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  1. #1
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    Mountain Biking Needs To Blow Up in the Hood

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

    Hey guys- anybody want to comment on this subject? here's a good place !
    Take care,
    zarr
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    I don't expect to get very many ,if not ANY replies in this thread guys. I guess you guys don't know of a solution either. But do me a favor. If you get to know any good people from the African American community or wherever, enlighten about our sport.
    The only question I have is...Why me??? I was somehow led into this by a series of mysterious events.( Magazines etc.)
    57 years old African American Mountain Biker?
    Well...whatever.
    I'm gonna enjoy myself while it's there !
    zarr
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  3. #3
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    Regardless of color, I believe there are lots of people in the world who have never been to a place where you cannot see a building. Cannot imagine you can do something interesting in a place that is not built up.

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

  4. #4
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    You're right, I've only seen 1 black MT Biker, ever.

  5. #5
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    As a massive generalisation, I think cycling in general isn't that popular with black people. I know this sounds like an off the cuff remark, and no, I haven't taken any statistics, but it seems very unusual to see someone of African descent doing cycling for recreation - and come to think of it, possibly other peoples too, for example, Indians.

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

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

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by zarr
    Well I guess my title said it all. Mountain Biking really does need to be bigger...especially in the African American Community.
    According to my personal observation anyway.
    Anybody out there agree?
    When I go places (work, around the way,etc., and folks see my bikes or when I ask about Mountain Biking, I either get laughed at or hear, "Whats that?" or ignored altogether.
    Seems like such a shame to me.
    A lot of talented people missing out on such a cool sport.
    ...
    Well, I guess I'll keep on tryig to spread the word. (but for how long? I'm 57 years old! )

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

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

  7. #7
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    I think that the number of African Americans in mountain biking has more to do with demographics than with anything else. The nation is approximately 14% African American yet a "mountain biking" state like Colorado is less than 5% African American.

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

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

  8. #8
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    I'm glad you love your chosen passion, but you need to pull it in a bit.

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

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

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

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

  9. #9
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    Well I see an older black gentleman jogging a lot where I mountain bike. So obviously he is familiar with the opportunity, but would rather pursue other recreation opportunities.

  10. #10
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    I agree with you, Zarr. I regularly see a few African Americans cycling on road bikes and mountain bikes on our roads and trails, but the community is definitely underrepresented. Don't let people knock your enthusiasm.

  11. #11
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    Racist!
    Nobody cares...........

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Team Fubar Rider
    Conversely, 58% of African Americans live in a metropolitan area, with cities like New York having a 28% African American population and Chicago having a 18% African American population. With mountain biking not being a cheap sport, I would doubt a person living in the city, African American or not, would buy an expensive bike that could/would get stolen quickly and the ability to get to trails would be difficult at best. When I lived in Colorado there were people that I met that lived in Denver and had NEVER been out of the city in their whole lives!
    There are legal MTB trails in 3 of the 5 NYC boroughs and a hell of a lot of places to ride outside the city accessible by public transport with your bike.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by chas_martel
    Racist!
    Thank you, Glenn Beck...

  14. #14
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    I only know one really serious African-American mountain biker, but he is very good. He's a friend of a friend. He is fit and also road bikes at a high club rider level. He had a mountain bike ride for his birthday party, it was very racially mixed, but only his white friends had "serious" mountain bikes, and the skill to go with them. We mostly stuck to double track and easy single track. I've run into him since then on group rides, but haven't seen any of his black friends out with him.

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

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

    David B.

  15. #15
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    Zarr I live and ride near Wissahickon Park in Philly and I'm happy to say I see about 10% of the mountain bikers being African American. Even more ride the main Forbidden Drive cinder trail. I also ride all over PA, MD, DE, and can't say I've ever encountered an African American is any "mountain setting" while riding. Note: I am also a hunter, hiker, and fisherman and could make the same statement about those sports as well....

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

    Anyway -- I hope whatever the reason I hope folks like you and others can help spread the word.
    26FS & 29Rigid... best of both worlds

  16. #16
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    no mountains in the hood, no forests.
    BMX'ing and urban biking needs to blow up in the hood.

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

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

    EDIT: and you have to get a decent bike into some kids' hands... get 3 or 4 kids on your leftover bikes, or CL bikes.
    I have 3 kids (besides my own) who I support with upgrades and maintenance etc, 3 or 4 kids riding around in the neighbourhood generates interest in other kids.
    (when there's only one kid doing it eveyrone just thinks he's a weirdo, ask me how I know! )
    Last edited by byknuts; 08-27-2010 at 07:05 AM.
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  17. #17
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    zarr, it's an interesting topic but i think you've really made it difficult to discuss. you have blurred the lines between the hood and black people.

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

    i would love to comment, but i would need you to clarify a bit first.
    it's fun to do bad things

  18. #18
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    I basically live in the hood unfortunately and ride my MTB through the streets a lot. Have to ride through the streets to get to the woods. Being of a black descent I get a lot strange looks from my people and honestly I really don't care who looks at me. Like already mentioned having an expensive bike is usually silly to the uneducated white, black,green, yellow, purple, or whatever skin color you have.

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

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

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

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

  19. #19
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    No good African What???

    What the FVCK is an "African American"? Is that like some fancy hybrid blended between the continents or something, Seriously? I know America has whites, blacks, hispanics, asians, people that came from all over the wrold, but don't get this BS
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??

