Trek Partners with NICA to Create Scholarship to Increase Diversity in Mountain Biking

Feb 8, 2021 at 8:40
by Ed Spratt  

A new scholarship from Trek and the National Interscholastic Cycling Association is aiming to increase diversity in mountain biking.

The Pathfinders Scholarship is a new initiative from Trek and the National Interscholastic Cycling Association (NICA) to broaden access to the sport by providing the equipment and resources needed to get out and ride. The program will offer up to 250 kids from underrepresented backgrounds with a Trek Marlin bike, helmet, shoes, accessories and kit. Included in the package is a stipend for the NICA League and entry fees for a full season of racing and events.

This new program forms a part of Trek's 'All-In' plan where the company drew up actionable steps towards racial equality. Part of this plan was to involve kids from more diverse backgrounds in cycling.

bigquotesBy teaming up with NICA to launch the Pathfinders Scholarship, we have high hopes that this program will not only broaden the access to mountain biking, but also help attract kids from diverse backgrounds and underrepresented communities of the country, exposing youth to the joy of cycling and creating life-long riders.

We've supported NICA throughout the years and have seen first-hand the physical and psychological benefits cycling can have on today's youth, so the Pathfinders Scholarship is a natural next step as we seek to make cycling more inclusive and reflective of our country's diversity.
Bob Burns, Trek's director of advocacy

bigquotesTrek has been a long-standing partner of NICA and their commitment to broadening access to mountain biking for all youth aligns with our mission, vision and values.

NICA is committed to inclusivity, equity, and diversity across all our programs, and we are excited to have Trek join us in this commitment.
Steve Matous, NICA President

You can find out more about the Pathfinders Scholarship and how to apply here.


227 Comments

  • 179 2
 I am black. I am a cyclist....and went all the way in school and in sport. My concern is not if they care or not, but how effective this program will be. Underrepresented groups are diverse, too! In some communities these kids will need a place to ride, or a way to get the place to ride. Additionally, coaching is needed as well along with working in the school to get the program/recruitment in place. It could be that a Marlin is great for some kids on one area, but others would be well-served to get a road bike. That said, it isn’t Trek’s responsibility to solve every problem and I applaud them for doing their part. If they sell more bikes because of this, that is fine too. I just don’t want to see bikes and kit go unused due to lack of infrastructure or more needed support. Hopefully, they are in it for the long haul and will work to find solutions as problems arise within the program.
  • 11 3
 well said sir.
  • 12 0
 thank you! @preach:
  • 4 3
 I definitely hope this is an "easy to setup experiment" for Trek. All the variables you mention @championpsychlist are 100% true, but it may be too hard to solve all those things at once. I try to follow this issue closely, and it also seems like we lack data to figure out what "the issue really is". So Trek may be taking a lower-involvement approach (gear and money, no coaching) for now. Hopefully what this program provides is 250 cases to study on how we can improve things the next time around. This is new lands for the bike industry and even worse than doing too little is doing too much (wrong) stuff too fast.
  • 15 0
 The grant program requires that they have a Level 3 coach as well as enough other dedicated, NICA-endorsed, coaches to serve the team adequately. It also requires that they work with a school (or other sponsoring entity). It also requires that transportation needs to practice/races are met.

So they did do a pretty good job of trying to set up the infrastructure for success. I'm trying to find a local coach to do this at the school where I work (but I live in a different town). I coach my son's NICA team (in the town where I live an hour away) and will help out with this team... but it will be hard to juggle both. I'm hoping that I can find a local coach down here to commit, so I can get some of the kids at my school on bikes.
  • 10 33
flag hamncheez (Feb 9, 2021 at 10:09) (Below Threshold)
 "That said, it isn’t Trek’s responsibility to solve every problem " I agree, its annoying when companies try and show off how "good" they are instead of focusing on things like good customer service or keeping important parts in stock.

However, Trek is in a unique position as they have (and continue) had a dramatic impact on the culture of cycling over the last two decades. I just don't see this program as being effective.
  • 6 0
 Agreed. My hopes are just that—hopes! I want this to be successful and I want kids riding all kinds of bikes! @Lanebobane:
  • 3 2
 Also @championpsychlist you kinda look like The Rock.
  • 4 0
 if he every needs a bike stunt double—I am in! @stovechunin:
  • 2 0
 @hamncheez: Effective or not - there's only one way to know - so it can't hurt.
  • 2 4
 You dont need coaching at all
  • 14 0
 I am a 3rd year coach in our 3rd year as a league. I have a garage full of heavy 26” bikes that have been donated to our team. These kids are just happy to have a bike to ride. Trek has been outstanding in sponsoring the league nationally, and our state. It takes a lot of money to operate and Trek is our biggest sponsor. Lots of fund raising and donations as well. I cannot speak for others, but it is of my opinion that NICA has been truly life changing for coaches and student athletes alike in the state of WV. Seeing the personal growth of student athletes as well as other coaches has been worth the time I devote to it. I’ve seen parents cry in elation that their child is accepted and achieves goals every week, rather than being benched on the bball team because they weren’t good enough. They have programs to get girls on bikes and it works. Trek sees a need to reach out to underserved or underrepresented groups and i know we have the people in place to deliver because our hearts are really in it.
  • 2 9
flag Hiben (Feb 9, 2021 at 21:46) (Below Threshold)
 @Deadclmbr: you still dont need coaches unless ur on a race team
  • 5 0
 @Hiben: NICA is a nationally associated, mtb-specific, student athletic sports program. Coaches are required for any of the school-affiliate teams. This partnership between Trek and NICA isn't a "group ride on Wednesday, see ya there!" kind of thing. Like any organized youth sport... gotta have coaches.
  • 3 0
 @championpsychlist I can recommend Downtime Podcast's latest interview with Gary Fisher, where they touch upon his and Trek's work with NICA and how they work towards the issues you mention.
www.downtimepodcast.com/gary-fisher
  • 3 0
 @Hiben: you obviously have no affiliation with NICA whatsoever. Without coaches there is no NICA, at all. It’s not about the races. Our “season” starts in May and races don’t even happen until mid-late August. By that point a coach has spent about 80 hours of their free time, not including travel, providing a space for personal growth while managing risk. It’s not just showing up for a group ride.
  • 2 0
 @Deadclmbr: But man.. you can't beat the pay! ROFL
  • 104 3
 Not sure I'm a fan of the negativity here. I live in Philly, and there are kids wicked bike skills everywhere. It's like there is something in the water. Somewhere in Philly there is a kid who could be the next Richie Rude, but we will never hear from them.These kids live within 20 minutes of one of the top MTB spots in the state, but they will never get to ride it because dropping 1000 dollars to start mountain biking is not something these kids can do. I know there are worse problems to solve, but not every cause has to be serious. I think giving someone a chance to find a passion is always meaningful.
  • 17 3
 Hear hear! Those who say that this project or others like it aren't worth running because there are bigger issues are the same people who vote against politicians who want to solve those bigger issues. Fixing lots of small problems adds up and is a lot easier to make happen than fixing the big issues. Nobody is saying the big issues don't need fixing by trying to fix the small stuff.
  • 5 0
 It would be great to get some program going that gets them on an MTB and does rides in the wiss.
  • 8 0
 Philly pumptrack
  • 20 3
 You want diversity in mountain biking??? Make decent bikes more affordable!!!!
  • 2 0
 @scottlink: bikes for student athletes and coaches are very heavily discounted from Trek. There are other brands that offer a NICA discount, but Trek by far offers the largest discount.
  • 14 2
 You don't need to drop a grand on a bike and gear to start MTB. I live in a backwater and when I started biking I honestly didn't even know MTB was a sport. I just thought, "wouldn't it be fun to ride a bike in a forest".

My first bike was a £180 "Walmart" bike. It was crap, but i rid the absolute life out of it and loved it. My friend and I started from complete scratch on bad bikes and a shoestring budget. We built our own trails and basically learned how to ride by all ourselves.

That was over a decade ago and now we own nice bikes, and run an amateur racing team and still dig our own trails.

We weren't held back by a lack of opportunity or diversity. We created our own opportunities.

No one is gate keeping the MTB community. Just buy a bike and f*cking ride it. That is literally all that you need to do.
  • 2 0
 The number of kids riding wheelies standing one footed on their seat down Chestnut is wild.
  • 49 1
 As someone who's been involved with NICA at only a very local level, I think any program to get bikes into the hands of young riders who's parents don't ride is a good thing. Currently youth cycling is almost all dominated by kids who's parents buy them $4000 bikes, pay for coaching camps, etc. Nothing wrong with buying your kid a good bike, but the sport should have wider entry paths than that.
  • 8 0
 Sounds like every other youth sports program in the US, honestly. I played soccer when I was in school, and was one of the 'have-nots' since my parents couldn't pay for me to be on a select team or a training camp outside of what my public high school provided. I still learned to play and could keep up with those kids, but it would have been nice to be on an equal competitive field.
  • 38 2
 So, trek are giving away bikes to people from underrepresented groups to encourage more people from underrepresented groups to cycle. I can’t see why everyone is so outraged? seems pretty positive to me.
  • 26 5
 I think Americans in particular, from all stripes, are just growing cynical and exhausted by this stuff. Pretty much any American alive today has been down this or similar paths a million times before, with most of them failing (or even backfiring).

