Viewing 28 posts - 121 through 148 (of 148 total)
  • Racism in Mountain Biking
  • joepud
    Free Member

    I don’t normally look at the STW FB links (or the replies). Is it common for such a large number to be from the US? I don’t  think there’s such a high proportion actually use the forum.

    FB is an absolute cesspool of society at times. I binned it off due to the amount of idiots on it, Twitter is basically the same.

    incompletefailure
    Free Member

    Hi. Genuine “ethnic minority” lady mountain biker here. Been biking on and off since mid-2000s.

    I have a lot of thoughts I’d like to share about this topic. I realise this thread is old, but hoping this forum works like they used to 20 years ago and my comment will bump it up to the top?

    Anyway it’s been fascinating reading your discussion. But here are some other reasons why you’re unlikely to see non-white people on your trails (these are all from a personal perspective but can apply to other cultures):

    -In many immigrant cultures, riding a bike is considered embarrassing. It’s something you do when you’re poor and can’t afford a car. Just one generation back in many cases, our parents were living in homes without electricity or running water, so they have a complicated relationship with status and money and being seen to be of a lower status. Similar thing with camping – it’s too similar to being a hobo.

    -In some cultures, it’s absolutely forbidden for women to even ride a bicycle in the first place. This happened to my mum. You can imagine the bollocking I got from her when I started cycling to work in London.

    -For many 1st generation immigrant families they’re so busy just trying to fit in, learn the language, work and bring up family, or cope with war trauma, that they don’t have time for hobbies or holidays. From personal experience we may have had the odd day trip to the beach, but overnight stays were non-existent. I’m not even sure the concept of travelling far away for leisure is a “thing” in some cultures. Put it this way, I had to have a bunch of middle class white girls explain to me what the word “holiday” meant when I started secondary school. I’d never heard the word before.

    -Yes most of us live in cities. You can still ride a bike in a city, but that doesn’t automatically mean you’ll make the connection to riding in nature. I used to hang around with people who did dirt jumping, and yet none of them knew that trail riding existed because we were so focused on the urban environment and couldn’t afford to own a car in the city. So travelling out wasn’t even on the radar for a long time.

    -As they talked about in the podcast, us city kids don’t really always feel comfortable going into the countryside. I was lucky because my school took me on a few field trips, one to Wales and one to the Lake District. My siblings went to a different school and didn’t leave the city.

    -Many non-western cultures focus heavily on family cohesion, and they have BIG families. Women especially, since they are often the primary caregivers to young and elderly may feel squeezed for free time. Families are very large and it’s harder to carve out a day to themselves to travel to a mountain. Family will expect you to spend time with them over going out with friends.

    -Academics are a priority over sports. Of course you can have both, but this was not an option in my experience. I was encouraged to be studious and get good grades so I could have a stable career and not be poor. The idea of doing extra-curricular sports seemed very foreign to me.

    -Yes sometimes the stares you get are a bit much and can be unnerving. I’ll never forget the aggressive stares me and my black friend got when we went for a casual walk around Epsom. Bloody Epsom, not even the countryside, just mild mannered suburbia! I don’t get the stares so much because it’s not obvious I’m not white from a distance. My darker skinned friends don’t have this luxury.

    -And last but not least yes, sometimes there is overt racism when you’re on your bike. But it is mostly rare. I have had a racial slur thrown at me, but it was only once in several years of riding. Everyone will have had different experiences with regard to overt racism. I’m not going to say it doesn’t exist, but experiences vary wildly from person to person.

    A lot of these cultural factors are focused on south asian, middle eastern, more muslim-based cultures. I think asian is the largest non-white ethnic group in the UK, so maybe these factors account for a lot more than people realise. But in short, it’s complicated, but hopefully I’ve shed a bit of light on things.

    molgrips
    Free Member

    Interesting insight, thanks for posting ^^ and welcome to the forum

    Out of interest, how did you find the thread?

    TheBrick
    Free Member

    Thanks for taking the time to write your experience(s) and pov.

    But in short, it’s complicated

    I’d agree with that. As with most things, the variation form one person to the other be massive but there are common threads (and your post helps to find some of them). Denial that people experience difficulty, racism, unease or unrepresented is the big problem imo. This is denying peoples experiences and effectively calling them a liar to situation or feeling they know they have gone though. Which is pretty patronising. Anyway just my opinion and its ok to disagree.

    edit: clarity.

    incompletefailure
    Free Member

    molgrops – I googled “diversity in mountain biking” (or something to that effect) because I was intrigued by the topic. This forum tends to show up in a lot of google search results.