  20. #20
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    I live in the deep South and we have a large african american population. In the city you'll see black folks from the 'hood on bikes quite a bit because that's probably their sole source of transportation.

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

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

  21. #21
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    In all the places and states I have rode in, african americans definitely are the minority to the sport. I believe partially location, and definitely the money spent on a rig is the problem. At work when I talk about my rides
    interest ensues in the faces of my co-workers. When I start to talk about my bike, all interest dies. Nine times out of ten it is the $$$$. Mountain biking takes a lot of dedication from the pocket and the mind. I am person who is the outdoorsy type. I don't have a gaming council or a bunch of toys. I have a cheap car, and I don't wear expensive cloths. I am a mountain biker, my wife doesn't completely understand it either, but I put my spending money into the sport. I am not all that social when it comes to going out to the bars or out to eat either. If I do go out it is more for my wife than me. So mtb can show as somewhat of a life style if you are going to spend that kind of money. Also there are a ton of other adventure activities that are a little cheaper to start with. If we want to get others to join us the sport has to get a little cheaper, how I have sucked in a few of my friends is went out and rented them a bike and showed them my favorite trail. Basically show them the door, and it is there decision to walk through it. Just an FYI, I am an internet engineer, my co-workers I talk about are 1 Guatemalan, 1 phillipino, 2 african american, and me the Caucasian. I am the only one with a mountain bike. Now 2 of my co-workers purchased used hybrid street/urban bikes, and still ride with them in events, by the way I work in downtown chicago. So this sport isn't racist!

  22. #22
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    Sorry ran out of room, this sport just doesn't apeal to all. But I think a good idea is building an organization to maybe introduce the sport to inner city communities, now that would be cool. Maybe through the YMCA or the Boys and Girls club, the sport definitely could use a surge of support.

  23. #23
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    This is just speculation on my part, but I would bet that many parents of kids "in the hood" are pushing them to excell in Basketball or Football, with the hopes that if they get to the upper levels of talent and ability, there is a very real chance of picking up a college scholarship.

    So early on in life their "passion" revolves around these kinds of sports, and the lowly bicycle is merely a transportation device to get them to the court or the field, and never thought of as any kind of sport or recreation.
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  24. #24
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    It's not cultural, it's economic. Good bikes are expensive, and the woods are a long way from the 'hood. Every hardcore black cyclist I know is also reasonably well-off, ditto any white riders who can afford a couple of K for a bike.

    One of my black employees lives in the 'hood and races motorcycles. I put him on my spare bike, and except for "cycling fitness" he was a natural, until he panicked from the clipless and crashed.

    MTB HoF member Marilyn Price is doing something to get more inner city kids on bikes. See Trips for Kids.

  25. #25
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    Why just black's ? Why not include Asian's , Native American's etc. ?

  26. #26
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    If we're talking about something "blowing up" in "the hood" (hood meaning not a racial classification but a socioeconomic one)...then I'd prefer it be education.

    But that's about as likely as mt biking "blowing up" in "the hood."

    Now if you are curious about racial representation in certain sports without regard to socioeconomic issues, then that's something altogether different.

  27. #27
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    my friend D McClain one of the first black pro moto riders (honda) rode 500cc class. Great mountain biker back in the day! we started a mtb team in texas back in the early 90s. 3 black guys, 2 brown (me), 2 white, we had team UN! me and my friends don't let friends be pc.

    it's like when Dave and I used to roll in to small texas towns we'd get funny stares. it's just a simple cultural and enviroment exposure thing. I agree with broncojd...blurry delivery

  28. #28
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    Money aside, you don't need "woods" to go Mountain Biking. I live is San Diego it has its fair share of "hoods" in it.. and from anywhere in SD county, you are minutes away from great trails and riding. Its all out there. Most people that dont know, would be surprised at the amount of MTB'n that can be done around here. I would imagine a lot of places are like this.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by s0ckeyeus
    Thank you, Glenn Beck...

    WTF?

    The OP'er claims that people of certain skin color need to take up MTB'ing.

    Are you saying that is not racist?
    Nobody cares...........

  30. #30
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    seems the op is just stoked on riding and like all of us just wants to spread that passion on to people who might not be aware or exposed to it. black, green, asian, white guys who golf...who really cares?!!! it is about acce$$ as with most wheeled sports

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by chas_martel
    WTF?

    The OP'er claims that people of certain skin color need to take up MTB'ing.

    Are you saying that is not racist?
    I don't think it's racist. It is not promoting one race over another, and the OP is African American, so I doubt he'd be trying to promote racism.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by s0ckeyeus
    I don't think it's racist. It is not promoting one race over another, and the OP is African American, so I doubt he'd be trying to promote racism.

    Left is up and down is right.

    WAFUWWLI - what a ****ed up world we live in
    Nobody cares...........

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by 53119
    seems the op is just stoked on riding and like all of us just wants to spread that passion on to people who might not be aware or exposed to it. black, green, asian, white guys who golf...who really cares?!!! it is about acce$$ as with most wheeled sports
    It's all about the benjamin$$$$$$$$.