The conclusion I've come to is that, while I wouldn't in a million years, discourage, cut off, or try to stop anyone from doing anything on the basis of race or any arbitrary characteristic, at the end of the day, there's too many complex and random variables at play which results in many different variations in the way in which distinct groups present themselves in society. So, it's probably never going to be the case that everything from mountain biking to music preference to diets to accents, etc. are going to be perfectly proportional to all group distinctions we may recognize.

And so a lot of times, what ends up happening with these types of initiatives targeted at an "under-represented" minority is that the demand for the resources is just not there, not matter how hard you try to generate it. And there's a subtext of "well, there must be something "wrong [racist]" with [mountain biking]" because of this. Therefore the resource doesn't go to where there is actual demand. It often ends up reinforcing racial tensions.

A better approach to this would be, in my view, having these huge bike companies put their brains together to develop quality, affordable mountain bikes, universally available to anyone. And be open to anyone, but also drop the expectation that everyone will be equally interested in your sport and that there's something wrong if they're not. That's likely never going to happen and it becomes counter-productive to have that as an expectation.
  • 3 0
 @burnermtb: Well said. Trek is aiming at grass roots, which is awesome but the interest has to be there. What it comes down to is the culture.
  • 5 9
flag Peskycoots (Feb 9, 2021 at 15:55) (Below Threshold)
 @burnermtb: but the demand is there isn’t it? Being black doesn’t lessen the appeal of cycling, just the accessibility
  • 10 16
flag shralping-the-cube (Feb 9, 2021 at 18:03) (Below Threshold)
 @burnermtb: in this thread: white dudes mansplain that the reason there's no black people in mountain biking is because black people don't like mountain biking.

can't roll my eyes any harder
  • 14 1
 @Peskycoots: Couldn't you say that being from Montana doesn't lessen the appeal of Cajun music (which is more popular in the bayou states in the US)? The reason why Cajun music is more popular in the bayou than most other places is due to a unique and complex set of variables that cannot be adequately explained or altered, other than "it just is." We see this same phenomina every in the world. I'm not sure why that would change with cycling.

My personal theory re mountain biking starts with the premise that economically distressed demographics tend to prioritize socio-economics over most other factors, with good reason. And, what emerges, particularly in younger demographics, is a desire to "get out" or "make it big". There's great romantic appeal in that story...rags to riches, so to speak.

In the US, basketball, football, and baseball are "first tier" sports. There's actually great (sometimes dominant) representation of black people among all three (particularly the first two). There are also other sports which are not "first tier" in terms of raw popularity, but nonetheless offer first tier opportunities such as scholarships (sports like track and field, etc.). Once again, there's great black representation in most of these sports as well.

Put simply, these categories of sports offer low income demographics the "golden ticket" to get out and therefore, I think have historically been prioritized in economically distressed communities like black Americans. That, in turn, created a critical mass culturally. So Dad worshipped Michael Jordon, who passed that passion off to his kid, etc. From there, the cultural focus in black America was and still is primarily focused on these "first tier" paths. And that's something that's difficult, if not impossible, to break. Generations of black kids worshipping basketball, and an entire culture developing around it, isn't suddenly going away because Trek puts black people in its adverts.

By contrast, mountain biking is basically a passion project for most people with no "pot of gold" at the end of the rainbow. If anything, it's a money suck. It's the type of sport that exists explicitly because lots of people can afford it as a luxury. It's a sport for people with lots of options...who can afford to take an entire weekend to bike around in the wilderness. And when I say "afford", it's not just money, it's also time. So like say a poor kid in a broken home may have to take care of a baby or worry about getting shot or worry about eating, whereas kids in the suburbs with stable families have a lot of time on their hands to do things like putz around in the woods.

So, when you look at the demographics which mountain bike...primarily middle to upper middle class, suburban, college educated, etc., it makes sense.

But, even this explanation is not 100% adequate. There's always exceptions. But, why distinct groups do distinct things is complex. Why do British people like "fish and chips" and football (soccer)? Well, due to a complex set of factors which made fish and chips and football a unique part of British culture. Is it "wrong" that the same does not exist everywhere else in the world?

There's an inherent incoherence is the concept of diversity and equity. People never seem to get that. The two literally cannot co-exist.
  • 3 2
 @burnermtb: yes but you’re missing the point, it’s about equality of opportunity not absolute equality. Black kids aren’t by definition all poor and looking for a winning ticket sports career. There’s minority middle class people that aren’t represented in cycling and trek are trying to get them involved by giving away bikes and encouraging coaching. minorities might want to have fun too and why not grow our sport and make it more inclusive at the same time? Nothing got worse for having more diverse input.
  • 6 2
 @Peskycoots: Yes, not all black Americans are poor and live in the inner city. But, there's a uniquely high percentage of black Americans who do. And that has huge effects at the population level. What it means is...exactly what we see. Black Americans are a minority in mountain biking.

Also, the concept of equal opportunity is much better than equity, but it too has its limitations. For example, boats are prohibitively expensive to most (myself included). Am I being denied an "opportunity" in the boating world?

What exactly does it mean to be denied the opportunity to mountain bike as say an upper middle class black family? If this family were to go on Trek's website to buy a bike, would it say "no blacks allowed"? Are the trail systems guarded by the KKK?

Perhaps what you're saying is that the sport itself is "too white" and this black family feels less inclined to participate. But, I guess my response is that white people do things and have their cultural markers, just like all other groups. And because they happen to be a majority in a given thing is just like any other group happening to be a majority in any given thing. I'm not sure what you do about that. Are we saying white people can't like stuff as a group? Is that racist?
  • 1 0
 @burnermtb: nope I’m saying well done trek for encouraging underrepresented groups to participate in an awesome pastime.
  • 5 3
 @shralping-the-cube: First, black people are a minority in mountain biking (not 100% absent). They're also a minority in the US. They also are a majority in basketball. It would appear that black people, like most groups, are a distinct culture and group of people who do not fit within some juvenile expectation of sameness.

