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  1. #1
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    Increasing Rider Diversity

    We just had the annual meeting of our state mountain bike association which is 5,000 members strong but has very little diversity. Our president has tasked us with welcoming the rest of the world to ride. I am interested in hearing if you have the same issue, how other groups have had success with this, suggestions on strategy, and ideas how this sport can be more inclusive and welcoming in general.

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    I don't know what to suggest, but I think it's a great idea to bring more people into the sport from different backgrounds.

    I applaud your efforts.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

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    Take your club on a road trip to Appalachia and get them some bikes.

  4. #4
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    A quick look at VT census info should give you an idea of what your club can be expected to "look like" based on general population data.

    https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/vt

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    I do wonder why MTB (and it seems like road biking but I don't really follow it that well) is such a white guy's sport.

    There is a lot more diversity in BMX and I have always wondered why that is.
    Niner WFO9, Sunday Soundwave (BMX), 6KU single speed (town/workout bike)

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    95 percent white, it says. Might be a tough task. I always found this line of thinking a little off. If I have a chance to recruit a white male rider, I should not do it? Or try twice as hard if potential rider is ethnic?

    There are pockets of Asian riders here, but only a couple black riders in the local club. All are welcomed with open arms. There's generally an underlying implication that the majority is being exclusive, but it may be more related to cultural attitude toward bikes vs other pursuits.

    At any rate, good luck with your quest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 93EXCivic View Post
    I do wonder why MTB (and it seems like road biking but I don't really follow it that well) is such a white guy's sport.

    There is a lot more diversity in BMX and I have always wondered why that is.
    Thatís because BMX costs little to get into as a kid and is very popular for urban riding. Have you priced mountain bikes at any time frame of their existence? Big dollar rides deter the average to lower income families. Iím sure it will change as more diversity ethnicityís on average are making more money with each passing year.
    Last edited by DIRTJUNKIE; 6 Days Ago at 07:50 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by AllMountin' View Post
    Or try twice as hard if potential rider is ethnic?
    Scenario: A bunch of white guys meet a person of color and invite him maybe a little too enthusiastically to follow them out into the woods...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Increasing Rider Diversity-whatchatalkinabout.jpg  


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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    Thatís because BMX costs little to get into as a kid and is very popular for urban riding. Have you priced mountain bikes at any time frame of their existence? Big dollar rides deter the average to lower income familyís. Iím sure it will change as more diversity ethnicityís on average are making more money with each passing year.
    C'mon, really.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Increasing Rider Diversity-proofread.jpg  

    Last edited by Finch Platte; 5 Days Ago at 04:27 PM.
    What's wrong with him??

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    Thatís because BMX costs little to get into as a kid and is very popular for urban riding. Have you priced mountain bikes at any time frame of their existence? Big dollar rides deter the average to lower income familyís. Iím sure it will change as more diversity ethnicityís on average are making more money with each passing year.
    But it isn't like every one of other person who isn't white is poor or lives in the city.
    Also a good BMX isn't exactly cheap.
    Niner WFO9, Sunday Soundwave (BMX), 6KU single speed (town/workout bike)

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    Scenario: A bunch of white guys meet a person of color and invite him maybe a little too enthusiastically to follow them out into the woods...
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    Quote Originally Posted by vtdavey View Post
    We just had the annual meeting of our state mountain bike association which is 5,000 members strong but has very little diversity. Our president has tasked us with welcoming the rest of the world to ride. I am interested in hearing if you have the same issue, how other groups have had success with this, suggestions on strategy, and ideas how this sport can be more inclusive and welcoming in general.
    What is diversity? Too many XC guys? Not enough DH women racers? Need more singlespeeders? Not eough fat bikes or fat guys on bike? More e-Bikes? Not enough new less experienced riders?

    What is the "rest of the world"?

    Do you feel like the group is not be inclusive to others?


    Look I ride bikes and I am happy to ride bikes with anyone from any different background. But you can't force people to do anything. Some people are into different sports at different levels. Nothing wrong with that. If you looking at race an gender as important you are mistaken. Look at people not their race or gender. Value the content of their character not the color of their skin. Be who you are and welcome those with similar passions. End of story.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    Thatís because BMX costs little to get into as a kid and is very popular for urban riding. Have you priced mountain bikes at any time frame of their existence? Big dollar rides deter the average to lower income familyís. Iím sure it will change as more diversity ethnicityís on average are making more money with each passing year.
    While I don't think this is exactly it, I think it might have something to do with it. I rarely see anyone other than white guys and asians when cycling or RVing. Being in socal there are plenty of latino riders here, but black guys on bikes are as rare as hens teeth. I'm leaning towards it simply being a cultural thing. I remember seeing a study that found that most people who enjoyed outdoor activities as adults were introduced to the outdoors as kids. If you have a group of people who generally aren't taking their kids hiking, camping, fishing, etc, then it stands to reason those kids won't grow up with an interest in such things. Unfortunately that includes MTBing.
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    Same thing across most outdoorsy activities.

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    The diversity stretches further than you think. We need more "diversity" in the NBA, MLB and NFL. They're holding a meeting to figure out how to get more Caucasians involved.

    Just let it go.
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    Answer these two questions first:

    Why does anyone get involved in mtb?
    Why does anyone choose NOT to get involved in mtb?

    Then recognize that your regional mtb club is just a subset of mtb riders. Why does any mtb rider choose to join the club? Why do they choose NOT to join?