    When I lived in the college ghetto in Salt Lake and used to ride from my apartment, up the hill, through the U and then up onto the shoreline trail, I'd get all sorts of looks from the lower income bracket -- ethnicity didn't matter. It never bothered me until one day, 3 meth heads (at least that's what they looked like to me -- you know, missing teeth, weird sores, bad skin coloring...) were hanging out in front of my building and started in with the ooohs and ahhhs about my bike. As I was making my way between them, one of them suddenly comes out with "Oh, that's a Santa Cruz, that's worth a couple thousand dollars right there. You should be careful with a bike that expenseive..." Yeah...I was a lot more careful about dead bolting the apartment after that.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by chas_martel
    Left is up and down is right.

    WAFUWWLI - what a ****ed up world we live in
    ...and the sun's not yellow; it's chicken.

  35. #35
    How much further ???
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    Why do we have to promote people to do anything? Why dont they just do what they want? I think we should promote more white programs on BET.
    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did." Mark Twain

  36. #36
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    Its not worth getting murdered over a bike

  37. #37
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    Starting young urban african-american boys has been confounding

    I train High School racers. Issues of inaccessibility of parents for legal authorizations, poor diet, undermining from the african-american peer groups for being with "whitey", economic limitations....the list of challenges is very long and convoluted. They parallel the the same sort of paradigm which limit african-american mobility in our society in general.

    It takes the high dedication of mentors to overcome cultural barriers. Substantial and dynamic structures must be created for financial and cultural support to, essentially, reparent the child, reform an internal social structure, and train to away of life. It is sort of like Pygmaleon and success is elusive.

    African-americans from middle class backgrounds have had much more success.

  38. #38
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    You said it, not me. How do you think it got that way?

    KFC offers promotions that encourage that you to eat their fried chicken.

    Promoting mountain biking to people of color who are not normally interested in cycling doesn't seem to insidious or illogical to reasonable, worldly people. When I ride with people who are different from me, I can learn something.

    Then again, if I was the only thirtysomething white boy out on the trails, instead of 99% of that demographic, I might feel a little uncomfortable sometimes, wouldn't you?




    Quote Originally Posted by chas_martel
    Left is up and down is right.

    WAFUWWLI - what a ****ed up world we live in

  39. #39
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    I think we should bus one thousand white's with basketballs & skateboards to the hood! And leave them there to wonder the streets to play in the hood courts. Interact with the community and have some fun.

    Then bus one thousand blacks with donated bikes and ski's to trailheads & resorts all over the place! And leave them there to interact with this community and have some fun.


    Then 48 hours later make a log of all the relationships and fun experiences. It could work!!!

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by zarr
    I don't expect to get very many ,if not ANY replies in this thread guys.
    Thats not what I was thinking
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  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbowho
    I think we should bus one thousand white's with basketballs & skateboards to the hood! And leave them there to wonder the streets to play in the hood courts. Interact with the community and have some fun.

    Then bus one thousand blacks with donated bikes and ski's to trailheads & resorts all over the place! And leave them there to interact with this community and have some fun.


    Then 48 hours later make a log of all the relationships and fun experiences. It could work!!!
    OMG...don't forget to document the stereotypes and related responses. The comments from both groups would be epically hysterical.

    //was a camp counselor for a group of under-privileged youth. Loved having to explain that no, there aren't that many banjo players in the woods.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by chas_martel
    Racist!
    you're clearly an idiot.

    according to merriam-webster (it's a dictionary):
    racism - a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race

    i would ask how you could say that this guy attempting to promote mountain biking to a certain demographic or race would somehow be viewed as racist. but if i did that, the answer would be no more intelligent than your original claim, so i won't ask.

    now go to the corner and think about what you're said.
    it's fun to do bad things

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    I'm not completely sure that this is totally relevant to the thread, but I wonder if any of these kids had the chance to ride a decent mtb or road bike

    http://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zCEQxOCFHJw

    It seems like part of this is transportation, part diy bling, part support group. I like that you have to be in school and get decent grades to be part of this club. Is funny though because it still kind of smacks of the same type of materialist mentality as urban mainstream hip hop culture with flashy clothing/jewelry, big rims on pimp whips, and some idea that wealth=fame=success. BUT all of these guys are clearly excited about riding and fixing bikes, and i guess i wonder if they've not experienced the stoke...

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbowho
    I think we should bus one thousand white's with basketballs & skateboards to the hood!


    They did this in California schools in the 60's , didn't change much .

  45. #45
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    Ever hear of Marshall W. "Major" Taylor?

    In 1899 Taylor set seven world records. He completed the mile (from a standing start) in 1 minute, 41 seconds, a record that stood for 28 years. During his professional career, he won hundreds of meets around the world.

    Major was hands-down the fastest bicycle rider in the world from roughly 1897 to 1904. This was an era when bicycling was the most popular sport in the world. I would compare Taylor to what Michael Jordan was to the NBA or Walter Payton was to the NFL.



    Or how about the 25th Infantry Bicycle Corps?

    https://www.historynet.com/us-armys-...els-of-war.htm


  46. #46
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    I should point out in NYC, while there aren't a lot of trails, there are a lot of black roadies.

    If you think about it, a car costs about 10k, a bike 3k.

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    How the color of a persons skin draws so much attention to another often intrigues me.

    I call it racism.

  49. #49
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    This will work. Start a kids mountain bike club. It doesn't need to be an official club. Talk to your local bike shop owner and get them to donate a few cheap used bikes. They will, because when you get a few kids hooked on riding, they will be able to sell them better bikes.

