby/sport to get into if you get quality gear.
  • 1 0
 I would add that Parents are the most important part of this equation and we all follow our parents lead. Of course environment is important. For example basketball is not popular in Barbados but bikes and motorcycles are. Bikes are part of the culture and every Sunday morning the streets are open and legal to ride unlicensed motorcycles anywhere on the island. look up Barbados wheelie Sundays. The talent runs deep.
  • 1 0
 @EliotJackson please consider getting your org set up on solutions.yourcause.com/npo. The company I work for, along with many others, use yourcause to match employee charitable giving. I searched but didn’t see Grow Cycling Foundation. When I donate through the platform my company matches the donation dollar for dollar or sometimes even more. I love taking advantage of that whenever I can.
  • 4 0
 Go fast, have fun. I like everything about this.
  • 3 1
 This is awesome! Nice work Eliot. Would be great to see Pinkbike run the donation link in the homepage banner!
  • 3 0
 Yep we will have that up soon!

Edit: it's up.
  • 14 15
 In my opinion: Cycling really isn't that ethnically one-sided... a quick look at the sport in many levels will reveal a wide array of diversity of people from Latin, European, Asian, Indian, African, etc. descent. The cultural aspect certainly has more of an impact on peoples interests than does their ethnicity. However, I would love to hear some discussion on this topic. eh PB podcast? ;-)
  • 23 8
 What world are you living in where the top of the sport isn’t overwhelmingly white
  • 8 14
flag Whatajohnny (Aug 13, 2020 at 16:22) (Below Threshold)
 @kleinblake: considering “white“ could be any number of ethnicities and even more nationalities, I’d say I’m living in a world that still extremely divers.
  • 9 14
flag Jabbatan (Aug 13, 2020 at 16:48) (Below Threshold)
 @kleinblake: who really cares i don't think anybody is stoping people with different skin colours from going places in the sport of mtb just look at Eliot Jackson he is "black" and is probably one of the most loved personalities in the sport it dosent have anything to do with skin colour if you are someone who brands and fans like than you can succeed just as well as "white" people ugh can't we just enjoy riding our bikes as an escape from this why do we need to bring this race stuff into everything im 99% shore the only race mtb fans care about is world cup or well thats at least what its like in NZ
  • 11 3
 @Whatajohnny: *turning to my black son as we look at the World Cup DH series results*

“Check it out son, there’s white people from over 30 countries in this list”
  • 5 5
 @kleinblake: that's not a racist observation. any Asian, Indian, Latino, etc could all say the same thing without a hint of animosity. Don't buy the white vs. black distinction just cause you're white doesn't mean your "racist" anymore than being black makes you a "thug". My ancestors came the the US from Germany after emancipation... does that make them (or me for that matter) complicit in systemic racism just because they're white? No - The "narrative" is false.
  • 1 0
 Ok @EliotJackson, I didn't think my respect for you could yet increase but here we go. Many thanks for what you're doing, you're amazing!
  • 2 4
 Have anyone commenting here ever offered to take a black friend mountain biking? Did he/she enjoy it and want to go again? I’m sure most of you have an old spare bike to donate in the case where your friend can not afford a mountain bike.
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