Second, I'm genuinely curious...is it your belief that all people and all groups are interested in all things equally? If so, where has that ever been true?
  • 2 8
flag Peskycoots (Feb 10, 2021 at 10:12) (Below Threshold)
 @burnermtb: jesus man what’s your agenda why don’t you just celebrate a bike company trying to support and encourage minorities? Why are you so obsessively worried about à black person picking up a mountain bike? Why do you think black people should only play basketball for your entertainment? Why are you so focused on black people when the article is explicitly about underrepresented minorities? If you’re so offended that trek wants to be inclusive just boycott them or start a political party or something to Make Cycling White Again
  • 2 1
 @burnermtb: Hell yeah, dude, well said! I've been trying for months to articulate what you said in your above comments, but it always seems to come out wrong when I say it. I'm copying and pasting for my own reference!
  • 1 0
 @skelldify: ahahahhaha perfect
  • 3 1
 @burnermtb: @burnermtb: I appreciate the meticulously laid out arguments here, but like some other commenters have pointed out, all the well-articulated thoughts don't mean much if they're based on flawed assumptions. Sure, mountain biking might not have the same standing in marginalized cultures as other sports, but that's true for white culture too: mountain biking is universally a bit of a fringe sport, but one of the beauties of it is that it's enjoyed pretty much everywhere in the world. Is it a marketing strategy from Trek? Yes, but that doesn't mean it can't also enact positive change. I'm not sure what you know of NICA, but it's hugely popular and has been constantly gaining momentum. The "demand" is absolutely there, and increased opportunity will only drive that. I agree that in general, it would be great to see bike companies make more affordable bikes. Trek, more so than a lot of companies, definitely commits to this. I can't tell you how many $500 Marlins I've sold as first bikes to young kids who look so stoked to be getting getting any bike, period. To me, that's what this is about, and Trek is also trying to signal that they want to address the issues that have re-emerged at the forefront of our national conversation over this past year. Perhaps there is an argument that this isn't the single most effective way to achieve that, but it's a really good try and I think in general the sport needs more of this. So yeah, I can't help but echo other commenters: why be against this? Because it's not perfect? A ridiculous reason in my opinion that entirely misses the point
  • 2 3
 @burnermtb: Spot on, on all fronts. Thank you for the common sense posts. If only people would stop looking for racism everywhere. It detracts from the cases of actual racism. When everything is considered racist, how the hell are we going to stop racism?
  • 2 1
 @jaame: you again with this rhetoric. Trek is detracting from the fight against racism with a grant program that helps to diversify the sport? You must be very flexible to jump through hoops like that. To shed some light on your bewilderment: racism isn't something tangible that can be "stopped". It's systematic, it comes in many forms, big and small, obvious and hidden. Just like no one can be perfect, we will likely never truly "stop" racism; as civil rights activist Medgar Evers said, you cannot kill an idea. The goal is to understand it fully so that it can be countered. Pardon the pun, but nothing about these complex issues is black and white. I'm not asking you to put in the considerable time and effort to properly understand racism/intersectionality (although could be worth looking into), but don't undermine the people who have done so with "iF eVeRyThInGs RaCiSt ThEn NoThInG iS", that just demonstrates you have no handle on the issues and have little inclination to try to understand them.
  • 1 0
 @jaame: you are literally thanking a man obsessed with not encouraging specifically black people to ride mountain bikes. At what point would you personally suspect someone of potentially being a touch not quite there diversity wise? Or did I just misunderstand your subtle wink to them. Fly the flag and see who salutes it and all that?
  • 1 1
 @mllachance: well CRT/ SJW/ woke ideology is actually simplifying the world to a power struggle and provides one explanation to all issues it's interested. And this is not to say that there are no racism or even systematic racism. However, those needs to be first found and proven with scientific methods. Also most issues are complex and neglecting this will decrease the probability of getting things fixed.
  • 1 1
 @Juuhan: congratulations on adding nothing to this conversation. Have you been drinking?
  • 2 0
 @Peskycoots: burnermtb articulated the points well. This is coming from a minority (my wife is black and son is mixed) that has been riding/racing since 1993.
  • 1 0
 @dc40: ok so summarise his point for me then
  • 2 0
 @Peskycoots: As I have stated in previous post in this thread/forum... "the issue with these programs/initiatives, they are promoting and justify to address racial inequality. This has nothing to do with racial inequality but do to socio-economic factors. White kids/families in poverty have the same challenges accessing and entering into sports like mt bike, snow sking/boarding, surfing, etc. IMO using race helps promote controversy and division as you are seeing with the threads. I do think it great that Trek and NICA are give opportunity to these under privilege kids. I hope more the driving factor/criteria is more based on lower socio-economic demographics, which may be applied to any ethnics group. Hopefully, it gives these kids exposure to other elements and possible opportunities they may have not been aware of and break that saying/cycle you are product of your environment."
  • 2 0
 @Juuhan: Good news: you are absolutely right, and in luck. There are endless volumes and data bases of peer-reviewed studies, reports, and technical findings from accredited universities, government institutions, and third-party organizations that detail, ad nauseam, the various intricacies of all that, dating back decades. Most modern studies use a combination of intersectionality and kyriarchy to approach these complexities as comprehensively as possible. There's more scientific information publicly available than any sane person would want to comb through, but you certainly don't need to look hard.
  • 2 0
 @dc40: You're operating with an understanding of racial inequality that is entirely separate from social/socio-economic inequality. In fact, the two (and many more!) are inextricably linked, and have been well-researched as such, endless replicable results, etc. The information is out there! I definitely encourage you to do your own digging, I personally find it very interesting the way all these things connect. Yes, trek approached this issue from a single angle: from a marketing/PR perspective, that angle makes a lot of sense while still achieving their goal of promoting diversity and getting more kids having a good time on bikes.
  • 1 0
 @dc40: your dog whistle politics are giving me tinnitus. If you have a raging hard on for the rugged individualism you’ve been sold by the marketing men that’s fine but the reality is all that pulling yourself up by the bootstraps and treating everyone equally is neither realistic nor offering anyone equality of opportunity. The only solutions are ensuring equality of opportunity and solidarity brother.
  • 2 0
 @mllachance: I am aware that past policies/practices that impacted minorities pre-civil rights movements to include post (ie red lining, etc..) that have set back minorities and put them more into lower socio-economic status (ie low poverty communities). In present times, there are no policies that hinder/prevent minorities within the US from moving up the socio class. That is why you are see more and more minorities entering middle class and professional white collar jobs. Problem, middle class doesn't grow fast enough, compared to lower poverty communities grow at a faster rate. It is going to take several years/decades to show that equal representation for minorities. Remember, white middles class was small until after WWII, then it tripled. For current times, socio economic is not tied to racial inequality. For example, they are try tie high mortality rates to minority as racial inequality. Study shows that minority mothers have induced stress, because lack of food, home stability, single parent, healthcare access, etc... Again, that has nothing do to racial inequality, but everything to do with socio-economic benefits within middle/upper class. For example, my wife and son have higher success of not having any issues, because of stable home, excellent nutrients, access to healthcare and follow-ups vs. white, black, etc.. mother and child that is in poverty has limited access.
  • 3 1
 I encourage anyone who wants to do anything to do that thing. If you're put off from doing something because there is no one who is the same skin colour, sex or religion as you doing it, then you obviously didn't want to do it that hard in the first place. If you want to do something but you can't afford to do it, or you live in the wrong geographical location then maybe consider yourself a normal person and pick another hobby. What you're experiencing has already happened to millions of people. Look at Diego Maradona. No one gave him anything. He turned himself from a dirt poor child without a pot to piss in into the best football player in the world. Conceive it, believe it, achieve it.
  • 2 1
 @Peskycoots: lol you are all about equal opportunity, but if you only focus on a specific poor/ethnic demographic, doesn't that defeat the purpose of equal opportunity... that is why the focus should be only be based on lower socio-economic demographic and not racial so it is true equal opportunity for all kids that living in those communities. If trek really want to focus on diversity and bring more minorities/blacks in to mt biking/racing... their target audience should be at all black college, minorities/black professional groups/events, etc...as most in this sport are middleclass. If we leaned more towards rugged individualism, you would have more accountability vs victim. I am in support of welfare and social programs, if individuals and families are in true need, especially children.
  • 2 1
 @dc40: They are absolutely linked, backed by mountains of bulletproof research data, as they have always been (linked, not backed by data). Please, until you take the time to learn and understand how countless factors work together to systematically oppress or limit various demographics in different ways, don't mistake your personal anecdote as a suitable substitute for data. As you yourself said, minorities continue to experience a disproportionate struggle in a variety of ways: health, work, etc. In other words, these are diverse people all over the country that are all experiencing the same struggle, and the unifying factor amongst them is their racial status. That's what you said. So, think: if the main unifying factor of these diverse people who are struggling in every corner is their non-whiteness, then how exactly does it have nothing to do with racial inequality?
  • 1 1
 @dc40: “ you are all about equal opportunity, but if you only focus on a specific poor/ethnic demographic, doesn't that defeat the purpose of equal opportunity...” I encourage you to look into equality of opportunity rather than equal opportunity
  • 1 0
 @jaame: your opinion up to and including that odd little tag line you popped in makes me think you’re a young white man that’s never stepped outside their comfort zone and had never know genuine adversity, which is fine and probably the best way to experience life but it makes you uniquely unqualified for any of this debate.
  • 2 1
 @mllachance: i said studies TRYING TO SHOW struggles align to racial inequalities in health, work, etc... those areas that they are trying link apply to white families in the same positions. Whites make up 45% of the individuals that are living in poverty in the US. Don't they experience the same the challenges and inequalities as black or any other ethnic groups in poverty. Again, within my neighborhood, I have several professional black and/or mix families... why are they exceeding, professional jobs, home owners, college educated, private schools, children all going to college. Please explain and provide me an example of racial inequality and what causes/fuel it? I have lived in multiple parts of the US: south, west coast, mid-atlantic, and NE.
  • 1 0
 @Peskycoots: honestly, because of the number of minority programs, there are probably more equality of opportunities out there for minorities within the US vs whites in the same social status. What is the measure of success and utilization of those programs? I have known several individuals to include family members don't take advantage of them because it requires work... they rather not take accountability and have free ride and make excuses in why they are in the position they are in (so called racial inequality). FYI... my mother came here a nanny and father picking vegetables in the fields in CA. I was born in lower poverty area, but I got to witness the hard work from my parents and how they progressed through the different social classes.
  • 1 0
 @dc40: ah I see, the old I pulled myself up by the bootstraps those lazy black people should do the same trope. Your mask is slipping.
  • 2 1
 @Peskycoots: I am unqualified for the debate because I'm probably a white man hey? One does not have to be something to talk about that thing. You people are all the same. Maybe we are all the same. We decide what we want to believe and stick to it.

And to be fair to this article, it does not say that these bikes are destined for any specific underrepresented group. Everyone is assuming it's going to be poor black kids but it does not state that specifically. It's interesting why everyone has jumped to the same conclusion.

I don't surf because I don't live near the sea. I don't ski because I don't live near the mountains. I don't drive an F1 car because I can't afford to. I don't sail a yacht because my parents don't own one. We could all do with a little more equality of opportunity.
  • 1 0
 @jaame: I’m not picking on you as I see you are quite naïve, but to reply to your last paragraph; while everyone could have an opportunity, and each face different irrelevant and relevant obstacles, equality of opportunity requires that no one face any irrelevant obstacles. A worthy goal for everyone I would think, yet here we are in a comment section with a few people horrified that trek might be giving a handful of free bikes to a handful of minorities in a bid to remove an irrelevant obstacle to increasing minorities participation and that being the lack of representation, or to put it another way, if you don’t see someone like you doing something you don’t realise it’s something you can do.
  • 2 1
 @Peskycoots: could it not be considered discriminatory to look at an activity and not want to participate because you don't see "someone like you" partaking in said activity?
We should take all people as they come, and give everyone a fair go without prejudgment. By that token, an outsider to a group should give the members of the group a fair go, and not make assumptions about that group based on the members' appearance being "not like them". Is that logical?
  • 2 2
 @mllachance: Endless volumes of proper studies? This is interesting claim. It's amazing that these proper studies, which fulfill scientific methods haven't surfaced. If that happened we could start fixing things.

" Most modern studies use a combination of intersectionality and kyriarchy" . Yes and this is part of the problem. The findings and conclusions are predefined.
  • 2 1
 @Peskycoots: SMH, what I am trying to explain to you that it has nothing to do with race that keeps individuals down. The opportunities exist for people to move up each socio class. All individuals (black, white, asian, hispanic, et.) in poverty or low income communities share the same challenges. The equality of opportunity needs to apply for all races to improve society vs just minorities or specific ethnic group. You keep on jumping on the black ethnic group, probably when you see my son or wife, you probably assume they are from the hood, not educated, etc.. because of your stereo-type... which is more damaging to all minorities that are trying lift themselves out of lower income or ones that are already established.
  • 1 0
 @dc40: well I guess luckily for us you’re wrong but you are nobody, whereas trek are right and are a huge multinational company putting money and effort in. Eventually people like you will stop holding others back through fear of being overtaken and will instead embrace their fellow man and uplift anyone they can. I understand it’s hard with the way the world is portrayed to Americans by their media, but really most people are cool and want a nice life for each other.
  • 3 1
 @mllachance: I'm not sure what flawed assumption you're saying I've made.

