X Elle Cycling’s mandate is to provide a safe, supportive and inclusive environment for women to ride bikes. We lean upon it in our day-to-day decision making and it guides us in times of uncertainty. As a women’s cycling club, to us inclusivity means we welcome all ages, abilities, ethnicities, sexual orientations and non-binary folks who are comfortable being included under the umbrella term “women”. As well, we recognize that the land we ride and explore is the territory of the Sylix/Okanagan Nation, who have been working and living on this land since time immemorial.
While the core of what we do is to empower and inspire women to ride bikes, as an organization that serves and represents many we have the responsibility to continually lead in a direction towards an inclusive and welcoming network. Road cycling culture has evolved greatly since its inception with more and more voices bringing new perspectives and experiences to the sport. However, there are still voices that remain underrepresented in our community, so we are educating ourselves on the inequalities that exist and taking active steps to create the change we want to see. Those of us who ride are privileged to do so. By acknowledging this privilege and understanding how we as an association can support the inclusion of diversity we will learn and grow together so that everyone feels they have a welcoming space.
The bicycle has always been a vehicle for change and what we do and say while, even if it seems insignificant in the grand scheme of things, has an impact and will change the world. We encourage you to start by having these conversations at home, with people you trust and can lean on. Read through and digest the list of online resources we have provided, engage with us in this conversation online, and get curious about how you can start to shift the culture of road biking and contribute positively to the inclusivity of our community.
As we learn, we may not always say the right thing as we practice our pronouns and learn how to communicate and act in an inclusive way. We will facilitate opportunities and discussion in our community on becoming a more diverse and inclusive one. We will not be able to do this alone and encourage local riding groups, bike shops and businesses to get involved in this conversation knowing we are here to support. We recognize that the goal will be an ever-moving post, but a goal worth striving towards. We invite you to give us feedback and support us on this journey. We invite you to share your experiences, ideas, suggestions and stories as we have this dialogue.
This is a small step that we can take in light of the reality that racism creates inequitable access to cycling. X Elle Cycling will reserve funds to provide a grant to empower BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) individuals by helping reduce the unique barriers many members of those communities face to participate in cycling. These barriers may include finances, equipment, confidence, experience, etc. Grantees will receive support in the form of club fees, workshops, equipment stipends, and/or gear donated by the club outdoor industry partners. For more details, please contact your X Elle Ride Leader Team.
The Sharpest BIPOC Minds in Bike Advocacy
White Cyclists Must do Better: Our Sport Does Not Sit Outside Matters of Race & Inequality (Opinion Piece)
Everyday Racism: Breaking Cycling's Other Glass Ceiling
Meet the Blogger Powering A Cycle Revolution
My Journey to Becoming the First Black Female Pro-Cyclist
15 Influential Black Cyclists You Need to Follow on Instagram Today
Recommended Actions for Allies:
- Being aware of the ways you interact with others. Creating and upholding a positive, anti-oppressive environment is everyone’s job.
- Telling your female, BIPOC, trans, and those identifying as 'women' friends about the club. We welcome you!
- Educating yourself about issues affecting BIPOC, trans folks and women.
- Explaining to other potential allies why it is important to support BIPOC, trans and women exclusive spaces.
- Sharing resources you find relevant on your learning journey.
- Taking us seriously. We have created this space because we feel like we need it.
We'd like to acknowledge these inspiring resources and contributors:
Cyclista_Zine, Lady Velo, Pacific Pine Running Company, NSMBA, Ayesha McGowan.