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Today, Chipps wrote this:

It shouldn’t need saying, which is why it absolutely does: As the editor of a mountain bike magazine – a hobby dominated by white, middle class people – I wanted to state that there’s no room in our sport, magazine, or world, for racism. Everyone has to play their part.

Chipps Chippendale – Singletrack Editor

Playing your part’ is something we’ve been conscious of for some time, but as we sit here today, we know we’ve not done enough.

The representation of people of colour within the pages – paper and virtual – of Singletrack, is an issue we’re aware of. All too often, the only non-white skin in the images are those of the local people in the far flung lands that we feature.

We’re not going to add our words in place of absent voices, so instead we’re sharing these sources in the hope that they will reach a new audience. But we also want to find a way to fill the void. We are ashamed that among the many writers we have, we don’t feel like there’s even one we could ask to contribute to the conversation right now, or to ask their opinion on the right way forward.

We are part of the problem. If you’re reading this, we’d like your help to change that.

You don’t need to be a professional to write for Singletrack, you just need to be able to tell a great mountain biking tale that others will want to read.

Help us to share your stories and change Singletrack for the better.

Writers and photographers are invited to submit story ideas to editorial@singletrackworld.com

If you don’t want to write a whole story, tag us (@singletrackmag) in a picture of you out on your ride on Instagram stories and we will re-share posts to help diversify the feed of the bike media

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I was originally going to post this on Wednesday… But then a man was murdered in my town in broad daylight and nothing has been the same since. That’s the really horrifying part about being Black in America, you don’t get to pick and choose when racism and terror show up at your door. It just barges in—unannounced and uninvited. I believe that despite all that’s going on, Black and brown people deserve to experience joy. So I’m posting this because it was a genuine JOY to produce and I’ll be damned if I let them take that away from me! ____ You’ve heard about #adventurecoffee but have you tried #backcountrybreakfast ? While restaurants and other dining experiences are largely inaccessible right now, that doesn’t mean that you have to stay home for every meal! Recently, I’ve been taking advantage of the early morning light to load up my bike, head into the woods, and cook breakfast outside before starting my work day. This is a great way to get some adventure in my day; get on my bike and move; and make use of that bikepacking gear that’s been accumulating dust as of late. PLUS I find that food always tastes better when I make it outside! Shoutout to @kenapeay for reminding me that cooking outside isn’t just a necessity when camping—it can be a super fun activity by itself! Check out my story to see what my breakfast in the woods was like last week and let me know if you feel inspired to give it a go! Finding that adventure in everyday life is so important! That’s why I’m psyched to be partnering with @backcountry They have a huge selection of gear for all your outdoor recreation and knowledgeable gearheads to help make sure you find the equipment to make your adventure happen. Use the code RACHEL15 to get 15% off your first purchase! *exclusions apply* #FindYourBackcountry #ad #sponsored Photo credit: @dr.braap.snaps

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Comments (26)

    A fair point well presented, it’s such a sad indictment on society that yet another injustice had to happen for peoples conscience to be pricked, yours included.

    Dear Chipps and the Singletrack Team,

    Thank you for this. I am one of your white, middle-class readers. I am also a doctor and to complete the full house of stereotypes yes I do own a Santa Cruz (a Stigmata – which I love with a passion). I have really enjoyed the content you have produced during lockdown. Hannah’s reflections in particular have been outstanding and at times very moving but it feels like the output of the whole team has matured somehow.

    However this piece really hit hard. I don’t come to Singletrack for political commentary. At first I wondered about the place of this in an mtb magazine. However on reflection I realise that’s because I have never knowingly been the subject of discrimination and I’m complacent. So thank you for shaking me out of that complacency. Bravo. I am really looking forward to hearing the new voices that this piece will surely attract.

    We have to keep working to include everyone, we should not rest in this. So sad we are still here, still saying this.

    Click on make a donation button, scroll down to meet the singletrack team. 10 white people.

    Talk of diversity is cheap. So is your virtue signalling.

    @kahl we had that discussion in the office: does trying to do something just look like virtue signalling, or is it better to say nothing? Saying nothing changes nothing, so we decided to risk criticism in the hope that we might attract some new voices, or help other voices reach a new audience. If you have other ideas about what we should do, we’re open to suggestions.

    @kahl Let’s all just ignore the issue then. Then we can carry on as normal, safe in the knowledge that no-one cares enough to do their little bit in order to raise awareness. How can you berate people for highlighting a cause about which you feel strongly?