While it is true that the lowered status of mountain biking is present among all lower income demographics, the highest concentration of poverty, per capita, remains black Americans. Therefore, we should expect that black Americans would be a minority in mountain biking. We should also expect them to be a minority in power boating. The demand for NICA scholarships is most certainly there. However, your typical NICA scholarship recipient is someone who wants to mountain bike competitively. So what demographic do you think typical competitive cyclists come from? Again, middle to upper middle class demographics. Yes, there are plenty of black families from those demographics. Result? More often than not, middle to upper middle income black kids get the scholarships. This, in turn, creates racial tension. What, exactly, would be the reason why a black kid in an upper middle class family should get a NICA scholarship over a white kid?

Also, while we both agree that mountain biking has low standing in low income communities, there's still SOME interest. And this is where it gets really tense...low income whites disfavored over upper income blacks. That is the source of a LOT of racial tension in this country. This is not unlike what frequently happens with AA in higher ed. Low income blacks, on average, are so under-performing at the academic level that AA disproportionately benefits upper middle class blacks. So, what frequently happens is that white students at lower socio-economic strata are disfavored over black students at the higher socio-economic strata. Let me also be clear that I do agree that much of the "bikes are too expensive" narrative is over-stated. I too have argued that veteran mtb'ers, used to their FS carbon bikes as "standard", forget that the vast majority of them started out on small travel aluminum hard tails. I saved up for an entire summer making minimum wage to buy an aluminum hard tail and beat the sh*t out of it for like, god knows, 15 years?!

Yes, you can get that all day today at the $500-600 price point. There's also the used bike option, which more people should consider. Still, $500-600 is unaffordable for many. $600 for basically a hobby is just not going to make much sense. If they're going to drop that kind of money, it would have to hold more promise for a payoff (like say college scholarship, NBA dreams, etc.). Also, if FS is the modern standard for entry MTB's, then as far as I can tell, you're pushing it if you're not dropping at least $1,700 (conservatively - more realistically, $2K). Perhaps big bike brands could do better in that space. Finally, I will also say that Trek probably has its heart in the right place. I guess what frustrates me is the cyclical nature of these things. What I see is a lot of presentism and naivety, not anything nefarious.
  • 1 1
 @burnermtb: you do realise the entire point of the program is still not about black people? Have you thought about seeking help with your irrational fear of meeting a black person on the trail?
  • 2 1
 @Peskycoots: I was watching your exchange with dc40, a black person, and found it remarkable your flippant racism accusations against him. You're a piece of work my friend.

Bet that as it may, black Americans remain the single most socio-economically distressed minority demographic in the US. The vast majority of "diversity" efforts focus, primarily, on black people. However, even if Trek takes a broader approach to diversity, it doesn't fundamentally change anything except to make tensions worse. Black Americans unambiguously have the greatest historical claim to being victims of racial discrimination....by a mile. So even I have my qualms with how our efforts to address this are played out, I'm fundamentally sympathetic to the desire to address it.

What passes today, however, as "diversity" is increasingly just anyone with skin deemed darker than white or some random identity alleged to be outside of the norm. I don't know if you know this, but white males aren't even at the top of the socio-economic strata in the US and haven't been for a long time now. Asian and Indian males, and now, just this past year, Asian females, are higher than white males.

So, if your suggestion is that this diversity scholarship is going to go to say "non-binary" or "two-spirit" athletes from upper middle class backgrounds, then that just makes the whole thing a joke.
  • 1 1
 @burnermtb: I’m glad you enjoyed my chat with dc40 and I hope you came away with more empathy and a greater sense of solidarity with your fellow humans than before. I tried to wade through your latest wall of text but it’s getting a bit repetitive now, I kind of get it that you’re worried about minorities or whatever the latest media bogeyman is overtaking you but honestly don’t worry about it you’ll be absolutely fine, and luckily there are big companies out there making genuine differences to peoples lives while you sit anonymously on an obscure bike forum being but hurt about it all. Same as dc40 I suppose, luckily for us you’re nobody eh?
  • 3 0
 @Peskycoots: I did enjoy your exchange with dc40. He calmly and civilly dismantled your pedestrian efforts at argument from a position of actual and practical experience with being a black person in the US. I appreciate you being a whipping post in that endeavor.
  • 1 0
 @burnermtb: ahahahha thanks babe I’ll invite you to the wedding where you’ll have a hell of a shock when you realise he’s a fat white bloke with questionable ethics. You might find it all a bit eerily familiar I guess. X
  • 2 1
 @Peskycoots:

1. As I stated before, I applauded Trek and NICU for these opportunities it gives to these under privilege kids. I hope they expand the program to include all under privilege kids of all racial demographics. For example in Philadelphia, it would definitely impact black and/or minority communities. If in WV, were majority is white demographic that make up large portion of the under privileged kids. This program would excluded these kids.

2. As I said before, we need programs to help uplift all people vs you only believe minorities need help. We as society would be better if tried to uplift everyone out of poverty and did not discriminate or stereo type by ethnic background (which you are doing).

3. I laugh and shake my head, you are so blinded by your Woke righteous BS. You as a white person from London is explaining to me about racial inequality in the U.S. Especially as a minority that was born and lived in lower socio-economic communities (ie I have lived/born in Eastside San Jose, CA; Oakland, CA; Mission District of San Francisco, CA). Who have family and friends who have succumbed to the negative elements within those communities (ie gangbangers, drug dealers, drug addictions, in-n-out of prison, etc..). I have witnessed other family and friends who have over-come those challenges, to include my parents that have made it out and are at a different socio economic status. Some of the challenges I recall as a child: multi families living with us in one house, clothing being handed down to siblings or shopping at a thrift stores, or the generic label of black & yellow brand of food in the pantry.

I might be nobody and that is fine.. If you think about, my parents and now my family are breaking that statistics and expanding the foot print within the middle class and above…proving there are no hurdles/obstacles in place that prevent a minority from moving up within the U.S. (You can keep telling yourself and believing the media, if it makes you feel good.)
  • 1 0
 @burnermtb: thanks and i concur with a lot of your assessments.. Also, I am not black, but I am minority (mixed with multiple races) with a black a wife and mixed child too.
  • 1 1
 @Juuhan: I guess from your perspective it's a "claim", but as someone who has spent hundreds of hours reading and writing about the studies in college, it's a fact, and a painful, often sleepless memory. As for "surfacing", I invite you to consider two things: 1. What appears to you on the surface is 90-99% targeted media. From the news you read to the posts in your feeds to even the ads you get, it's all tailor-targeted to you, based on what you click on. In order to find new ideas in the age of the commercialized internet, you must actively work to reach beyond your customized bubble. 2. The basic notion of a subversive oppression, and a hallmark of an effective and pervasive ideology, is that it's not apparent. It's something taken for granted, overlooked, hiding in plain sight so obviously that it doesn't appear. So no, you wouldn't ever find anything about racial inequality on the surface.
Finally, you don't seem to understand what intersectionality and kyriarchy are. That's okay! You wouldn't if you'd never bothered to research them, but I can try to explain the two. Intersectionality is essentially the theory that a person's identity or position in society is a true compound sum of every measurable facet: not just their race, or their socio-economic standing, but also their gender, and their sexuality, job, education, creed, whether their parents are divorced, even if they have allergies, it's everything. Some facets are more dynamic or contributory, but it's all compounding. Kyriarchy meshes really well with this because it's a theory for understanding hierarchies of power that come from an individual's intersectional position. For example, upper class has higher power than lower class, men have more power than women, etc. So working together, rather than "pre-defining" (you meant predetermining) conclusions, as you suggest, in fact it does the opposite: it gives the fullest, most un-biased account based on all available information. Hope you found this helpful!
  • 1 0
 @burnermtb: The main flawed assumption I thought you were making, based on that previous post, was that black people were somehow inherently less interested in mountain biking in general. Perhaps this was a misunderstanding, but I don't see why it should really matter even if it's hypothetically true. I got the impression that you were really focused on the point that this isn't the most effective use of money if the goal is to get more people on bikes who need but can't afford them. I think you're right about that, but I don't think that was Trek's goal. The key word in this article is "diversity". Trek is trying to help get more minorities get on bikes as they're underrepresented in the sport, and as we know, minority status often co-occurs with a lower socio-economic standing. So it's a lot of things: it's helping diversify the sport, it's helping some poorer people get bikes, and it looks good for trek right now given the political climate. Just my two cents on Trek's intentions, I wasn't trying to imply that you're racist or anything.
  • 1 0
 @dc40: I like bullet points I’ll jump in:

1) this is great you should have left it here: “ I applauded Trek and NICU for these opportunities it gives to these under privilege kids. I hope they expand the program to include all under privilege kids of all racial demographics”

B.1 Brilliant “ we need programs to help uplift all people”
B.2 not true is it “you only believe minorities need help”