    If you want to start improving representation among underrepresented groups in your org, you're going to have to figure out why those people specifically aren't/don't want to be involved.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Finch Platte View Post
    C'mon, really.

    Increasing Rider Diversity-proofread.jpg
    Uh yea - really. MTB shit is ridiculously expensive, whereas less than a hundred easily buys a cheap old used BMW.

    Thanks for the casual racism!

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    Not surprised, this is a very white sport for many reasons.

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    "Thanks for the casual racism!"

    Yeah, bad choice for a meme. Apologies.
    What's wrong with him??

  20. #20
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    i consider myself pretty smart, yet encounter plenty of morons on the trail. seems diverse enough to me...


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    I believe in natural forces. People who like riding bikes will be there. That's who you want there. You can't drag more vegans to a farmer's market just because you want diversity, just because diversity's fashionable this season... There's an increasing amount of people needing to get with the program instead of trying to design and force politically appeasing models, imo.

    Do you want to go and play in a steel band because they're calling for more white people? Do you want to go and do belly dancing because they're asking for more men?

    I'd rather join a group because they're looking for like-minded people, not because i fill their agenda.

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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    What is diversity? Too many XC guys? Not enough DH women racers? Need more singlespeeders? Not eough fat bikes or fat guys on bike? More e-Bikes? Not enough new less experienced riders?

    What is the "rest of the world"?
    Pretty hard to virtue signal if you help someone who needs it, but looks like you.

  24. #24
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    Too many 'don't bother' or 'it is what it is' attitudes in here!

    There's no doubt that trying to diversify your state MTB association with new adult members is going to be a tall order- I think that most people who join an association are quite vested in the hobby. And getting involved can be intimidating- lots of people with more skill, expensive bikes, and more knowledge (and vocabulary) doesn't always encourage people with a potential interest in the sport to get involved.

    So, in the spirit of taking my own advice and making an actual suggestion, I can think of 2 starting points to widening your audience and encouraging a more diverse audience.

    1. Most importantly, IMO, is putting together a youth program that does outreach in areas that don't currently have high MTB interest. And depending on the size/resources of the association, remove some of the financial boundary, e.g. partnering with local shops to get a small loaner fleet and helmets. Put on some "Ride & Eat" type of events with easy group rides followed by a BBQ or something similar. I think that engaging early is the best way to build a base of long-term interest that can be fostered into eventual participation in a large MTB association.

    2. Similar to the youth program, put together some kind of first time rider outreach for adults as well. Think about barriers to participation- bike, safety gear, lack of knowledge about equipment or trails (or even vocabulary to discuss the sport), etc. and how you can remove those. Again, that could be a loaner fleet, events in new areas focused more on discussion/education, etc. Think along the lines of a pizza night at a community center where you put together a 'best of' reel of awesome YouTube videos of riding in iconic locations.

    I think the formula is reach out in areas with low MTB penetration + remove barriers + stoke interest/passion without talking 'above' your audience + offer food (ha).

    I don't think that one group/race/ethnicity has a greater propensity to be interested in MTB, and offering the opportunity to explore that first seed of interest could be the way for your association to not only diversify, but grow significantly.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by DETarch View Post
    Too many 'don't bother' or 'it is what it is' attitudes in here!

    There's no doubt that trying to diversify your state MTB association with new adult members is going to be a tall order- I think that most people who join an association are quite vested in the hobby. And getting involved can be intimidating- lots of people with more skill, expensive bikes, and more knowledge (and vocabulary) doesn't always encourage people with a potential interest in the sport to get involved.

    So, in the spirit of taking my own advice and making an actual suggestion, I can think of 2 starting points to widening your audience and encouraging a more diverse audience.

    1. Most importantly, IMO, is putting together a youth program that does outreach in areas that don't currently have high MTB interest. And depending on the size/resources of the association, remove some of the financial boundary, e.g. partnering with local shops to get a small loaner fleet and helmets. Put on some "Ride & Eat" type of events with easy group rides followed by a BBQ or something similar. I think that engaging early is the best way to build a base of long-term interest that can be fostered into eventual participation in a large MTB association.

    2. Similar to the youth program, put together some kind of first time rider outreach for adults as well. Think about barriers to participation- bike, safety gear, lack of knowledge about equipment or trails (or even vocabulary to discuss the sport), etc. and how you can remove those. Again, that could be a loaner fleet, events in new areas focused more on discussion/education, etc. Think along the lines of a pizza night at a community center where you put together a 'best of' reel of awesome YouTube videos of riding in iconic locations.

    I think the formula is reach out in areas with low MTB penetration + remove barriers + stoke interest/passion without talking 'above' your audience + offer food (ha).

    I don't think that one group/race/ethnicity has a greater propensity to be interested in MTB, and offering the opportunity to explore that first seed of interest could be the way for your association to not only diversify, but grow significantly.
    While I don't agree with everything in your post, it would be pretty relevant if the OP was from an area that had diversity to begin with....say in LA, Chicago or even Charlotte or Richmond. However, he's in Vermont with is 95% white to begin with. To meet their stated goals, they're going to have to find somebody interested in riding, get them out on a bike and then convince them to join the club...just for the purpose of obtaining a tiny sliver of diversity. Unless their club goes out of it's way to dissuade minorities from joining, they have no real reasons to worry about this issue.
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by k2rider1964 View Post
    While I don't agree with everything in your post, it would be pretty relevant if the OP was from an area that had diversity to begin with....say in LA, Chicago or even Charlotte or Richmond. However, he's in Vermont with is 95% white to begin with.
    Good point, and something I wasnít initially thinking about in my suggestions.