    TheBrick
    Free Member

    Out of interest, how did you find the thread?

    Yeah man, curios too!

    incompletefailure
    Free Member

    TheBrick – I’m not sure I understand your comment. Are you saying that I am suggesting people are lying about having experienced racism?

    edit: I saw you edited your comment, I understand what you’re getting at now. Wasn’t clear before.

    TheBrick
    Free Member

    Nope. That’s more in reference to the rest of the thread. There are many that deny that there is a problem because the have a mate call who is black / Asian / minority of choice and ride a bike bla bla bla so there can’t be an issue. That I take real issue with as peoples experiences are varied and to deny others experience because of another experience is ridiculous..

    My point was that you POV is good to add another layer, another perspective and may hopefully allow people so see some of the underlying trends. Not that all the issues you speak of apply to all people all of the time. There is no one voice nor should there be, it would be impossible to be, but hearing more voices more pov is important (IMO) to helping people to see where issues can and do exist and maybe things improved. I want to hear more opinions.

    I don’t think standing up (even in a virtual world) and sharing experiences is always easy but its good to hear.

    Sorry a bit difficult to fully write down my pov / opinion.

    ibnchris
    Full Member

    I know of a fairly well known outdoor clothing brand that recently used BAME models in their facebook ad campaigns and the racist abuse they got was so bad they were taken off facebook. Yup, facebook penalised the brand not the racist **** posting their vile abuse.

    Made me worry for the outdoor sector given the ads would have been targetting outdoor folk.

    molgrips
    Free Member

    A bit of a tangent to this. I used to see more people of South Asian origin in the gym than out running or biking. But since lockdown I think many have taken to the streets (along with everyone else from the gym!) which is a good thing, and I hope it stays. My Indian neighbours were both gym goers, but I saw them both heading off up the hill on road bikes yesterday. At a decent clip too.

    incompletefailure
    Free Member

    Not that all the issues you speak of apply to all people all of the time. There is no one voice nor should there be

    Naturally. We’re not a monolith, all cultures are different. Just as women are not a monolith with universal experiences and perspective. I offered a few thoughts, but I am well aware they’re not universal.

    Blackflag
    Free Member

    I’m an outdoorsy type but i’d gladly admin that in general outdoorsy types are a bit at the back of the queue when it comes to progressive thinking.

    A better way to look at the issue is not just as racism but as inclusivity. So rather than say “its xxxx fault they are not joining in?” try “what needs to happen so that others want to join in?”

    Availability and promotion of role models is a good place to start.

    TheBrick
    Free Member

    I offered a few thoughts,

    That’s what we need more diverse voices. Thank you.

    footflaps
    Full Member

    Naturally. We’re not a monolith, all cultures are different.

    A friend’s wife is Black and was therefore automatically added to the ‘BAME’ group at work. She then pointed out that there are 50+ countries alone in Africa, all of who have different cultures etc before you add in the ME and assuming they were all the ‘same’ just because they donn’t have white skin was a bit insulting. Fair point really….

    MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    Excellent to see this resurrected with such a well written insight. Thanks – and welcome to the forum.

    dannyh
    Free Member

    I’m an outdoorsy type but i’d gladly admin that in general outdoorsy types are a bit at the back of the queue when it comes to progressive thinking.

    Talking of not being a monolith….

    I would disagree with that statement. The outdoorsy types I know are, generally speaking, more progressive and laid back than those who aren’t.

    That is the people who genuinely enjoy the outdoors without wanting to ‘own’ it for themselves…

    🤷‍♂️

    jamj1974
    Full Member

    I will give that a listen – not least because I have some skin in the game.

    As POC who has been out on mountain bikes off-road since 1987, I feel very much of a minority. My own group of riding friends only really includes a few other people from similar backgrounds as me – and that’s including my brother…

    It’s getting a bit tiresome with people who don’t experience racist prejudice, discounting that it exists. I know and I acknowledge that my life experience is not shared by all people. Why do some people find it so hard to understand the same about themselves.

    kerley
    Free Member

    assuming they were all the ‘same’ just because they donn’t have white skin was a bit insulting.