3- nice credentials I guess

Epilogue: you sort of lost focus here and undermined all your previous points by pointing out how you’re the exception that proves the rule so I’m going to have to give this comment a 3 out of 5; There were coherent and quite positive comments but they kept getting bogged down in this need to pat yourself on the back for pulling yourself up by the bootstraps. You’ve probably successfully painted yourself as the rugged individual all American hero in your head and that’s great but don’t pull the ladder up on others and don’t pretend your ability, determination or good role models are available to everyone. All people are not equal and it’s ok to ask for help.
  • 1 0
 @dc40: I think you're leaning really heavily on your personal, anecdotal experience. I'm not saying what you've experienced isn't true, only that the reality of the racial dynamic in America or the western world that is broadly accepted in the sociological scientific and academic communities is very different from the personal experiences you've selected to pass off as evidence or data. Studies do and have proven many many times (reference my comment to Juuhan) that such inequalities continue to exist. The easiest and most obvious one is of course our prisons! Black and Latinx are grossly overrepresented in our carceral system. By the way, if you're interested in carceral ecologies, I highly recommend reading Michel Fourcault's Discipline and Punish. Fascinating!
  • 1 0
 @Peskycoots: dude, I guess I appreciate what you're trying to do, but all the demeaning and high-horsing is a pretty toxic way to go about it, and that attitude perpetuates a really negative and unfortunate stereotype for progressives that prevents a good message from reaching good people.
  • 1 0
 @Peskycoots: I provided clear substance based off personal experience that you are having hard time cope/accepting. You have no substantial points other than trying to attack and degrade my character, based off the minimal interactions within this post. I am not going to stoop to your level.
  • 1 0
 @mllachance: thanks, I definitely checkout that reading. Also enjoyed your break down of intersectionality and kyriarch.

I do concur that black and latinix heavily represent our carceral systems. Why is that? Poverty stricken communities are high in crime, so you are going see higher police presences and arrest. Since majority of black and latinix demographic are not equally represented in middle class as of yet skews the number when you compare against total white population ( It is going to take several years/decades for minorities to get that equal representation).

Since we know the driving factor for crime and arrest is poverty communities… if you only look at the number of whites in poverty and compare to numbers in our carceral systems. You will notice the numbers are pretty on par with black and latinx.
  • 1 0
 @mllachance: thanks for taking the time to eloquently demonstrate irony I appreciate that I’ve metaphorically clipped your first sentence out for my students. As for getting a good message across, you will not be convincing these chaps anytime soon so why bother? Old @burnermtb isn’t even using his main account as he doesn’t want his actual opinions attached to his genuine identity and @dc40 thinks he’s John Wayne and is swinging his anecdotes around like they are the way the truth and the light. I don’t have a political stance on this as seems to be the case with almost everyone else, I’m simply saying isn’t that nice that trek is trying to do something constructive for a group I identify with and these chaps are replying to me saying “but..”. f*ck ‘em. It’s the paradox of tolerance don’t make me wheel out my Nazi bar analogy again.
  • 1 0
 @Peskycoots: again, white guy from London is discrediting experience of minority on racial inequality in the US, resorts back to character attacks. Again, my focus " Trek's 'All-In' plan where the company drew up actionable steps towards racial equality". I provided examples that this has nothing to do with racial equality, but more to socio class privileges, which @burnermtb provided detail breakdowns explaining how it ties to it. I articulated multiple times, I applaud trek, but hope they expand to all under privilege kids, which argue about.

Again, you have never provided concrete examples and causes of racial inequality?

Why do you think companies within the US are focusing on racial equality: 1. PR because it as all over the news. 2. government tax breaks and/or subsidize funding. 3. It helps with division, because it supports Identity Politics ($$$/votes/media controversy)

If I use the analogy/example...

If parents constantly tells their kid they are loser, over and over. 98% of the time that kids is probably going to thinking he is loser and looses self-esteem. Over time as they become more mature and adults, they will realize this is not true. But the mental/psychology effect, impacted the child's true potential. As an adult, it becomes to late or difficult to capitalize on what the potentials could have been. While the other 2%, are going to say "F" my parents and bottle that energy to prove them wrong and uplift themselves.

For my experience, this applies to a lot of individuals that living in lower stricken communities too. The same effects of saying minorities are failing because of racial inequalities. I have heard over and over again, systems out for us, there are no opportunities out there for minorities, etc.. Use this as an excuse vs taking accountability for poor decision made as a young adult. One of the number one factors that prevent individual from attaining middle class, is having a child at a young age and not married. This significant problem in all poverty stricken communities. Why is this... some actually plan to have a kids at that young age (I known several family/acquaintance that have done this). Because they know they will receive government subsided housing and/assistance. Some will: 1. continue on that path, complain, and their kids repeat the cycle; 2. Others may realize, I made a bad decision (accountability) and want to improve their living condition for their kids and themselves. This becomes difficult, because when you tried to better yourself, you move up a different tax bracket, and may loose your government subsided assistance. Several will revert back to "1" or other will continue to strive and push through it.
  • 1 2
 @dc40: It’s hilarious you keep coming back to argue against facts and reality with your wacky internet talking points. although I am aware you probably don’t believe you’re going to change anyone’s mind you’re only here to to maintain the illusion of your own self image
  • 2 0
 @Peskycoots: you know what is hilarious, your head is so stuck up your ass, when you spew and talk shit, you can't differentiate the smell of it.
  • 1 1
 @dc40: aw come on man, I’ve grown quite fond of you over the last week let’s not end on a sour note. How about we all agree I’m right and I’ll graciously acknowledge that you have a point about one of your points you get to choose which one?
  • 2 0
 @Peskycoots: No sour notes or hurt feels from me... just giving a little back some banter and love. We both agree what Trek and NICA are doing is great for these kids.
  • 1 1
 @dc40: something we can agree on. Have a good weekend comrade.
  • 33 0
 I find it strange that so many commenters think that all POC live in over-industrialized dystopian inner cities surrounded by mountainless wastelands
  • 4 2
 The distribution of black American demographics is such that, at the group level, inner city black communities tend to dominate the narrative about black Americans as a group. But that's because black Americans make up a small portion of the total US population and have high population density in urban areas. That this isn't true for ALL black Americans actually reinforces the narrative...the comparatively small number of black Americans who live outside of these communities tends to explain why they are a minority in mountain biking.
  • 3 0
 @burnermtb: You might want to check your assumptions:
"Elizabeth Kneebone, a fellow at the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution, looked at numbers from the 2010 to 2014 American Community Survey and found that 39 percent of African Americans live in the suburbs, 36 percent live in cities, 15 percent live in small metropolitan areas, and 10 percent live in rural communities. That’s a noticeable shift from 2000, when 41 percent of African Americans lived in cities, 33 percent lived in suburbs, 15 percent lived in small metro areas, and 11 percent lived in rural communities."
  • 26 0
 I'm surprised by the amount of negative comments on this. Trek is spending its own money trying to provide an opportunity for disadvantaged kids. What's the harm in that? If it's not effective they'll make changes to the program.

Trying to do something positive > "Oh that will never work! don't bother"
  • 30 1
 Wow, this sounds great.
  • 24 6
 I'm not trying to scoff at the idea or disrespect people. I'm just interested, and I want to apologize in advance if it seems to you that I wrote some rudeness.
I am from Ukraine (Eastern Europe), and we have no racial problems between people within the country (although there are many ideological problems, yes). And practically all the inhabitants of the country were "slaves" before the collapse of the USSR. So in our country, approximately all residents are equal, and the people do not experience racism problems.
Maybe because of this, I do not quite understand this aspect. Isn't it more correct to give bicycles to the NEEDY, and not the NEEDED from specific races? For some reason, it seems to me that it is easy to find a dozen "whites" who cannot afford to ride a bicycle. Is there any contradiction or "racism" in this? Maybe because of this, others consider such initiatives just a PR method?
  • 12 4
 see, in the US, we have become entirely concerned with IDENTITY. Your logic is sound, and I agree with you, but many have adopted ideas based on "critical theories" and "intersectionality". If you are genuinely curious about where this stuff comes from, I'd suggest a book called "Cynical Theories"
  • 4 3
 I think the point is that being a non-white mtber in the US is more difficult because there’s no representation. It makes you feel out of place.

It’s like showing up to a road ride (If you’ve ever done that) for the first time wearing t-shirt and jeans (or going to a suit and tie event wearing the wrong clothes, if that’s more relatable) - you feel super out of place among the sea of lycra and rapha and 5k bikes. Except people who are under represented can’t just go spend money on clothes to solve the problem. They feel out of place and the only way to fix it is bring more diverse people into the sport for new riders to look up to.
  • 16 1
 @sdurant12: when will it be "fixed"? Is there an adequate amount of "diversity" that we can say the goal has been accomplished; i.e. what racial makeup of mountian bikers would be sufficient (even a rough estimate, if you can provide it?) How about in other activities? Should we "fix" basketball, because there sure aren't that many Indians playing basketball. Maybe we can get more south asians involved so they don't feel out of place?

Additionally, if we need people who look like us to look up to, what about all the other characteristics that make up an individual? There are lots of people who might look alike who are completely different individuals and have nothing in common. Unless, of course, skin color or ethnic background is the most important characteristic that an individual can have?