    Take the kids out riding once a week. Focus on fun not competition. Soon you'll have so many people to ride with you'll wish you hadn't thought of the idea.

    The town I live in has a population of 6000 people. In the last 10 years we've had over 500 kids between 10 and 15 years old go through our middle school bike club. Nobody had heard of mountain biking before we started the club and now it's a requirement to have been a member of the club if you want to be cool in high school. Some of these kids are professional racers now. Some gave it up after a couple of weeks.

    This will work anywhere with any skin color and any social or economic background. Kids want fun stuff to do and mountain biking is fun.

  50. #50
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    Like so many have said, it's an economic thing. Blacks are well represented in BMX.
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    I think the OP should take his passion and ride with it, start a club for folks in the hood, organize rides and mechanics/repair clinics/meets and have a good time. I personally dont know how many African immigrants live in the hood, so you may have to open your ranks up to allow "black" Americans or persons of "less" color or even European descent.
    Semantics aside I truly admire your passion and encourage you to do it, you may really help some kids/families out. I grew up in New Haven CT and all I ever heard riding through the ghetto was "Yo white boy let me get that bike". It would have been nicer to hear something like "Yo caucasian boy, wanna go ridin"? There is no doubt that our low income areas, urban and rural are in desperate need of positive, strong leadership (dare I say male?). Step up and make it happen.

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vlad
    Like so many have said, it's an economic thing. Blacks are well represented in BMX.
    It doesn't have to be. We have kids riding technical XC singletrack on rigid bikes you could buy in any second hand shop for $20.

    You don't need a $3000 mountain bike to have fun. You don't need trails either. Urban riding is more fun for some of our kids. DJ's in empty lots, pump tracks, the fountain at city hall, the police station steps. It's all good.

  53. #53
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    Heh, stryker got modded out of existence I guess.
    Last edited by picassomoon; 08-28-2010 at 05:31 AM.

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    It would be nice to think so

    Quote Originally Posted by Trail Ninja
    This will work. Start a kids mountain bike club.
    This will work anywhere with any skin color and any social or economic background. Kids want fun stuff to do and mountain biking is fun.
    I am excited to hear about your success. Congratulations on building the culture.. that is as big a job as keeping kids safe.

    I like the sentiment but think it fails to value the bike, what is needed to keep it going, and the real poverty in the neighborhoods. Keeping bike going take someone's time and money and that always has its limits. One of the biggest threats to these programs is theft. I've seen entire fleets of bike disappear. Changing a deeply rooted culture is a huge job against much resistance.

    Your success cannot be devalued but understood in terms of some ambient willingness in the community and a respect for certain values. I am in no way suggesting it was dumb luck, but you did have some things going for you from the start. Best wishes for continued success.

  55. #55
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    You are so ****ing wrong!! Antonio Cromartie is on the JETS!! Get your facts straight!

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    Did somebody post this yet?

    http://www.bahatifoundation.org/

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    stryker865, I hope this is a joke.

    As someone who has ridden thousands of miles in NYC, the most diverse cycling community I have seen, I consider all cyclists to be my brothers and sisters.

    The few blacks that I know in cycling are some of the coolest guys I have ever met, and usually great riders as well.

    And while I have commented about the lack of blacks in mountain biking, I have met very few racist riders. Riding is what matters to riders, not skin color.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sanjuro
    Riding is what matters to riders, not skin color.
    Then what is the point of this ridiculous thread?

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    i see what the OP is getting at...

    i live in Mississauga, where 54% of the population was born outside of the country and there are only three white kids in my class of 30. Of all of my friends the only ones that ride a bike beyond a simple means of transport are white except for one half-black kid and no one is from a "ghetto".

    the ones that we drag along with us on their walmart bikes do enjoy it but i think they can't really get into the sport because of the cheap bikes and trails aren't easy to reach in the city(none of us can drive). by the time they are old enough to lay down the cash for a real bike or can drive to reach a trail easily i think it might be too late for them to get involved in the sport because they will be too focused on university or starting a family.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Berkeley Mike
    I am excited to hear about your success. Congratulations on building the culture.. that is as big a job as keeping kids safe.

    I like the sentiment but think it fails to value the bike, what is needed to keep it going, and the real poverty in the neighborhoods. Keeping bike going take someone's time and money and that always has its limits. One of the biggest threats to these programs is theft. I've seen entire fleets of bike disappear. Changing a deeply rooted culture is a huge job against much resistance.

    Your success cannot be devalued but understood in terms of some ambient willingness in the community and a respect for certain values. I am in no way suggesting it was dumb luck, but you did have some things going for you from the start. Best wishes for continued success.
    We've had all of our stuff (bikes, tools, trailers, trail building tools, first aid kits, you name it) stolen several times. The kids, the local community and mountain bike clubs across Canada have worked hard and raised funds and replaced everything. As long as these kids want to ride, we'll make sure they can.

