Ride Over Racism – Mountain Biking As a Healer

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Here we have two thought provoking videos for you – one is a trailer for a longer film that premiered at the Kendal Mountain Festival this weekend. Both address issues around racism, and how mountain biking can help act as a healer for individuals affected. They invite you to reflect on how racism in wider society can manifest itself in mountain biking, how mountain biking can help build communities to overcome barriers, and how mountain biking can help individuals overcome personal battles.

After The Storm

After The Storm - Trailer

After The Storm reveals the remarkable story of Scots Asian diversity pioneer Aneela McKenna who has tackled racism and discrimination in her own life with the help of mountain biking.  It invites viewers and the cycling industry to open their hearts and minds to how racial discrimination feels and to be the best, most enriched version of themselves.

A few years ago, Aneela McKenna was at breaking point. Embroiled in a racism grievance case against her boss, her self-confidence, respect and belief had plummeted to an all-time low and she needed a timeout.

Taking an extended career break, Aneela embarked on a solo mission on her trusty mountain bike in search of what she most needed to mend and renew herself. She turned to her favourite place in the world – the Outer Hebrides, the site of many happy memories of adventures with her husband Andy.
In this film Aneela and Andy revisit these remote Scottish islands and pedal their way through life’s ups and downs.

Amid stunning scenery, the pair ride and reflect on the realities which drove her to this unspoilt landscape and the refreshed outlook and strength she returned home with. Moments of pain, frustration, triumph, laughter and defiance are uncovered on the beaches, in the waves, over a bothy fireside dram and amidst the mountains where their connection to Scotland and one another is strongest.

After the Storm reveals how Aneela’s solo trip sparked changes in the couple’s lives and asks everyone involved in mountain biking to look in the mirror and face up to tough topics.

This film is the next chapter in a story started with the highly-acclaimed 2017 film This Way Up by Andy McKenna and Andy McCandlish.

Join the adventure to #RIDEOVERRACISM and make mountain biking a more diverse and inclusive space. Beyond the Kendal Mountain Festival premiere, After the Storm will be available via a ‘Diversity Tour’ for private screening to organisations within the MTB, cycling and outdoors sectors – combined with expertly facilitated discussion around diversity and inclusion, allyship, barriers to inclusivity and overcoming these challenges. Aneela and Andy welcome requests.

A Space For All

Brooke Goudy is on a mission to not have to talk about how representation matters. Getting all people to “acknowledge and understand barriers, and that we, all folks, white folks, black folks, brown folks, are out there working our hardest to remove those barriers.”

Resilience: It is the key to success on and off the trail. It’s the ability to fall and get up again, to recover from your worst day and hold excitement for tomorrow. Off the bike, we engage in conflict and struggle with those around us, most often with ourselves. We build resilience on the trail and carry it into our daily lives. It is what gives us strength.

Strength: Right foot, left foot – the biking rhythm keeps us upright during the hardest part of the ride. A mantra that carries us through to the end. We grow strong, learn to lean into the discomfort, and stand up to the challenge. It is not easy to be the “only one,” to challenge the status quo, to make room for others, but we do it. We persevere and tap into our grit.

Grit: We set goals and follow through with early morning rides and late-night meetings. We advocate for access to trail systems and volunteer to keep them in good repair. Our passion drives our obsession. We are not afraid to speak our truth and reckon with the impact of our choices. Resilience, Strength, and Grit: this is MTB. These trails belong to everyone. We must work to make “a space for all.”

Brooke Goudy

We hope these stories inspire you to try mountain biking, to encourage your friends to mountain bike, and to reflect on how you might respond to racism when you see it – be that on the trail or in wider society.

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  • Ride Over Racism – Mountain Biking As a Healer
  • Premier Icon Brendan Meehan
    Full Member

    The Hebrides look lush. Anyone know where Aneela was in that clip?


    Premier Icon jordan
    Full Member

    Would like to watch that in full!

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