    The tactics I suggested could be used to encourage other types of diversity too though- gender or financial diversity, for example.

    Itís a topic that deserves brainstorming and discourse! More butts on bikes!



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    Quote Originally Posted by scatterbrained View Post
    While I don't think this is exactly it, I think it might have something to do with it. I rarely see anyone other than white guys and asians when cycling or RVing. Being in socal there are plenty of latino riders here, but black guys on bikes are as rare as hens teeth. I'm leaning towards it simply being a cultural thing. I remember seeing a study that found that most people who enjoyed outdoor activities as adults were introduced to the outdoors as kids. If you have a group of people who generally aren't taking their kids hiking, camping, fishing, etc, then it stands to reason those kids won't grow up with an interest in such things. Unfortunately that includes MTBing.
    I think this pretty much sums it up.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  28. #28
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    As if more people on already overcrowded trails is a good thing. Besides, they'll all be e-motorbike riders anyway.
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    Have beginner rides, family rides, and womanís rides. They will invite more people to try it and get interested. I have to drive 2 hours to go in a womanís ride where I live.

    Maybe have bike maintenance clinics so they will be able to do more their self and lower costs.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    Scenario: A bunch of white guys meet a person of color and invite him maybe a little too enthusiastically to follow them out into the woods...
    Ha. Rep'd.
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  31. #31
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    I think there is a HUGE HUGE difference between not being diverse, and being exclusionary.

    I have never felt mountain biking to be exclusionary, or road biking for that matter. The area I live in is extremely diverse, so mountain biking in this area isn't just a bunch of white guys. I don't feel we have racial barriers, just economic. This sport is expensive, but in this area racial minorities from all over the world are present and affluent.

    I'm half Peruvian, one riding buddy is Mexican and the other 2 are Filipino. Maybe we need to put some effort into getting a white guy to ride with us

    I would have a big problem with being part of something that is exclusionary based on race or gender, but come on... we're not.

    I understand that in the rest of the country this sport is much less diverse than it is here. That too will change, as the country is changes.

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    I live in San Diego and we have plenty of diversity on the trails I ride. There doesn't seem to be
    an issue here.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by One Pivot View Post
    I'm half Peruvian
    One of my favorite foods!

    Sorry carry on, South America representing.
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    Interesting... I just got into MTB back in February and am dark as night. Also random, I met another black dude out on the trails recently with the same rare first name as me (Preston). We exist... I'm out riding by myself or with anyone else that I can find to ride with every weekend.


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    Good to hear PJJ or Preston. Welcome aboard to an amazing sport.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

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    Vegas seems to be about 70% white on the trails and road. Our BMX track, close to the same percentage, maybe closer to 50%.

    Things are changing, times are changing. Ski slopes, everything and becoming more and more diverse, it just takes time.

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    I have been thinking about this strategy.... if we were all to go through our bike collections and do a N-1 - we could give away a lot of bikes!

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by redwarrior View Post
    A quick look at VT census info should give you an idea of what your club can be expected to "look like" based on general population data.

    https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/vt
    We are aware of the recent SNL spoof on Vermont! It is not just about local chapter members but also who is riding the trails. Kingdom Trails gets plenty of Canadian riders - so we do have that diversity going for us! But what about other places?

    Vermont is 2.5 hours from Boston, 4 hours from NYC and 1.5 hours from both Hartford CT and Montreal QC.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by 93EXCivic View Post
    I do wonder why MTB (and it seems like road biking but I don't really follow it that well) is such a white guy's sport.

    There is a lot more diversity in BMX and I have always wondered why that is.
    Interesting - I do know a lot of mt bikers who have come from BMX - this might be a good place to look.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Speireag View Post
    Uh yea - really. MTB shit is ridiculously expensive, whereas less than a hundred easily buys a cheap old used BMW.
    But a sub $100 used BMX is going to be a piece of shit.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finch Platte View Post
    "Thanks for the casual racism!"

    Yeah, bad choice for a meme. Apologies.
    Ok - this is an example of the work we have to do... apology accepted...but can you remove the post?

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    Quote Originally Posted by scatterbrained View Post
    While I don't think this is exactly it, I think it might have something to do with it. I rarely see anyone other than white guys and asians when cycling or RVing. Being in socal there are plenty of latino riders here, but black guys on bikes are as rare as hens teeth. I'm leaning towards it simply being a cultural thing. I remember seeing a study that found that most people who enjoyed outdoor activities as adults were introduced to the outdoors as kids. If you have a group of people who generally aren't taking their kids hiking, camping, fishing, etc, then it stands to reason those kids won't grow up with an interest in such things. Unfortunately that includes MTBing.
    Great first hand observation - but what is contributing to this "cultural thing"? We should be careful not to shift the cause of the problem completely from our own doing.

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    What is the reward for more diversity? A better non-profit status? A tax break?

    While I'm all for welcoming anyone to a club or association there has to be a line to where it becomes almost forceful to get more diversity. People should either join because they really want to or they don't. It shouldn't be a like city governmental department seeking diversity for the sake of lawmakers.

    Are ya'll seeking diversity on the basis of race or are ya'll also wanting people of the LGBT community as well? There are many different forms of it.
    Will swerve for leaves.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leafkiller View Post
    What is the reward for more diversity? A better non-profit status? A tax break?