    What we had going for us was a group of kids who wanted to ride and a few adults who remembered what it was like to be an underprivileged kid.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BenDover
    i see what the OP is getting at...

    i live in Mississauga, where 54% of the population was born outside of the country and there are only three white kids in my class of 30. Of all of my friends the only ones that ride a bike beyond a simple means of transport are white except for one half-black kid and no one is from a "ghetto".

    the ones that we drag along with us on their walmart bikes do enjoy it but i think they can't really get into the sport because of the cheap bikes and trails aren't easy to reach in the city(none of us can drive). by the time they are old enough to lay down the cash for a real bike or can drive to reach a trail easily i think it might be too late for them to get involved in the sport because they will be too focused on university or starting a family.
    Similar to out in Scarberia. But the other reality that is ignored is the parents. Parents who are more willing to spend the $500 on a Wii or Playstation system then on a bike for their kid.

    But there is hope. I was in Toronto the weekend of Caribana. Saw many Carribbean people riding bikes- we are talking mtb's and actuall cycling clothes here. Big increase over the last 5 years. And the majority are women. I took 3 on a short tour of the Don Trails, changed my ride plan to help them out.

    My wife is from Antigua and now rides a mountain bike. Well when she has some time. But all our cycling has our 3 year old daughter wanting to ride bikes. She has already tried using my tools to fix my bike. And my wife is black.

    Through my in laws I have a connection to the cycling community in Antigua. And will be sending down a bunch of parts I don't need or use. I know they have a hard time getting stuff in because of costs. And I recall how much help I got 24 years ago when I started mountain biking from others. I'm willing to give away stuff to help them out.

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Antigu...n/138675757315

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  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by sanjuro
    As someone who has ridden thousands of miles in NYC...
    Then you have to have seen Anson "Welli" Wellington ride at the Brooklyn Banks.

    Living in the Bay Area of California, ethnicity in sports is a non-issue. On our trails, there are whites, blacks, asians, aZns (American born asians), east Indians, Persians, Mexicans, Nigerians, Asyrians, Extra Terrestrials, etc. Except for the ignorant here, I don't think any of us on the trails look at skin color. One thing is for sure, cycling in ALL forms is very diverse. It is here, at least.

    Personally, I'm an American born Filipino - my family has been here for 5 generations on my Mom's side. In my case, skin color is really only skin deep. All I know is American, and nothing else (except food and bad words in Filipino). But that's it. Being so far removed from any racial sensitivity, talk all you want about Filipinos (eat dogs, talk funny, small pee-pee's, etc.) and I'll laugh along with you. My 94 year old grandfather (before he passed) felt differently because he was subject to it. Strange, but he and I went to the same highschool.

    The more sensitive to it we are, the worst it gets, although I think posting some of those ridiculous cartoons was in poor taste.
    Last edited by Dion; 08-27-2010 at 11:41 PM.

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    I ran into three black guys riding on the trails a month ago. Super cool guys. They actually took me on a really sweet loop they usually do. They freakin' smoked me on the trails.

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    ... and if we just ...

    I rather prefer doing things that not everyone else does. Sheeat that becomes too popular gets bastardized, mainstreamed, and then you get all the wannabe's and posers who all of a sudden are hardcore

    Sounds like you just summed up the sport as it is.

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    Although I haven't read this entire thread, I too have only seen one black MTB'er n my time, and I often ride in a state park that is located in the middle of a HUGE black community.

    I can say though, the black biker i've met, also happens to be one of the nicest. I was stranded in the park after using up my spare tube, and I was without a tube and a pump. A guys just road on right by, but the black guy (who happened to riding the "crappiest" bike of them all, kindly stopped and helped me.

    go figure.

  67. #67
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    I have a black friend whom I met on a bike ride in 1979. He was on a 'cross bike then, but now a mountain bike. He and his twin brother, now about 70 years of age, will SMOKE you on the climbs.

    Not from the 'hood though, a retired engineer. It's economic, not racial.

    And not to repeat the obvious, the first acknowledged world champion in ANY sport was Marshall "Major" Taylor.

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    Well I do have to say about reading some of the crud others have posted, I don't think this thread was meant to be a racist issue, it is about how to spread the word of mountain biking in communities less fortunate. I do understand that there are mountain bikers of all races and creeds. So cut the c**p and keep it real. A word for Trail ninja, I think you are dead on, get a few used have the kids spread the love, and many others will follow. No matter who you are from what ever background.

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrbmeisen
    Well I do have to say about reading some of the crud others have posted, I don't think this thread was meant to be a racist issue, it is about how to spread the word of mountain biking in communities less fortunate. I do understand that there are mountain bikers of all races and creeds. So cut the c**p and keep it real. A word for Trail ninja, I think you are dead on, get a few used have the kids spread the love, and many others will follow. No matter who you are from what ever background.
    Yes Mommy we will all cut the krap and keep it real just for you.

  70. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrbmeisen
    Well I do have to say about reading some of the crud others have posted, I don't think this thread was meant to be a racist issue, it is about how to spread the word of mountain biking in communities less fortunate. I do understand that there are mountain bikers of all races and creeds. So cut the c**p and keep it real. A word for Trail ninja, I think you are dead on, get a few used have the kids spread the love, and many others will follow. No matter who you are from what ever background.



    With the exception of one poster , this has been a very open and civil discussion , with a minimum of "crap" , even without your participation .

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    @stryker865

    *POOF!* and you're gone

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    How long has your program been going.

    Quote Originally Posted by Trail Ninja
    What we had going for us was a group of kids who wanted to ride and a few adults who remembered what it was like to be an underprivileged kid.
    In what "hood" does your club exist?