Sorry to push back so hard. You don't seem militant about this and I am not trying to attack you. Frankly it just seems like you're regurgitating the nice-sounding talking points that are quite common these days, so I am not trying to put this all on you. My point is that while intentions may seem good, there really is no end to this. Different people like different things for many many reasons (culture, physical characteristics, where you grew up, where you live now, brain chemistry, innumerable personal preferences, and so on.) Making everyone, as individuals, feel welcome in a sport is significantly different than searching for some sort of "equitable" make up of participants for every activity we may engage in.
  • 4 1
 @trialsracer: I’ll give an example I can speak to directly - the problem of representation of women in mountain biking will be (at least partially) fixed when a girl can show up to a group ride and not be the only girl there.

My girlfriend felt super out of place mountain biking at first. Part of that was because she didn’t have the right gear, and part of it was that she would show up and it’d be a bunch of dudes riding. Not sure she would have stuck with it if we hadn’t been dating and going on rides together.

I think it just sucks for people to try a new sport, find that they don’t feel like they belong, and quit for that reason even though they were enjoying it. There’s no reason for white guys to enjoy mtb more than another race/gender combo. But when you’re out on the trails you mostly see white dudes.

So yeah, I don’t think we should force black people to mountain bike because we need more black people mountain biking to be “diverse”. But when a black person wants to mountain bike they should feel welcome. And one way to create that welcome feeling is to promote diversity with initiatives like this one
  • 11 1
 @sdurant12: I understand that. The same thing happens to men in nursing, women in mathematics, and so forth.

My question is though, when will it be sufficient? And wouldn't it be regional as well? Like, there are tons of women mountain bikers around denver, but perhaps no in your area. Should we get some of them to move, perhaps?

What I am getting at here is that there is no end to diversity initiatives. So, to illustrate that point, I will ask a simple question - when are there "enough" female mountain bikers in your area? Who will decide this?

Also, when I go to the basketball courts in my home town, I see mostly black dudes, a few white dudes and then that's it. As a 5'10 white kid, I would have felt more welcome if there were some more short, nerdy white kids there. I'm sure the girls don't really wanna play with all dudes either. How could we solve that? (There are a million more situations like this, all across society, as you know)
  • 2 1
 @trialsracer: I don’t know when it’s enough. But I don’t think we’re there yet. So supporting stuff like this makes sense. In a few years, if my perception is that it isn’t a problem anymore, then I’ll stop donating to stuff like this. And if other people see it’s still a problem in their area then they’ll donate. And it kind of works itself out?

To be cynical for a second, I’ll assume Trek is doing this so they can, in the long run, sell more bikes by getting more people on bikes. In ten years if mtb is a super inclusive sport, they’ll stop doing this because it won’t lead to more bike sales - they’d just be giving away bikes for free for no reason. So they’ll stop.

Assuming they’re doing it for good press, the same kind of thing will happen.

If they’re doing it to be nice, again, same thing.

I guess my point is that currently it’s a problem. And no matter the motivation, I don’t think the “we shouldn’t do this because we don’t know where to stop” slippery slope argument is valid. All we need to answer is “is it a problem now” and if the answer is “yes” then we try to be more inclusive. Once the answer is “no”, we’re done.
  • 5 0
 Its treating people differently based on the colour of their skin. The program is racist nothing more to it than that. In countries that had empires or had blacks slaves, not all but a certain % of the population feel a kind of intergenerational guilt which they overcompensate for by patronising blacks with handouts and affirmative action. It's grotesque to see. If someone wants to give bikes to needy kids that’s fine but a moral person would never let race come into it.
  • 4 0
 @sdurant12: If someone gives up a because they don't fit in, they're going to be giving up a lot. Newcomers to any activity rarely fit in. First time I went swing dancing, I stood out like a sore thumb. But I liked it, so I stuck with it. No big deal.
  • 1 0
 cuz were racists, cuz tv told us to be and thatvit was a good thing. else we would start looking at class disparity again and unite. race based discrimination ensure we will not unite.
  • 1 1
 @haighd2: To be fair to it, it doesn't specifically state that only black people can apply. It says underrepresented groups. That could just as well be people under 5'1", polyglots, haemophiliacs, people with two different eye colours, gingers, people who can roll their tongues into Ws, Kazakhs, Peruvians, Russians. I mean, I don't see it specifically stating that the kind of diversity they are looking for is related to skin colour.
Much as it sounds racist on first glance, it's not really detailed enough to say for sure. I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.
  • 2 0
 @trialsracer: spot on.
  • 1 0
 @sdurant12: the issue with your argument is that you have no real metrics to characterize the problem. You just "feel" that it is one. So no one can ever say that you've solved it or made progress. This is one of the biggest issues with analyzing our world through the lens of critical theories (which, although not in an extremist fashion, is precisely what you are doing.)

I understand the place you are coming from is one of kindness and empathy, but I promise that the results of adhering to identity politics will be anything but that. I would really recommend you check out a critique on the topic. I have found the book "Cynical Theories" by Helen Pluckrose and James Lindsay to be an excellent overview and critique, from a liberal perspective, of these sort of ideas. If you take the advice of some idiot stranger on the internet about one thing, take my advice on this Big Grin
  • 28 8
 Well done Trek. . . . . . . . . ...still won't see me on a Trek, though.
  • 12 18
flag maximesl (Feb 9, 2021 at 9:12) (Below Threshold)
 @johnski Don't worry about it my current Top Fuel and the other 7 Trek bikes that I've owned covers for you. Can't go wrong with them, always satisfied! Great dealers and aftersales service by my experience.
  • 3 4
 @maximesl: terrible value bikes, but good for you
  • 15 6
 The longer we keep calling eachother..black, white, asian, Christian, Latin, Jew, Arab, minority, or whatever.. the longer this shit is going to last. No wonder space aliens don't want to visit and stay. We are all fucking idiots.
  • 3 0
 Yup. "Positive racism," is still racism.
  • 2 0
 @skelldify: America will eat itself
  • 8 1
 instead of basing this on race, it should be socioeconmically based. period.

"poor kids want to ride bikes just as bad as white kids!"-Joe Biden
  • 1 0
 15 million non-POCs living below the poverty line. More than twice the amount of any other race. An ongoing cycle, with no help in sight.
  • 5 1
 LMAO, how about lowering the prices so that it's more affordable rather than giving a couple dozen away. Then you'd probably see more diversity in the sport. I swear, all these companies are so out of touch with reality that they think giving away some stuff and spraying slogans on the answer.
  • 9 1
 Yes!
  • 7 2
 Well its something. Its not enough of course, but its something. A long way to go.
  • 4 2
 My son is into SE bikes and there are a large amount of African Americans on SE bikes that seem to naturally enjoy that scene / style of bike. Most bike shops are currently selling SE bikes over MSRP. How about we stop the BS and over complicating this.
  • 19 18
 It'd be great to see these things happen but this isn't the way.

Problems:
1- Trek makes some of the worst kids mountain bikes, basically catalog junk with the worst components known to man. Compared to Norco, Spawn, Commencal, Trail Craft, Prevelo, Woom, VPace, Vitus etc...Trek is trash for kids. (putting those 1000 lb coil forks on just to trick parents into thinking its "suspension" is horrible).

2- Mountain Biking is a fortune and they aren't making cheaper bikes

3- There isn't much mountain biking anywhere near these diverse communities

Here is what they should be doing if they cared about diversity on bikes:

1- Build inner city bike parks - these are proven and amazing for communities. They are easy to build an maintain on the scab land. I built one and helped with a 2nd in the last 12 months. Game changers for communities and diversity as well. It has to work for a BMX bike tho.

2- Push the BMX freestyle bikes/biking...or heck even those wheelie bikes. They are dirt cheap, lots of used ones. Even the 170$ amazon Mongoose ain't bad. They build skills better than any other bike a kid will ever have, especially over a big mountain bike. Its magic for kids. Pilot vs passenger. Kids on BMX means they will easily transition, with vastly more skill, to a mountain bike if they have the option in the future.

3- Go get a guy like grab a guy like Brad Simms to market this and fund some kid/parent coaching clinics at the bike parks/skate parks etc. all over.
  • 17 6
 Read the article. This is one of the actionable steps they established. It doesn’t say they are finished. It doesn’t state that they don’t have other programs in the hopper. I love that some PB’ers feel the need to state the obvious. As if Trek / NICA don’t understand the massive scale of issues that require action. This is one little step in the right direction. We’re talking 250 bikes here.
  • 6 6
 @CircusMaximus: What is one of the actionable steps? I read the article. But sure, agreed anything is better than nothing.
  • 12 1
 @Svinyard Geez, all these people in here railing on Trek because this single program will not solve a problem no one knows the solution to. Your points are valid but think about what you're saying: you're criticizing a bike company for giving away products they make and not building a bike park, something they do not do. You might say "they can just write the check!" but it's so much more complicated than that. Getting a park built takes years of permitting, organization and construction. And your comment saying that Norco or Spawn should do this because they make better bikes: that is straight choosingbeggars material.
  • 3 4
 I'll have to go tell my black and hispanic neighbors in a mountain biking city that some white dude on pinkbike said they can't mountain bike because they don't live close enough to the mountains, and that they're only allowed to BMX because white people think that black people only like BMX and hey, Brad Simms does it and he's black.
  • 2 0
 @shralping-the-cube: I'm talking about scalable solutions for children not small potato adult stuff that isn't impactful. The inverse of what you say is that diverse kids should just drive hours away and hop on their 1000$ mountain bike...no big deal right? When we talk to the local latino/a community leaders, they want things that are affordable and close by and to have some people that look like them shredding, not some white phenom kids. My sister runs a local social unity non-profit with a bunch of other female leaders of color. We get to spend a lot of time helping out and partnering with them. Make no mistake that a lot of people have challenges just getting a bus to their two different jobs (especially with Covid)...let alone finding the time to drive the kid out to the mountain. I get it that these aren't challenges you might be familiar with, but its a STARK reality for millions of kids. So again...scalable solutions are what's important, otherwise its just PR fluff and a nice story for a handful of kids. I've seen in work with the local bike parks we've built. You get a whole new community of riders, but even then it takes a fair amount of engagement and its always a work in progress.