    Is anyone assuming they are all the same or is the point of marking out BAME to ensure people in that group get a fairer shot at everything?
    White people are not all the same either but we don’t need a white group for obvious reasons.

    TheBrick
    Free Member

    It’s getting a bit tiresome with people who don’t experience racist prejudice, discounting that it exists. I know and I acknowledge that my life experience is not shared by all people. Why do some people find it so hard to understand the same about themselves.

    It sucks but not surprising. Not race related but you hear so many stories in politics of I came from background xxx and achieved yyy so there is no reason someone else can’t do the same. If the people at the top promote the idea that one experience from a group is the same for all with over simplifications its no surprise. Its the denial that you can’t have had a different experience.

    jamj1974
    Full Member

    It sucks but not surprising. Not race related but you hear so many stories in politics of I came from background xxx and achieved yyy so there is no reason someone else can’t do the same. If the people at the top promote the idea that one experience from a group is the same for all with over simplifications its no surprise. Its the denial that you can’t have had a different experience.

    Agreed.

    doubleeagle
    Free Member

    This is such a great comment, thanks for posting this. It’s definitely given me a lot more perspective.

    jamj1974
    Full Member

    Incompletefailure, your post was so helpful to me, because of your description of the multiple factors that could be involved – and some you described as applying to yourself. Very illuminating as although I identify as a POC, I have dual-heritage and am male.

    p7eaven
    Free Member

    I know and I acknowledge that my life experience is not shared by all people. Why do some people find it so hard to understand the same about themselves.

    Because they lack empathy and/or experience, especially at the ‘sharp end’? At a guess.

    Another guess I’d offer would be ‘privileged’, but it’s rapidly becoming politically incorrect to use that term. Recently had a discussion with a good friend/peer of mine about the term and he really was quite resistant to the notion that it even exists. Which was a surprise. I resisted the notion that it doesn’t exist. To be fair, he seemed more annoyed/ at the term/usage itself rather than it’s definition. That’s where it gets complex/fragile. I always found it confusing when I talk to people who can well understand ‘class privilege’, and yet they have trouble with detecting other layers of privilege around ethnicity/gender/race etc.

    chiefgrooveguru
    Full Member

    It seems that a lot of people get upset by being accused of being privileged because they feel it takes away from their achievements. The irony is that those same people tend to be the ones calling people “snowflakes” for exhibiting empathy.

    continuity
    Free Member

    There are similar numbers of ethnically Pakistani and ethically polish people in the UK. It’s not exact, but it’s close enough for comparison. Importantly, the socioeconomics are pretty similar too.

    How many polish people do you find at a cricket match in Leeds?

    How many polish Instagram cricket stars are there for young polish kids?

    How many nationally funded grassroots cricket funds are there for polish people?

    Is cricket ‘racist’?

    Do we have a duty to get more polish people watching cricket matches?

    If you don’t have good answers to these questions you probably need to question why you’re being an evangelist about mountain biking. I have had to say the same thing to people who tell me rock climbing is racist too.

    MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    I’m not aware that “Polish” is a race, though I understand the point you are making.

    Noticeable today on my ride around the lanes west of Derby today that there were two groups out riding who were majority BAME. Looked like occasional riders out for healthy exercise rather than “serious” fully kitted up cyclists, but even with Derbys ethnic mix, it struck me as unusual, but great to see.

    There’s been a noticeable increase in people/families of Asian heritage out and about walking in the countryside in the last 12 months. Maybe the restrictions of the last year will help break down barriers on all sides.

    continuity
    Free Member

    Firstly, retarded typo in my last post due to using a phone.

    Secondly, a hard one to argue and I’m not trying to open a can of worms about the taxonomy of ‘race’ – which really has often fallen out of favour to ‘ethnicity’ – but we’ll be here all day if we go into social or biological essentialism.

    I guess my point is that a lack of equality of outcome doesn’t automatically imply a lack of equality in opportunity, and that those arguing for absolute proportional representation have the burden of proof on their hands. Why I felt the need to use a wooly analogy is that it appears the automatic assumption behind much of the content of these ‘The outdoors is racist’ dialogues.

    MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    I guess my point is that a lack of equality of outcome doesn’t automatically imply a lack of equality in opportunity

    I agree with the point, but its also fair to say that while “we” feel that outdoor activities are available to people of all ethnic backgrounds, the experience of those people and their perceptions may make them believe otherwise. That’s probably the discussion we need to be having

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