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    Simplistic

    [QUOTE=mrbmeisen} get a few used have the kids spread the love, and many others will follow. No matter who you are from what ever background.[/QUOTE]

    From the "all you have to do" school of thinking. It absolutely fails to appreciate what it takes to make ANY kind of program work, let alone one so challenged.

    This is exceptionally difficult work which succeeds by virtue of exceptional people who give an enormous amount of their time and money. It takes people who continue to push forward in spite of events which drain their resources and cultural resistance.

    Such success may be inspirational but it is very rare. Even the people to make such things happen fail to see how unique their situation is.
    Last edited by Berkeley Mike; 08-28-2010 at 03:31 PM.

  74. #74
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    had a blower under the hoood for a while now

    No, "mountain biking" wasn't invented in cali, (all due respect to Gary Fischer, we luv ya) the buffalo soldiers soldiered away from missoula to Saint Louis on buffalo single track 'n railroad track more than a century ago. And they will be back. This is just an excuse to stick up a shot of My Hero James Stewart greatest dirt bike rider in history!! Young black men are riding bicycles and dirt bikes all over this fine nation of ours and you can bet they will be leading the charge (again) when the oil runs out.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Mountain Biking Needs To Blow Up in the Hood-james_stewart_1_1024.jpg  


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    Quote Originally Posted by davidarnott
    James Stewart greatest dirt bike rider in history!!
    How about Ricky Charmichael? Many props to Stewart's awesomeness but RC's nickname is GOAT for a reason
    Falling down is part of LIFE…Getting back up is LIVING…

  76. #76
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    Seeing as there is no future being a worthless, dirty, scumbag mountain biker, it seems very obvious that the Afro-American blacks are putting all their efforts into getting somewhere with a future

    OKBye

  77. #77
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    trail ninja's doing it on his side of the country, I'm doing it on mine...
    stop wasting time squabbling, pull some bikes out of the garbage heaps or off CL, fix them up and hand them out.
    I'd wager at least half of the people here can fix bikes enough to get them rolling.


    2 Dion: yeah I have heard of bahati, friend of mine actually went down for their beginning of the year team PR thingie in LA a month or two ago? heard about their rider who was killed.
    very sad.
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  78. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berkeley Mike
    I train High School racers. Issues of inaccessibility of parents for legal authorizations, poor diet, undermining from the african-american peer groups for being with "whitey", economic limitations....the list of challenges is very long and convoluted. They parallel the the same sort of paradigm which limit african-american mobility in our society in general.

    It takes the high dedication of mentors to overcome cultural barriers. Substantial and dynamic structures must be created for financial and cultural support to, essentially, reparent the child, reform an internal social structure, and train to away of life. It is sort of like Pygmaleon and success is elusive.

    African-americans from middle class backgrounds have had much more success.

    Why Contribute to the problem calling them something they most certainaly are not, "african" and putting it before where their loyalty should lay "American" by hyphenating you take away from any sense of national pride they may have or should have. Quit Demeaning them and move forward please.
    African American
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    Very good interview with Morgan freeman on this subject http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GeixtYS-P3s
    As to the Op and his pursuit, I do feel it is something that is important in all area's to promote any type of physical activity, however with more area's being closed off it is indeed making it a bit harder to promote our activity or other important activities that enjoy the great out doors.
    I also believe that until Theft is addressed more so in crime ridden area's it will again, be harder to promote as bikes are so easily stolen and sold. Sad.

  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vlad
    Like so many have said, it's an economic thing. Blacks are well represented in BMX.
    In a sense yes, however what is the point in buying a mountain bike for several hundred dollars while living in a city which most have never left and having zero Idea how to go into the mountains at all. I do believe free riding or trials is an area that can and should be promoted however. And if as stated earlier, some kind of group to maybe field trip them into said mountains for enjoyment.
    THis is also a position to where the snobbery which exists in the Cycling community (omg he's on a dept store bike SHUN HIM) instead of merely introducing them any way you can, helping them, and in time, guiding them to a suitable upgrade.

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    I have read that some have the impression that outdoor recreation (the woods) is essentially a white arena. In my time out in the forest, I have to say that I saw lots of white people, and few others.

    I couldn't blame someone for not wanting to 'stick out'.

  81. #81
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    Good topic but I thought this all looked familiar.......

    Why not just bump the old thread? It'll save a lot of time.

    Anyone ride their bike today?
    Here's my crummy, slow-going blog The Slow Spoke if you're interested.

  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trail Ninja

    You don't need a $3000 mountain bike to have fun. You don't need trails either. Urban riding is more fun for some of our kids. DJ's in empty lots, pump tracks, the fountain at city hall, the police station steps. It's all good.

    There are plenty of black kids who ride BMX. True mountainbiking is a different story, but so what? I body board, and rarely see Latinos out there in the water. If you take the economics out of it, you have to consider that it might be a cultural thing, and that's fine.
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  83. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by D.F.L.
    I have read that some have the impression that outdoor recreation (the woods) is essentially a white arena. In my time out in the forest, I have to say that I saw lots of white people, and few others.
    My personal rant on this topic.....

    This is actually a very valid point. More valid than one would think.

    When I purchased my first MTB bike back in 1997 everyone of my black friends couldn't understand why I would pay so much for a bike or why I'd want to go riding around in the woods. Not one saw the point of the sport or could be convinced try it before they knocked it....