Fwiw the guy that started Specialized has the Outride fund, which we are a grant recipient of for the first park, and I think he committed to 10mil over the next decade or something to do very much what I described. A bit different there.
  • 1 0
 Yup, too many parks with ball sports and no pump tracks.
  • 3 2
 Giving someone a bike and gear isn't really the best way of getting them into riding. What is some kid going to think if He or she has all the newest gear and then gets to races and cannot compete with people who actually hold riding as a passion? Mountain biking is very much a sport where you have to start from the very bottom. in other words its better off you start with a junk yard bike than a brand new one. It for a start gives you an excuse to be bad to begin with, it allows you to sample the sport before you commit and it will also give you a sense on what you can fix yourself rather than being that guy who goes into a shop to get a tube replaced this will make the sport less expensive and give them a better sense of what their equipment is capable of.
  • 3 0
 This may be a strange concept to you but a lot of people can have fun coming last. Going to races, enjoying the atmosphere, doing your best and making friends with kids who have the same interests as you is more important than winning.
  • 1 0
 Yea you ain't wrong but I managed that just fine as a kid on my budget bike.
  • 3 0
 @Peersie: Your parents/guardians could afford to get you a budget bike AND to take you to the races AND to pay for your entry fees though. This program is aimed at kids who's parents can barely afford to get them there, even a hundred bucks for a functional used mountain bike and 50 for proper safety kit would be out of the question.

They aren't talking about providing the kids with top of the line Yeti cross country bikes. These are bikes that most mountain bikers would consider very cheap. They are enough to get the kids riding and having fun on bikes, they won't look like they have all the gear and no idea (like I do haha).
  • 1 1
 @Patrick9-32: You didn't address any of my points is this topic personal to you or something? Also my parents haven't brought me a bike since I was a little kid I started working when I was 11 as a paper boy to afford my own shit. Ok so they get a free bike cool they have no knowledge on how to fix the bloody thing so either that hobby is going to last to the time of the first flat they get or their poor family is going to have to fork out money to do basic repairs. Are we going to give these individuals free servicing if so are we going to give them free shit throughout their whole life? This sport doesn't end with some shoes and a ball there are ongoing costs. You know this deep down but I am the only one out of us with the balls to say it.
  • 74 74
 As an Asian American, and a victim of affirmative action, can I say the evidence shows this never works out the way you want. 4 decades of affirmative action has not increased black representation in higher education. This will not increase black participation in mountain biking. Demographically, black Americans don't live near mountains.
  • 31 11
 agreed, Shelby Steele who was a former black panther, leader in the 1960s civil rights movement and inner city worker in Chicago for a decade calls this "White guilt".
  • 46 24
 This is nothing more than virtue signaling corporate PR. Trying so hard to appear socially just. Just like Apple suddenly building a campus in Detroit. All of a sudden " they care "...
  • 23 2
 Kids with no access to trails or mtb grow up to be adults who don’t ride. There are many “demographically” black areas within a stones throw to trails but lack of bikes, knowledge and public transportation are huge limitations.
  • 32 5
 I don't get your point... are you saying if it's not gonna make a massive difference, we shouldn't do anything? Or, that there's a better way to use the funding?
Also, demographically speaking, most of all Americans don't live near mountains. :-)
  • 18 7
 @bubbrubb:
My question is, do you see people from diverse backgrounds hiking in those areas? You really don't need to invest much for hiking, so if it is the case, you could assume there is a demand for biking as well. If not, you could assume that there just isn't much interest in these kind of outdoor activities.
  • 20 13
 @bubbrubb: If we're talking about inner city bike culture, SE bikes are huge in this demographics. Cruiser BMX bikes are king and they're a big part of the urban bike culture. You can't make woodsmen out of inner city youth. Its not a natural fit.
  • 15 6
 Here's the thing: it takes people of color seeing more representation of themselves in said sport to garner more interest.

Guys like Brad Simms, Courage Adams, Eliot Jackson, etc are encouraging that growth, interest and love in these sports by being just that - representatives of their people by doing what they love to do themselves.

Also, I think you mean 'geographically,' not 'demographically,' but, you're right, most black Americans don't live near the mountains. Unless you count LA and NY, both within an hour or so drive of mountains. Maybe those places don't count?
  • 6 1
 I think the bigger piece is that these demographics dont attend schools with NICA teams. I know my highschool wasnt affiliated despite being near mountains. The slightly more affluent highschool next door was, however.
  • 10 1
 FL doesn’t have mountains and they seemed to have figure it out. Point being kids even riding bikes around a city park is a step in the right direction.
  • 8 22
flag jclnv (Feb 9, 2021 at 9:51) (Below Threshold)
 Someone photoshop Kanye West firing an uzzi while doing a casewhip and uptake would double. A huge part of young participation is influence.
  • 10 0
 @ShreddieMercury: This is true. Tinker Juarez was a huge influence on me growing up as the only hispanic out of all my friends that started mountain biking in the early 90's. I was definitely appreciative of someone that looked similar to me in this sport and 30 years later I'm still out there as is he.
  • 18 8
 Next question: are Asian Americans considered "people of color"? Because when my dad came here as a refugee during the Vietnam War he was spit on, denied housing, called all manner of racial slurs, and people blamed him (a 15 year old kid) for their dead veteran relatives.
  • 19 2
 @hamncheez: Funny how the news avoids calling out racism against Asians most notably but not exclusively by Blacks. They're constant targets of racist and violent acts in Oakland and SF. My wife and family were refugees from Vietnam as well.
  • 11 1
 @Bushmaster123: Yeah but you're "winning" so you don't need help
  • 13 14
 @hamncheez: how are people going to downvote this?...the sheer idiotic "wokery" of this generation is astounding.
  • 2 4
 @drunknride: Ya, have you watched House of Ho?
  • 13 3
 @cvoc: Full disclosure, I'm white, so I'm only speaking from what I've read, and my limited experience talking to the few black folks who hike/bike a lot.

But the under-participation of African americans in "sports in the woods" can, is in my understanding, less a function of interest and curiosity, than the accumulated results of a host of factors, some historical, and some relating to the fact that, if you don't see other people like yourself doing something, you're less likely to feel welcome trying it.
  • 2 1
 @hamncheez: I wanna look that up but seems like a porn trap?
  • 2 2
 @drunknride: nah, HBO series.
  • 7 3
 @hamncheez: i think that Americans (of all colors), dismiss hardships that Asians experience because we have strong communities and families, work hard, and by the numbers are more successful and earn more than white Americans. Why would any of these people, who put us down and are jealous of our success, want to encourage giving us opportunities?
  • 7 1
 Gotta respectfully disagree with you here.

Black representation in higher education has most definitely increased. (Link here - fivethirtyeight.com/features/race-gap-narrows-in-college-enrollment-but-not-in-graduation).

That said, graduation rates for black college students still lag significantly, a phenomenon for which there's no shortage of explanatory theories, but no clear, data-driven answer as to why.
  • 3 0
 I get the pessimism WRT these sorts of programs. I usually start with the thought that these things never work. In the end though, I think I would rather them try to perform a good deed and fail(even if its for the wrong reasons) than just not try at all. Are there negative effects of trying this? I can't think of any. And lets stop conflating giving kids bicycles with affirmative action. Using hyperbole is what causes such great divides amongst the people.
  • 8 3
 @rodeostu: Sorry, I meant in graduation.

Theres plenty of empirical evidence as to why, with Thomas Sowell putting out some good work. He hypothesizes that since AA downplays the importance of other qualifications like test scores and grades, you are allowing people in who are not prepared or capable of the rigorous coursework that more elite universities require. If I was accepted into UCLA back in the day I would have flunked out.

Additionally, Sowell has found that those who are otherwise underqualified but accepted into top tier universities but do graduate have higher rates of degrees in things like Humanities & Critical (insert race, womens, gender, etc) Studies, where the degrees are much easier but less worthwhile in the workforce. This can also be seen with student athletes, who are accepted based on metrics that do not correlate with a students ability to perform academically.

In Sowell's editorializing on his findings, he says you're sending kids to schools they are not prepared to excel at, giving them tons of student debt, and pushing them into majors/degrees that do not enable them to pay off their student debt. He often cites other studies that when people are more properly sorted into schools that match their capability, they do better and graduate with higher incomes (an engineering degree from a State school will generally give you higher income than a Humanities degree from a top school).