    While I'm all for welcoming anyone to a club or association there has to be a line to where it becomes almost forceful to get more diversity. People should either join because they really want to or they don't. It shouldn't be a like city governmental department seeking diversity for the sake of lawmakers.

    Are ya'll seeking diversity on the basis of race or are ya'll also wanting people of the LGBT community as well? There are many different forms of it.
    I was sort of thinking of this concept as well....I call it "forced diversity". The idea that diversity is created inorganically...to me, this will never allow for true diversity, and genuine interest in an activity/event/lifestyle...whatever.

    I feel like for the past 40+ years, there has been a lot of this forced diversity happening, and I don't feel like ot truly works. In fact, here whereI live, I think we have great example of it not working in the form of bussing/"desegregation" of our schools in the 70's. Without going into details - for now - due to time and space constraint, lets just say that bussing disrupted a LOT of strong communities, and forced people into very uncomfortable situations that created issues that actually weakened and got in the way of a clear path to diversity.

    It can be a tricky thing to deal with if done in the wrong way
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    Quote Originally Posted by PJJ205 View Post
    Interesting... I just got into MTB back in February and am dark as night. Also random, I met another black dude out on the trails recently with the same rare first name as me (Preston). We exist... I'm out riding by myself or with anyone else that I can find to ride with every weekend.

    Clearly the answer is in naming conventions. If more minority families named their kids Preston, they'd have more mountain bikers.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leafkiller View Post
    What is the reward for more diversity?
    I dunno how OP's board framed the discussion, but when the org I was involved in was discussing it, it was to sustain the organization in the long-term (and grow the membership, revenue, and political clout). Our org was heavily skewed towards white, straight men over 40. There were a few women in the organization (who were in a similar age demographic, but were at least represented on the board), few kids/young families, and few people of other races. The club probably had better lgbt diversity than in other areas, at least, but it was an organic thing. People joined and got involved because they love riding mtb's and wanted to get involved.

    Without new blood/younger bodies, it can be difficult for nonprofits to survive. My point above about trying to figure out why people don't get involved with the organization is important to consider, though. The low-hanging fruit are the people who ride, but aren't club members. Why aren't they joining/donating to your group?

    It's harder to get people involved who don't already ride. And realistically, you'll be able to get a few adults to start riding AND join your club, but kids and families are really where it's at if you want to grow the club. Get a kid interested in mtb, and there's a good chance you'll get at least one parent, too.

    This means youth/family-friendly programming and events. When you're talking about targeting kids, there's LOTS of ways of doing that. And one org isn't going to be able to hit them all. I know of lots of different orgs that work to get kids on bikes in different ways. If your org doesn't have the time/money/manpower to do those things itself, it should at least be working with groups that DO target kids. It should also be working with other bike orgs in the area, because there's a lot of cross-participation once someone starts riding any sort of bike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    Look I ride bikes and I am happy to ride bikes with anyone from any different background. But you can't force people to do anything. Some people are into different sports at different levels. Nothing wrong with that. If you looking at race an gender as important you are mistaken. Look at people not their race or gender. Value the content of their character not the color of their skin. Be who you are and welcome those with similar passions. End of story.
    Eh, I think any group that is not representative of the population they draw from should be looking at why they aren't. How strongly they pursue closing those gaps can be debated, but I don't think it hurts to consider it and make sure you're not causing it with implicit bias towards certain groups.

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeyMK View Post
    I believe in natural forces. People who like riding bikes will be there. That's who you want there. You can't drag more vegans to a farmer's market just because you want diversity, just because diversity's fashionable this season... There's an increasing amount of people needing to get with the program instead of trying to design and force politically appeasing models, imo.


    Do you want to go and play in a steel band because they're calling for more white people? Do you want to go and do belly dancing because they're asking for more men?


    I'd rather join a group because they're looking for like-minded people, not because i fill their agenda.

    The point, in my opinion isn't to draw more people from diverse backgrounds, it's to make sure you aren't implicitly causing the lack of diversity yourself. It's a good thing to consider as mountain bikers because the more people we get into the sport the better off we are... So if we are unknowingly making ourselves unappealing to whole segments of the population we need to work on that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vtdavey View Post
    Great first hand observation - but what is contributing to this "cultural thing"? We should be careful not to shift the cause of the problem completely from our own doing.
    Are we talking about economic diversity? It's an expensive sport.
    Stick around if you're housebroken...

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    Quote Originally Posted by PJJ205 View Post
    Interesting... I just got into MTB back in February and am dark as night. Also random, I met another black dude out on the trails recently with the same rare first name as me (Preston). We exist... I'm out riding by myself or with anyone else that I can find to ride with every weekend.

    Since racial diversity is really what this thread is about, what is your take on the OP's statements?
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  50. #50
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    Just shy of 57, I have spent a lifetime of 'not judging by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character'. So now we're right back to being concerned about someone's race or gender and whether or not they mountain bike?

    Why can't we simply welcome those with open arms those that do choose to embrace the lifestyle rather than hunt them down and attempt to entice them as though they are a commodity or is that truly what this is? Another untapped group that the bike industry must tap to increase their market? Are we just moving up the chain from the big "crisis" the industry has recently identified in that there aren't enough women participating?

    Live and let live. If someone has an interest in mountain biking, mountain biking isn't going anywhere. Neither is Crossfit, or Nautilus, or Rowing, or Trail Running, or Quilting, or Cross-stitch. If someone has an interest, they'll pursue it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leafkiller View Post
    1. What is the reward for more diversity? A better non-profit status? A tax break?