    ...and we aren't talking about people with a lack of education or economic resources. These guys are accountants, lawyers, an architect, and IT professionals.

    To drive this point home further, when my daughter was born in 2003, I promptly went out and treated the family to a 23' Stingray powerboat. Those same friends questioned the logic of my powerboat purchase as well. I explained it to them this way:

    We are lucky enough to live in the greater Washington, DC/Baltimore corridor with the Chesapeake Bay right in my back yard. Having access to such a tremendous natural resource it almost seems like a sin to NOT take advantage of it. Plus it is nice being able to introduce my child to various activities. Some of which I didn't have the opportunity try when I was her age. The end result is she'd rather spend the day on the boat than at the movies or in front of the TV. I think that's pretty cool.

    The bottom line based on my personal experience. I'm black. My MTB riding buddies: All of them are white. My boating buddies: All of them are white. I have a ton of black friends who don't participate in either of my hobbies simply because they consider them to be too "white" and that's a shame because I feel like they are missing out on something special.

    < I apologize in advance for my senseless rambling. >
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berkeley Mike
    From the "all you have to do" school of thinking. It absolutely fails to appreciate what it takes to make ANY kind of program work, let alone one so challenged.

    This is exceptionally difficult work which succeeds by virtue of exceptional people who give an enormous amount of their time and money. It takes people who continue to push forward in spite of events which drain their resources and cultural resistance.

    Such success may be inspirational but it is very rare. Even the people to make such things happen fail to see how unique their situation is.
    I don't see the point of your post Mike. Yeah, it's difficult. It's still worth it and I wouldn't discourage anyone from trying.

    The club is in it's 11th year.

    The "hood" the club is in is one of the worst kind. The school is in an upscale town where half the students live well below the poverty line and the other half live well above it.

    The rich people don't believe that their childrens friends come to school hungry and the families can't afford $25 for a used junk bike.

    It's not a skin color thing here. Nobody here cares about skin color.

  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ratman
    My personal rant on this topic.....

    This is actually a very valid point. More valid than one would think.

    When I purchased my first MTB bike back in 1997 everyone of my black friends couldn't understand why I would pay so much for a bike or why I'd want to go riding around in the woods. Not one saw the point of the sport or could be convinced try it before they knocked it....

    ...and we aren't talking about people with a lack of education or economic resources. These guys are accountants, lawyers, an architect, and IT professionals.

    To drive this point home further, when my daughter was born in 2003, I promptly went out and treated the family to a 23' Stingray powerboat. Those same friends questioned the logic of my powerboat purchase as well. I explained it to them this way:

    We are lucky enough to live in the greater Washington, DC/Baltimore corridor with the Chesapeake Bay right in my back yard. Having access to such a tremendous natural resource it almost seems like a sin to NOT take advantage of it. Plus it is nice being able to introduce my child to various activities. Some of which I didn't have the opportunity try when I was her age. The end result is she'd rather spend the day on the boat than at the movies or in front of the TV. I think that's pretty cool.

    The bottom line based on my personal experience. I'm black. My MTB riding buddies: All of them are white. My boating buddies: All of them are white. I have a ton of black friends who don't participate in either of my hobbies simply because they consider them to be too "white" and that's a shame because I feel like they are missing out on something special.

    < I apologize in advance for my senseless rambling. >
    Interesting post, I used to date a girl from Liberia, I was all excited about going there and visiting her homland and asked her if she went camping, her reply "no only stupid white people go camping in the jungle"
    Seems to be the sentiment with the few other black friends I have had as well.
    But I do know one who is huge into gold mining and the like. But anytime you are raised in the country I think that does make a different precident.

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    I have come to believe

    Quote Originally Posted by Trail Ninja
    I don't see the point of your post Mike. Yeah, it's difficult. It's still worth it and I wouldn't discourage anyone from trying.

    The club is in it's 11th year.

    The "hood" the club is in is one of the worst kind. The school is in an upscale town where half the students live well below the poverty line and the other half live well above it.

    The rich people don't believe that their childrens friends come to school hungry and the families can't afford $25 for a used junk bike.

    It's not a skin color thing here. Nobody here cares about skin color.

    that people who have made the hard climb up the hill have lost sight of the difficulty it presents for other people. It is emblematic of the very cultural divide we are talking about . You yourself provide a metaphore for such a cultural gap:

    "The rich people don't believe that their childrens friends come to school hungry and the families can't afford $25 for a used junk bike."


    An unfortunate side effect of this is when it comes to accepting credit for the work these dedicated folk are at odds as they don't know how to value it themselves other than to say it was good for the kids or it was rewarding. Sure they see it as work, work that needed to be done, but all work to them is hard but so what. That is how they have lived their lives. That they have succeeded by virtue of how they are put together belies the complexity of the effort. It is an impoverished perspective from a technical and sociological point of view.

    I am not trying to discourage anyone from making this effort. I'm just weary of people who blithely oversimplify things like this. It shows a profound lack of respect for a very difficult job. Most people who try to do this don't last very long. My guess is that you have seen many adults come and go. My guess is, too, that you are out of pocket more than a few bucks. And I wonder at your thoughts about the parts of this thing that didn't work.
    Last edited by Berkeley Mike; 08-28-2010 at 11:14 PM.