But the real problem is the inequity of preparation for higher education, not the higher education itself.
  • 8 4
 @rodeostu: Nearly all of my riding buddies, past and present, are white or Hispanic. I have never ever felt excluded because if my race.
  • 5 5
 @doublej-cville: Ok, can my kids (when they get older) qualify for any of this? Are we considered "from diverse backgrounds"?
  • 4 1
 @hamncheez: Sure if you lie about your income
  • 10 4
 @Bushmaster123: Yes, as the young black girl rockets through the forest trail, on her Trek Marlin, that exhilarating, liberating feeling, will be spoiled by her knowledge that it's all just 'virtue signaling corporate PR'.
Oh wait...
  • 8 1
 @davydmx: There were no other motivations besides putting a bike in the hands of that girl, right ? Cycling is as much about making money by appearing socially responsible as Nike hiring Colin Kaepernick..
  • 2 3
 @drunknride: Hey, the super bowl is done, and its tax season. Isn't lying about your income the national passtime for this season?
  • 4 0
 @hamncheez: I got 3 small kids and 1 income. I don't have to lie about shit to seem broke!
  • 4 1
 @Bushmaster123: By putting bikes in the hands of 250 kids, Trek aren't just appearing to be socially responsible, they're BEING socially responsible!
  • 13 7
 @hamncheez: Thomas Sowell is not, by any reasonable measure, an empirical, data-driven thinker. Rather, like many conservative writers, his writings start from one or more articles of ideological faith (i.e., reducing taxes promotes economic growth) and he trims his data set to only include evidence that's consistent with his starting assumptoin.

My own experience (I studied physics at Harvard) is that, while black students were underrepresented in my major, it would be insulting and reductive to say that they chose their majors based on some kind of retreat from academic rigor.

Depending on how you approach it, the work you do in college lays the foundation for your life's work. If we're going to get anywhere moving the chains on race in America, it will be because an intensely motivated few made it their life's work. We have 350+ years of data showing that these problems aren't going to fix themselves on their own. Yet, Sowell and other writers of his ideological ilk do not appear to seriously contemplate this as an explanation for why talented blacks might opt not to study, say, electrical engineering in the same numbers as peers of other races.

Further, post-graduate income is a miserable indicator of either the rigor of a course of study or its net benefit to society. I know plenty of damn smart public defenders.
  • 9 6
 @rodeostu: I beg to differ. He just doesn't represent the current narrative that fits in with Critical Race Theory.
  • 6 7
 @preach: You don't need to subscribe to critical race theory to accept my critique of Thomas Sowell.

Instead, consider the following hypothetical - you have two, talented, altruistically minded college freshmen standing in front of you - one is black, one is not. Both wish to address their talents to what, based on their young lives' experience has shown them, is the biggest problem in the world today, and use their college studies in preparation for tackling that problem. Viewed through that prism, it shouldn't be surprising that talented blacks train to tackle a different world problem than talented students of other races.
  • 2 1
 @rodeostu: appreciate your feedback, thank you.
  • 2 2
 A "victim of affirmative action"? Where you one of the ones suing to get affirmative action repealed? Because if so, you got swindled!
  • 4 0
 @hamncheez: Just a thought, I know the picture used in this article shows a person with African heritage, but when the program states bringing mountain biking to "diverse and underrepresented communities" what made you focus on "Black Americans"? In my opinion there are many marginalized communities that are not equally represented in cycling including Asians.
  • 5 5
 @rodeostu: Thomas Sowell's work is published and peer reviewed.

I never said certain majors were worth less, less fulfilling, or less important to society. I said they are less effective for paying off massive student loans (which is 100% true).
  • 1 0
 @cvoc: if access is an issue as I've described, why should you split hairs over different user groups? You're making assumptions, I'm saying its a fact.
  • 3 0
 @Bushmaster123: Spoken like a truly ignorant person. I grew up like that. I now live in the mountains and ride and ski. it is most certainly A NATURAL FIT.
  • 3 4
 @hamncheez: That something's published is pretty irrelevant to question of whether the work has any scholarly rigor or speaks to any great truths. "Mein Kampf" moved a lot of product - that doesn't mean it had any of it was right.

Further, regarding Thomas Sowell's writings being peer reviewed, if you look at his bibliography (available here: www.tsowell.com/writings.html) you'll note that he gave up on submitting his writings to scholarly journals and peer reviewed publications about 30 years ago.
  • 4 1
 @hamncheez: @hamncheez: Additionally, the knowledge gained through these arts and culture studies programs is readily available to any and all people at this point in our societal development (books, internet, etc.). You are not gaining material knowledge beyond that available to a non-college graduate. Why would anyone pay for that? Actually... that may have something to do with it. If your are not paying for it yourself, or borrowing money for it yourself, then choosing an easy degree that is ultimately difficult to appreciate might make sense.

Back to bikes. There is no barrier to entry for bikes. You don't need a $1000 to own and ride a bike. I have been riding bikes my whole life... including the time(s) I was dirt poor. Its just not part of those cultures... just like skateboarding, tennis, soccer, watersports, hang-gliding, skiing, etc.
  • 10 0
 my issue with these programs/initiatives, they are promoting and justify to address racial inequality. This has nothing to do with racial inequality but do to socio-economic factors. White kids/families in poverty have the same challenges accessing and entering into sports like mt bike, snow sking/boarding, surfing, etc. IMO using race helps promote controversy and division as you are seeing with the threads. I do think it great that Trek and NICA are give opportunity to these under privilege kids. I hope more the driving factor/criteria is more based on lower socio-economic demographics, which may be applied to any ethnics group. Hopefully, it gives these kids exposure to other elements and possible opportunities they may have not been aware of... and break that saying/cycle you are product of your environment.
  • 5 4
 @rodeostu: What? Mein Kampf? I'm talking about publishing in the scientific/economic sense, as in authoring peer reviewed papers. He stopped actively publishing to peer review when he devoted his time to teaching. His research was from a time when racial inequality and prejudice was higher than now, and still his findings demonstrate the ineffectiveness of Affirmative Action.
  • 1 0
 I should hope so. Will it happen? Don’t know, but that isn’t the point. I simply said they are trying something to help. Just because it doesn’t work or someone applies it wrong, doesn’t make it a bad idea. I also said this isn’t like affirmative action, no one is taking a bike from another kid. If you view it that way, we are at an impasse. I do respect you opinion, our opinions are just based on different life experience. Cheers. @hamncheez:
  • 7 2
 @doublej-cville: "no one is taking a bike from another kid"
@dc40 is more articulate than me; I'm just wondering if a poor, disadvantaged white/Asian/ other non "diverse" kid could also qualify. I'm guessing no.
  • 2 0
 @hamncheez: I hope you are wrong. But who knows. I just think it’s worth a try
  • 5 0
 @rodeostu: "it shouldn't be surprising that talented blacks train to tackle a different world problem than talented students of other races."

If looking through the prism why couldn't black student tackle and apply the same as other students of other races.. Just like the logic applies that two talented students of the same race and status could have a completely totally different way of tackle a different world problem and/or apply experience/knowledge the same.

Critical Race Theory is BS for present times...
  • 2 0
 @rodeostu: the major deal is school choice. If we cont to go with the same leaders of education and expect different results...well you know how that goes.
  • 4 0
 Grew up in so cal. White 43 year old. Dad always had Larry elder on the radio. I try and tune in every day still. More people should too.
  • 1 0
 @Bushmaster123: Stick to the Bay area. You don't seem to know much about Detroit.
  • 2 1
 'diverse backgrounds and underrepresented communities' Does that mean to qualify you must belong to a certain race or be from a family who are economically challenged or both?
  • 2 1
 Build places like Bakers Creek Preserve in Knoxville, and then they will come. Those bmx and mountain bikes will do no good unless there are places to ride, and easily accessible to get to first.
  • 2 0
 Private charity has a bigger and better impact than government welfare , handouts and intervention.
  • 13 15
 Biking has never been exclusionary, there is no law stopping anyone from buying a bike and riding it. This is nothing but a shallow PR stunt trying to drum up more customers, if people don't have a bike regardless of price and ride trails they either aren't interested or would rather do something else.
  • 15 17
 The DIE agenda is beyond racist and needs to be removed from our public institutions immediately. I can’t believe affirmative action is being reinstalled. It’s now implemented in every single public institution in Canada and it makes me sick. There’s barely a Canadian left in Vancouver anymore and all our government ever says about it is Diversity is our strength BS. Too bad Waki can’t join in this
  • 2 0
 I support this, and I feel much better about myself for doing so.
  • 1 1
 This is a valent effort but in reality wont work, build more pump tracks in poor areas would change lives.
  • 12 13
 Need more diversity in opportunity, education and community first. Stupid crap like bikes will work itself out.
  • 9 0
 %100 agree, biggest factors would be opportunities and education, huge issue's, while other community based foundations need to step up to make those positive changes. Trek as a bike company and NICA look to be doing what they know best, bikes.
  • 7 0
 Bikes can provide access to opportunities and networks that extend beyond what these kids might traditionally encounter. It's a vehicle for access to community.
  • 5 2
 None of those matter if the families within poverty stricken communities, don't instill and enforce better core values. (ie parents taking interested in child education, etc..) Without that, opportunity and education go to waste side. That is why communities continue to go down hill and only small subset of individuals climb out.
  • 1 0
 Yup, school choice!
  • 2 0
 @dc40: None of those matter if the families within poverty stricken communities, don't instill and enforce better core values. (ie parents taking interested in child education, etc..) Without that, opportunity and education go to waste side. That is why communities continue to go down hill and only small subset of individuals climb out.

Why would someone downvote this? This is applicable to all people in all countries.
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