    2. Are ya'll seeking diversity on the basis of race or are ya'll also wanting people of the LGBT community as well? There are many different forms of it.
    1. More people on bikes. (I don't think I need to go on and explain why this is good.)

    2. The goal, in my mind, would be to have a MTB community nationwide that is nearly identical in make-up to the country itself. That would show that we are appealing to all walks of life equally... It's just good marketing.

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    I think NICA is one answer. One thing I'd like to see change with NICA (borrowed from the guys on the Path podcast) is a standardized spec for NICA bikes. This would allow the playing field to be leveled where you don't have people on Trek Marlins competing against someone else on a carbon Epic. It would also allow schools purchasing power when they purchase a fleet. This would then provide some equity to who can access the sport, as participation would mainly be enrollment in a school with a NICA program.

    I also think more DJ parks with flow trails in urban areas is a good entry point to the sport. We have a local bike park with DJs and some small progressive flow trails. You see neighborhood kids (mostly Hispanic) there on beat up BMX bikes from a pawn shop, riding right alongside dudes on 5k FS bikes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oh My Sack! View Post
    Just shy of 57, I have spent a lifetime of 'not judging by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character'. So now we're right back to being concerned about someone's race or gender and whether or not they mountain bike?

    Why can't we simply welcome those with open arms those that do choose to embrace the lifestyle rather than hunt them down and attempt to entice them as though they are a commodity or is that truly what this is? Another untapped group that the bike industry must tap to increase their market? Are we just moving up the chain from the big "crisis" the industry has recently identified in that there aren't enough women participating?

    Live and let live. If someone has an interest in mountain biking, mountain biking isn't going anywhere. Neither is Crossfit, or Nautilus, or Rowing, or Trail Running, or Quilting, or Cross-stitch. If someone has an interest, they'll pursue it.
    Again, the question to me is 'are we causing the discrepancy implicitly.' Is there something about mountain bike culture that is unappealing to certain groups? Then we can ask 'is it something we can control?' Maybe it isn't, in which case your post applies... But we won't know until we explore it with an open mind, which it sounds like the OP's club is trying to do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hogfly View Post
    I think NICA is one answer. One thing I'd like to see change with NICA (borrowed from the guys on the Path podcast) is a standardized spec for NICA bikes. This would allow the playing field to be leveled where you don't have people on Trek Marlins competing against someone else on a carbon Epic. It would also allow schools purchasing power when they purchase a fleet. This would then provide some equity to who can access the sport, as participation would mainly be enrollment in a school with a NICA program.

    I also think more DJ parks with flow trails in urban areas is a good entry point to the sport. We have a local bike park with DJs and some small progressive flow trails. You see neighborhood kids (mostly Hispanic) there on beat up BMX bikes from a pawn shop, riding right alongside dudes on 5k FS bikes.
    I dunno if you help out with a NICA team, but none of this is feasible for the one I help with.

    For one, the "team" is a composite one, with kids from schools all over the county. No school controls anything, puts any sort of money into the program, or really gets involved in any way. The guy who leads it is a high school teacher, and that's about the only involvement from that side. The organization basically operates as its own nonprofit (though it does not yet have 501(c)3 status) and has to seek its own sponsors.

    There's another team nearby that draws from a single school, but as I understand it, the school itself still doesn't provide much of anything.

    MAYBE one day, the organization will grow enough that it can have some "fleet" bikes, and/or provide some financial assistance to help kids participate who don't have the finances. But I think "standardizing" the bikes too much will wind up being a barrier to entry.

    And yes, more urban parks will give more people the ability to access the sport.

  55. #55
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    I rode BMX for many years. The best complete bikes you can buy cost less than most "entry level" hardtails. You'd have to go out of your way to buy domestic-produced, niche products to built a street/ park BMX bike for over $1500.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 93EXCivic View Post
    But a sub $100 used BMX is going to be a piece of shit.
    My last BMX bike was a Premium chromoly frame and fork, Profile cranks, nice sealed bearings 36 spoke wheels, etc. I sold it for $150, which is the going rate for a used bike that would have been less than $800 new.

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    Don't worry about attracting others. If they want to join, the will join on their own accord. Just don't exclude.

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    The Major Taylor project does a great job (link below), I know a few guys who are very involved, and I've helped at a couple of events. Late last spring I found a xxxl mongoose road bike (early sti ultegra, bonded carbon, -good old bike) at a pawn shop for super cheap, cleaned it up and felt like I should donate it, so I gave it to Major Taylor. That same day (it might have been the day before), their 6'7" kid broke his frame, and it was not long before their biggest/longest event, - quite a coincidence.
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  59. #59
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    as I have more time to think about it, I go/went through this issue with hockey as well. As I was playing growing up, and with my step kids doing it.

    ** and I will precede this by saying that these are just my personal experiences. I am not trying to make a blanket case here***

    I do think the issue of economics is a very valid- and NOT racist - point. As many have mentioned, the initial costs of starting Hockey/MTB are pretty big for the average MIDDLE CLASS family. This is not racist...it is a fact. I don't disagree that systematic racism plays into keeping people in a certain class, but that is another argument.

    Neither activity is something you can just pick up in the yard and do at it's fullest potential. Sure, kids can play street hockey, or ride BMX bikes or whatever they have in the woods. But neither one of those is really doing hockey and/or MTB...