    As a person of colour – I have felt great support from people who populate the forum in a particular instance of racist behaviour. That support was not unexpected but welcome nonetheless.

    Whilst none of us can be complacent in the fight against prejudice, I see evidence that many people here do their best to challenge their own perceptions and attitudes – actively questioning. Again hugely welcome.

    “ @kahl we had that discussion in the office: does trying to do something just look like virtue signalling, or is it better to say nothing? Saying nothing changes nothing, so we decided to risk criticism in the hope that we might attract some new voices, or help other voices reach a new audience. If you have other ideas about what we should do, we’re open to suggestions.”


    Good intentions from all.
    Let us ALL be judged by our actions from here on in.
    And if anyone hasn’t seen it there is a thread in the off topic forum you may wish to read and even contribute to.

    Virtue signaling at its worst. 99% will forget all about it by tomorrow and moved on to clapping for NHS staff or whatever comes along.

    I hope due process of followed and the police officer is in court. I equally want all those who riot and are violent also up in court to account for themselves.

    “Virtue signaling at its worst. 99% will forget all about it by tomorrow”

    If people don’t at least come together with one voice for fear of Someone On The Internet accusing them of virtue signalling then a good chunk of that 99% won’t have even heard about it by tomorrow, let alone forgotten about it.

    “I equally want all those who riot and are violent also up in court to account for themselves.”

    So you’ve come here to argue against spoken/written reaction to racial murder and to argue against violent reaction to racial murder? What’s your plan then, other than to argue against reacting to racial murder?

    No. I spoke about hollow virtue signaling that will be forgotten by tomorrow about all the pro athletes and brands putting up blank posts knowing full well tomorrow they will all get replaced with their normal content and do nothing. The problem is that people think posting on a social media is doing something and it’s not. Nothing will change because people put a black photo up for a few hours

    Chrismac, I hear your point. The fact that people do something even if it’s for a short time, is a start of recognition of something. It may not be perfect, but it’s a start. It’s not the answer, but it’s more than nothing. It needs Education and awareness. Then, we can move forward. To be honest, my children coming from mixed back ground, (English-Chinese) even got a bit a abuse for the Covid thing at Primary school. Primary school! What are parent’s saying to their children?? anyway, I digress.. many people need education, to teach everyone, that we are all the same, and that we should all be treated the same.

    “Nothing will change because people put a black photo up for a few hours”

    Of course—although this time both the scale and nature of the social media reaction seems a notch above previous occasions, so perhaps it will be a more potent catalyst.

    But you’re missing the point. Refer back to Hannah’s comment that “we had that discussion in the office: does trying to do something just look like virtue signalling, or is it better to say nothing?”

    Evidently, people who want to do something, but who aren’t necessarily sure what that something should be, are having to think before they even speak about it: Hannah’s post refers to the conscious step of considering all the Someones On The Internet who will take time to shout it down as virtue signalling or whatever else. If people are having to think about whether or not they saying something, then plainly there’s a chance that they’ll come to the conclusion that it’s better to say nothing. That’s literally the other option in Hannah’s comment. And that criticism—your criticism—pushes people towards “say nothing”.

    I’m another privileged individual: white, middle-aged, male, able-bodied, heterosexual… whether it’s racism or sexism or homophobia or whatever, I’m inevitably going to be the ignorant dickhead who doesn’t know what’s the best action to take. But whatever the best thing is, it sure as hell isn’t shouting down other white people who give an uninformed but genuine shit about racism. Because that encourages them to “say nothing”, and that would be standing up for racism.

    Wrong is simply wrong and people of all colour should be able to say so without being shot down because of the bike they ride, the job they have or the colour of their skin. Good on you Singletrack for saying something.

    “But whatever the best thing is, it sure as hell isn’t shouting down other white people who give an uninformed but genuine shit about racism. Because that encourages them to “say nothing”, and that would be standing up for racism.“

    Very much this…

    Thank you for writing this and thank you for amplifying the voices of others. I’m yet another one of your white, middle class privileged readers who does not have to worry about his safety and who does not have to worry about equality, for some reason that is beyond all logical deduction I have been born more equal than others.

    For me mountain biking is a wonderful escape – for my mind and my body – and it is not a luxury that is afforded to all. Cycling is one of the worlds simplest freedoms and I would love to see more BIPOC bodies and voices in your magazine so that we can build an open and inclusive community, not a walled garden for the lucky few.