  87. #87
    1/2 fast or 1/2 assed?
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    VERY interesting thread. Its kinda funny to read this after browsing the "Post pictures of your ______." threads. I can only wonder how many ppl here would consider selling one of thier "rigs" from thier "stable" to give to some "economically challenged" kids. How many entry-level bikes can you get for the price of a Santa Cruz Tallboy?

    I feel the biking "passion" comes from growing up on a bike. I always had a bike until the last one was stolen in '94. I've recently rekindled my biking "passion" by purchasing my first bike in ~16 years.

  88. #88
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    Our President

    Prefers to vacation in Montana, Yellowstone Park, Big Sky. I invite black bicycle riders to visit Missoula, the museum there (forget the name) that has a display about the fightin' 25th, ride the trails that the department of the Interior hasn't closed yet. Eat at Bigga Pizza (say hi to Bob Marshall, tell 'em davidarnott sent you so I can get a free one next time I'm in town". This all just another excuse to put up another shot of James Stewart. If you watch a video of him in slow motion it will transform your bicycle riding skilllz in your dreams. Did it to me.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Mountain Biking Needs To Blow Up in the Hood-jamesstewart_videogame_grab.jpg  

    Last edited by davidarnott; 08-29-2010 at 06:34 AM. Reason: pushed the wrong button, forgot the dang photo

  89. #89
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    Davidarnott. You claim James Stewart is the greatest dirt bike rider of all time. If James Stewart was white or Hawaiian, with his record you would not make this claim. Doesn't that say your claims are based on color??????

  90. #90
    yeah, uh............bikes
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  91. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimbowho
    Davidarnott. You claim James Stewart is the greatest dirt bike rider of all time. If James Stewart was white or Hawaiian, with his record you would not make this claim. Doesn't that say your claims are based on color??????
    Bubba is not the greatest of all time but he very well might be. Bubba has never used or said anything to my knowledge about anything other than American, And competing in a by enlarge redneck sport, he has done well, Good for him.

  92. #92
    AZ
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blurr
    greatest of all time



    Someone already lay's claim to that one .

  93. #93
    ballbuster
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    Duh...

    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx
    What the FVCK is an "African American"? Is that like some fancy hybrid blended between the continents or something, Seriously? I know America has whites, blacks, hispanics, asians, people that came from all over the wrold, but don't get this BS
    as opposed to an African from Africa. If you took and African American and dropped him anywhere in Africa, he would be not be of that culture. An African from America. And... Massah spent some time in the slaves quarters back in the day and fathered a few kids by slave mothers... so many black folks have some Caucasian blood in there too.

    Duh...

    You can buy the whole anti politically correct Sean Hannity tool thing all you want, but that doesn't change the fact that it is part of the modern meme. I really don't get why people get all bent out of shape about the terminology. Whatever....

    More on topic, I know a couple serious African American mountain bikers around here (Oakland), but most black folks I know who are into bikes are roadies.
    Last edited by pimpbot; 08-29-2010 at 11:48 AM.

  94. #94
    My spelling is atroshus
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    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot
    as opposed to an African from Africa. If you took and African American and dropped him anywhere in Africa, he would be not be of that culture.

    Duh...

    You can buy the whole anti politically correct Sean Hannity tool thing all you want, but that doesn't change the fact that it is part of the modern meme.

    More on topic, I know a couple serious African American mountain bikers around here (Oakland), but most black folks I know who are into bikes are roadies.

    I was politically incorrect long before I had ever heard of Hannity. I work with several white people who hail from South Africa, but they don't seem too concerned about being called an "African American". They are confident of themselves and do not suffer from any sort of identity crisis.

    .....so why does it only seem apply to the black citizens? The biggest part of me is composed of Mexican/Irish. I don't feel the need to tout my hyphenated ancestry at every opportunity that presents itself.

    -I'm just sayin'

  95. #95
    mm9
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    Bike Co-ops like this one are trying to increase participation among residents of the inner city. Here is one in my area. I assume there are others. For those interested in the issue, this may be one way to get involved. Pretty cool use of discarded bikes btw. We used to make a lot of our own bikes as kids from bikes found in trash piles. Was part of the fun of biking:

    Check out the galleries section:
    http://www.sopobikes.org/section/about/galleries

  96. #96
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    The hyphenated ancestry thing is about divisiveness and nothing more.
    Quote Originally Posted by ridelikeafatkid
    "MOMMY, I WANT TO RIDE LIKE THAT FAT KID!" true story.

  97. #97
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    What about mexican-americans?


  98. #98
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    The OP is a racist jack0ff.
    MUD


    My weiner is 10.5".....Oh wait...I'm holding this ruler backward.

  99. #99
    Young, Shawn Young
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    Quote Originally Posted by FloridaFish
    Im glad someone noticed. This guy is a troll of the worse kind
    "Im just going to explore a little bit..."

    Dont make me be the bad guy...

    Do I need a pass to ride this trail?

  100. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redmon
    Im glad someone noticed. This guy is a troll of the worse kind
    I would not go so far as to call the O.P. a troll , attention seeker maybe . There have been no inflammatory posts from the O.P. , IMHO he's just getting the message out , nothing wrong with that is there ?



    [/QUOTE]
    The OP is a racist jack0ff.[/QUOTE]


    I think that is the farthest thing from the truth .

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