    I know - because of talking to parents who had kids try to start hockey, or continue with it - that the cost was the biggest inhibitor...NOT the racial make up of the teams/leagues. Thee were children of many races in the leagues, but their parents were better off financially, which broke down the barrier. Not once did I ever hear a coach say : we don't want that kid, he is black; or LAtino; or whatever.

    I also know that this might not be the case in other areas...I can't speak for every grassroots hockey organization.

    I can also see the same thing happening in MTB...where the initial cost of getting into the sport can be a barrier...it actually is a barrier for me, and has sort of "honed" how I perceive and participate in the sport. I am a paycheck to paycheck guy. Not ashamed. I love what I do for a living and would not change that. Money does not define happiness for me.

    I also think COMMUNITY is a HUGE influence on peoples choice of activities. If you don't grow up immersed and surrounded by certain activities, they are not on your radar screen. If all the kids in your neighborhood are playing hoops, you play hoops. If they are all riding BMX in the woods, you do the same. For me, the working class neighborhood I grew up in had 4 main things kids did: football, riding bikes, basketball, and going to the pool. We did not know about surfing, rowing, motocross etc, so we did not participate in those activities...

    like many others have said...if you force things to happen, they usually won't "take". I am sure that Preston was not forced into MTB b/c of his skin color. He probably saw it, thought it was cool and did it...and it took.
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    probably because i live in los angeles which itself is very diverse, but i am white and most of my riding buddies are not...


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    Quote Originally Posted by sXeXBMXer View Post
    hockey
    I desperately wanted to play hockey as a kid. Went into the ice rink's shop to buy equipment before the season sometime around middle school... Walked right back out empty-handed. As if the equipment wasn't bad enough, the ice fees (or whatever they called them) were horrendous. I wasn't poor by any means, but it just didn't make sense for something I wasn't even sure I'd like.

    At least with MTB you can take your hybrid to the mellow trails in town to get a feel for it, though that feel won't be 'the real deal.'

  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDwayyo View Post
    I desperately wanted to play hockey as a kid. Went into the ice rink's shop to buy equipment before the season sometime around middle school... Walked right back out empty-handed. As if the equipment wasn't bad enough, the ice fees (or whatever they called them) were horrendous. I wasn't poor by any means, but it just didn't make sense for something I wasn't even sure I'd like.

    At least with MTB you can take your hybrid to the mellow trails in town to get a feel for it, though that feel won't be 'the real deal.'
    yeah...the fees for ice time are the biggest part of the bill...I think it was roughly $2500 per kid for our kids to play...and that was NOT counting equipment, getting them to games/prax etc...that was just to put your name on the list. "Real dad" was paying 70% of that as per the divorce settlement, but still...
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    I too loved playing hockey but damn those prices were high.
    Will swerve for leaves.

  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leafkiller View Post
    I too loved playing hockey but damn those prices were high.
    adult league is where it is at!! I pay $250 for a 15 week season...14 games and 18 if you make it all the way to finals
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    Quote Originally Posted by sXeXBMXer View Post
    adult league is where it is at!! I pay $250 for a 15 week season...14 games and 18 if you make it all the way to finals
    I can't remember what I paid for the adult league I played in. Granted that was back in 1998 or so. Plus I played goalie and the leg pads were about $800 back then.
    Will swerve for leaves.

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    The reality is mountain bike trails are usually not located in urban areas. They are located in suburbs or rural areas where the population has a higher percentage of white people. In general more minorities live in urban areas where trails are not as easily accessible. That is why you see more minorities riding bmx (flatland) bikes, because you can do that type of riding in the city. If you want more diversity you need to get more minorities to move to the suburbs, or build trails in urban areas.
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  67. #67
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    SILENCE!
    Stupid discussion that can and has [Iím sure] hurt some feelings.

    tjsmith above made some sense. But really, is this something we need to discuss?
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    SILENCE!
    Stupid discussion that can and has [Iím sure] hurt some feelings.

    tjsmith above made some sense. But really, is this something we need to discuss?
    It's always good to discuss things as long as all parties remain civil which I think this thread has done so. I've seen plenty of other threads that did not remain civil and in the end it was mostly insults thrown back and forth until it was shut down.

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  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leafkiller View Post
    It's always good to discuss things as long as all parties remain civil which I think this thread has done so. I've seen plenty of other threads that did not remain civil and in the end it was mostly insults thrown back and forth until it was shut down.

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    I guess you have the ability to dive into peopleís heads to see how they feel. I have yet to get that down. All I know is that a topic like this is so borderline on the edge of the rules I can only imagine [no bet] that there are some not speaking up out of reasons of their own. Race is a huge topic outside of a mountain bike site. Take it out there, if thatís what makes you happy. I see no color and treat everyone as equal, always have. Itís the person not the ethnicity. Many sports have more of a different ethinticity than does mtb. Are we here to put the numbers down and figure out the why? I say no. Get back to normal mtb discussions please.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  70. #70
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    LOL. this guy^^^.... shut it down, I don't want to talk about it.

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    Looking at my group text (in SoCal):
    4 white
    3 Asian (One Japanese, two Vietnamese)
    2 Hispanic (one Mexican, one south American)
    1 black

    Seems diverse to me. Oh, and LOTS of ethnic shit talking (I have been assigned as an "Honorary Kamikaze")!

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by vtdavey View Post
    Ok - this is an example of the work we have to do... apology accepted...but can you remove the post?
    Nope. And someone answered with the meme in the post, so...
    What's wrong with him??