    Thank you for calling yourselves out, it’s an amazing start. Please don’t let this fall by the wayside, keep pushing and keep creating the best mountain biking content in the market.

    Well said Hannah and Bez. Starting somewhere publicly opens you up to the accusations of virtue signalling, or for me, you, so many on here, saying the wrong thing out of the ignorance a privileged background brings. It’s better to take that chance than to say/do nothing or worse, take a pop at others who do say something. Baseless call-outs just encourages silence and silence is part of what enables this to continue – as others have said already. In many ways the blackouttuesday posts allowed people to raise a hand in support without the expectations of commentary that can go the way it often does online. Might have been a start point, might have gone along with a lot that you don’t know about that isn’t so obvious on social media. Can’t say it’s signalling if you don’t have that perspective.
    Is it a blip among those of us that racism doesn’t affect directly? I hope not, not again. A society where empathy fails does affect us all. Is it shameful to many like me who know this has always been there and it’s taken this to get us moved again? Yes, incredibly so. That’s also not a reason to stay silent or fail to support change.

    Well said Chipps, and well said to (nearly) all those who’ve commented too.
    I’m yet another white middle-class person and I am aware that a lot of what we try to do at a time like this may look like little more than empty gestures. I do think that’s better than completely ignoring the very real problem, but mostly I really hope that your appeal will encourage more voices from disadvantaged communities. They are the ones who can tell us what we can do to help.

    Accusations of ‘virtue signalling’ or being a ‘white knight’ seem to originate in several thoughts/attitudes.

    1. “I am fine and therefore – why do things need to change?”
    2. “I am happy with how I am – don’t feel I am personally prejudiced and so why do I need to challenge my views or thoughts?”
    3. “This is all in the imagination of people who don’t have the capability to succeed or who have made the wrong choices.”
    4. “How can I be privileged – I’m not rich/I’m self-made and no-one helped me/I have black friends”
    5. “I have black friends/employees/neighbours and I don’t feel the need to make a point of it.”

    All of them not really acknowledging the problem and ignoring why change is required and why change starts with all of us.

    More likely is that time after time we see the same self-professed middle aged, middle class, white, privileged group of people make hollow token gestures, pat themselves on the back for a day or two so they can feel good about themselves, before going back to their day to day lives having made zero meaningful change. But at least their peers get to see them make the odd post on social media here and there. And of course if you’re a white women of privilege (let’s be honest, the most privileged of all groups), as a group you just have to take the opportunity to try and hijack the movement with it’s grass roots in black issues and make it about yourselves.

    Kahl. Is there a real point to your posts or Have you run out of diversions under your bridge…?

    The point is the people I mention above are doing the least, most minimum amount they can do that either makes them feel or look better, not anything real to help.

    Read the article again. What are they actually doing? The have asked people to submit content to them with their stories. Only asked them to via an open invite. Least amount of effort on their part. Why not go out there and look for writers, either existing or people with potential and their stories rather than sit back and wait for others to get in touch? As posted by someone above, this was hightlighted in an article two years ago. What have they done about it since?

    Second they have offered to repost of peoples social media content if they tag them in the first place. Again, minimum effort. Why not go out their and make the first contact? If you care enough and want to actually do something that leads to results you would be out there in the first place looking for these people and approaching them. Why not approach representatives of minority groups, offer to put on an introductory day of mountain biking, show them the ropes? Make an article about it, make it a regular event. Run a campaign to buy bikes, setup and contribute to a fundraiser to get disadvantaged minority kids involved in the sport through schools or youth groups. Approach sponsors and companies within the idustry, write articles about what they are doing on the issue, if doing nothing then challenge them – put it in writing, publish it, comment on the response. Follow it up.

    But hey ho, turn your instagram black for a day or whatever. That’s easy enough eh, and some faceless corporation thought it up already so saves you having to come up with anything yourselves. And of course all your followers will get to see that you care. That’ll buy a couple more years until the next time, then rinse and repeat. And I’m the troll?

    Good. Now we’re getting constructive.

    @kahl thank you for making those suggestions. Some of them we have tried and probably need to try again, some of them are ideas we will look at. We don’t think this story is going to answer the problem, we’re just trying to take steps in the right direction. Hopefully each step reveals new paths we can take, and more suggestions like yours that we can pursue.

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