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    ... Get back to normal mtb discussions please.
    says the guy who incessantly babbles about the most random non-biking related topics...


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    lol. I could just imagine asking my buddy to join a mountain bike group because they were looking for more diversity....not just more riders or good people, but they need some diversity. He probably tell them to take their white guilt and shove it.

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by .WestCoastHucker. View Post
    says the guy who incessantly babbles about the most random non-biking related topics...
    Iím the guy. Thereís more to life than biking. The beauty of this site is sharing life experiences no matter what the topic, within rules. Thatís why I hang mainly in the off topic forum veering out when I need my bike fix. Got it? Mr. Grumpy.

    This topic does not fit on this site. Look at the rules. It borders on racism.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    This topic does not fit on this site. Look at the rules. It borders on racism.
    I beg to differ. Diversity in outdoor recreation is an issue that is being thought about and grappled with across the outdoor industry.

    In an increasingly diverse society, an increasingly diverse group of advocates is needed to ensure protection of public lands and trails.

    What that looks like on the ground is going to differ from place to place.

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  77. #77
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    The reason why this hasn't been shut down, is because the OP is a positive thing.

    It all depends what you are exposed to. 5 years ago, I would have never thought of cycling, but the guys that got me into aren't white. Group rides are total mix, but that's life in SoCal.
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  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    Iím the guy. Thereís more to life than biking. The beauty of this site is sharing life experiences no matter what the topic, within rules. Thatís why I hang mainly in the off topic forum veering out when I need my bike fix. Got it? Mr. Grumpy.

    This topic does not fit on this site. Look at the rules. It borders on racism.




    Just how is promoting inclusion racism?
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    Quote Originally Posted by life behind bars View Post
    Just how is promoting inclusion racism?
    Just saying the thread borders racism and could be construed as such to some. I didnít say it was. It wouldnít be the first time that something that wasnít racism was construed as such to some.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    Just saying the thread borders racism and could be construed as such to some. I didnít say it was. It wouldnít be the first time that something that wasnít racism was construed as such to some.


    Some people will find fault in any and everything, you or I can't control that. I say let this thread run, it's been civil so far.
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    Quote Originally Posted by life behind bars View Post
    Some people will find fault in any and everything, you or I can't control that. I say let this thread run, it's been civil so far.
    Iím with ya. Iíll shut my trap now.
    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  82. #82
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    Many people do not venture far from home. My wife taught school when we lived in Salinas, CA. She was shocked how many middle schoolers had never been to the ocean...7 miles away. People travel from around the world to go to the Monterey Peninsula and there are kids that live a few miles away that never go.

    We now live outside Milwaukee. I was given a ride home from an auto dealer by a mid 20's gentleman that grew up in the city. tt was about a 20 mile drive to my house. As he entered our subdivision he was amazed to fine 1+ acre lots with no fences. He said "how do you know where to stop and start mowing your lawn?"

    I know there are choice and charter schools in the city that have camps up north that students can go to. There they get exposure to the "outdoors".

    I also know of a group of cyclists that collect mountain bikes to give to city schools so that they can form MTB teams. That can work in Milwaukee as you can get to trails in 30 minutes.

    As for diversity , I am a cross between a Polack and a Hillbilly

  83. #83
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    "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink" applies here. Some people are outdoorsy some are not regardless of race, gender, sexual pref, religion, whatevers. OP, probably concentrate efforts on people that already like to bike or be outside would be the best.
    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    some weird crazed desert dweller.

  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by EugeneTheJeep View Post
    "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink" applies here. Some people are outdoorsy some are not regardless of race, gender, sexual pref, religion, whatevers. OP, probably concentrate efforts on people that already like to bike or be outside would be the best.
    Perhaps the low hanging fruit would be to invite...gasp...roadies, but it does not seem this thread was started to grow the sport but rather to add diversity for diversity sake.

    I just don't give two schitts what one's ethnic or racial background is and find it sad that society feels compelled to keep score.

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    If only non whites could break through the glass ceiling and ride on the whites-only trails we could truly move forward as a society.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueCheesehead View Post
    roadies, .
    Oh hell no! J/K
    Quote Originally Posted by DIRTJUNKIE View Post
    some weird crazed desert dweller.

  87. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by the-one1 View Post
    Don't worry about attracting others. If they want to join, the will join on their own accord. Just don't exclude.
    This. I grew up in the 80's in Southern California and had friends on my street of every color. Everybody skated, except our black friends. They weren't interested. They did ride BMX and we all prowled the streets together.

    Currently, at work, two miles from where I grew up, my black coworker friends tease me when I tell them I camped at Joshua Tree over the weekend telling me "Only white people go out and pretend they're homeless." We work in the orthopedic OR and these guys can buy any bike they wanted, if they were interested. They get their fitness through other outlets.
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    Wow at the claims that this is racist and should be removed from the board.

    If anyone listens to MBR, theyíre now carrying the Front Line MTB podcast. One of the explicit goals of that podcast is to increase diversity in the sport and that was covered pretty heavily in the introductory episode.

    This is a pretty timely topic that a lot of people, who are interested in trail advocacy and such, are also interested in.

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    "Increasing diversity" is corporate speak for "accessing other markets". If you believe the motivation for getting everyone involved in MTB activities is to increase diversity then you don't understand business.

    Anybody who has a financial stake in MTB related activities will take the politically correct stance of increasing diversity as their mission when the reality is all they want to do is grow their revenue.

    I don't care what color you are or what kind of bike you ride and I don't understand this "inclusion for everyone" propaganda. If you want to do it and have the means, then do it. If you don't want to do it or don't have the means then do something else.

    Since when does everything have to be accessible to everybody?
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  90. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    "Increasing diversity" is corporate speak for "accessing other markets". If you believe the motivation for getting everyone involved in MTB activities is to increase diversity then you don't understand business.
    Sure, but we as riders have an added incentive to grow our voice when it comes to advocacy. If the numbers of MTBers in my town doubled tomorrow it would absolutely change the conversations we have with land managers.

    But really that and the revenue aspect are cynical ways of seeing it... I love to ride and riding has changed my life for the better, so I think getting more people to ride is good just for its own sake. That's a fairly narrow viewpoint I'll accept, since it assumes riding will be for others what it is for me, but I think it's still valid.

    The more people (of all walks of life) we have encouraging others to get out and recreate in some way, particularly outdoors, the better off we all will be IMO.

    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    Since when does everything have to be accessible to everybody?
    Hmmm. I know you mean mountain biking (or hobbies in general) as that's what we are discussing, but since you state is so broadly it could be taken to mean lots of things... The heart of that statement is that even if broad segments of our population are denied access to things, solely because of their membership in that group, that's OK? Sheesh, I hope you don't really feel that way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDwayyo View Post
    Sure, but we as riders have an added incentive to grow our voice when it comes to advocacy. If the numbers of MTBers in my town doubled tomorrow it would absolutely change the conversations we have with land managers.

    But really that and the revenue aspect are cynical ways of seeing it... I love to ride and riding has changed my life for the better, so I think getting more people to ride is good just for its own sake. That's a fairly narrow viewpoint I'll accept, since it assumes riding will be for others what it is for me, but I think it's still valid.

    The more people (of all walks of life) we have encouraging others to get out and recreate in some way, particularly outdoors, the better off we all will be IMO.


    Hmmm. I know you mean mountain biking (or hobbies in general) as that's what we are discussing, but since you state is so broadly it could be taken to mean lots of things... The heart of that statement is that even if broad segments of our population are denied access to things, solely because of their membership in that group, that's OK? Sheesh, I hope you don't really feel that way.
    You sound like a power seeking, mental health evangelist who can tell people of a better way for them to live. A lot like joining a cult.

    Who said anything about people being denied access to anything?

    You want diversity? Make yours a program of attraction not promotion. You can't recruit diversity.
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  92. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    Since when does everything have to be accessible to everybody?
    Around here, there aren't any restrictions on who can buy a mountain bike, or who can ride the many miles of trails. All are welcome with open arms...nobody is excluded. But do we need to go out and specifically recruit races, nationalities, genders, or sexual orientations? Of course not. It's enough simply to let everyone know that all are welcome

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Kuhl View Post
    I live in San Diego and we have plenty of diversity on the trails I ride. There doesn't seem to be
    an issue here.
    True but we have a very diverse population as well.....unlike Vermont.
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  94. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    1. You sound like a power seeking, mental health evangelist who can tell people of a better way for them to live. A lot like joining a cult.

    2. Who said anything about people being denied access to anything?

    3. You want diversity? Make yours a program of attraction not promotion. You can't recruit diversity.
    1. Nah, I just think that what makes me happy might make others happy so it makes me happy to share my happiness. Happy happy. (That does sound like a cult... But so does every group when discussing how to bring in new members.)

    2. If something isn't accessible then that means access is being denied, or at the least restricted. Pretty simple really.

    3. That's exactly my point; how can we ensure that when we are creating a 'program of attraction' for all people, not just for those like ourselves.

    You are clearly one of the people that hears the word 'diversity' and gets angry thinking it is in some way taking something away from you. Have fun with that, your world is shrinking and you'll either adapt or get left behind.

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    I get pretty dark with a good sun tan, I could come out there and ride after next summer if that would help.
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    Quote Originally Posted by hogfly View Post
    Wow at the claims that this is racist and should be removed from the board.
    I read through this thread and do not see anyone being racist, seems like a very positive discussion so far. Keep it positive and the thread will stay open. If anyone sees a particular post that is off-base please report that post so a moderator will be notified.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cuyuna View Post
    Around here, there aren't any restrictions on who can buy a mountain bike, or who can ride the many miles of trails. All are welcome with open arms...nobody is excluded. But do we need to go out and specifically recruit races, nationalities, genders, or sexual orientations? Of course not. It's enough simply to let everyone know that all are welcome
    For sure... But biases are more often implicit than explicit, so if we don't actively seek to avoid excluding people we may be unknowingly doing so.

    For instance, look at Pinkbike. Females are welcome there in theory, but if you read the comments (I haven't bothered with the forums) on any article you'll quickly realize why they have a hard time getting females interested in hanging out there.

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    I am absolutely guilty of this myself, however maybe this thread would be more productive if we focus on the OP's actual question; how to help his club be more diverse, as opposed to debating the merits of it.

    I think beginner rides with a heavy social component help a lot. Maybe even a series that includes 'what bike' and 'basic bike maintenance' nights at a local shop from time to time.

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    I am tired of my access to super cars and mansions being denied!

  100. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by karthur View Post
    I am tired of my access to super cars and mansions being denied!
    ... And I'm tired of my access to reasonable discourse free from hyperbole and straw men being denied!

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