Bicycle Friendly America Summer 2018 - 7

T

here is a beauty to sitting in discomfort and challenging
yourself to really think about who you are and how you
operate. I'm asking you to let in the discomfort of being
tasked with creating more representation for people of color in
the cycling world. Then, I want you to ask yourselves why that
feels so challenging.
For many, this is a welcome challenge, but I've spent way
more time than I would like to admit trying to convince people
why "not seeing color" is just as ridiculous as it is destructive.
The "color-blind" approach to representation is incredibly
problematic.

It is a privilege to not see color.
If you are a white person, and you live your life mostly
amongst white people, you will likely be very comfortable being around large groups of mostly other white people. If you are
not a white person, it is far more obvious to you when you are
in predominantly white spaces, because you are not accompanied by many, if any, other people that look like you.
In today's sociopolitical climate it is easy to want a break
from talking about race, injustice, privilege, bias, tokenism and
all of the other vocabulary being thrown around in conversations, articles and comment sections.
This article is not that break. I am on a mission for representation of people of color in cycling. That means I'm constantly
speaking about privilege, implicit bias and tokenism as they are
at the very heart of the problem. Without understanding these
terms, we can't even begin to discuss the solutions for representation anywhere, let alone cycling.

ยป ABOUT AYESHA

Ayesha McGowan has the goal of becoming the first
African-American female pro road cyclist. Ayesha
started riding bikes as a commuter while attending
Berklee College of Music in Boston. Since then,
she has immersed herself into the world of cycling.
While living Brooklyn, NY, she worked as preschool
music teacher, a Branding Administrator for WE
Bike NYC, an organization geared towards getting
more women on bicycles and Director of Programs
for InTandem, an organization that provides access
to bike rides for people with disabilities.
In 2014 she discovered the world of bike racing. She
won her first state championship in her third race.
It didn't take long for her to notice that she was one
of very few females of African-American descent on
the scene. In fact, she discovered that there had not
been a single African-American pro road cyclist, ever.
She has taken it upon herself to become the first. As
an advocate by example, she has dedicated herself to
encouraging and inspiring other women of color to
follow their dreams, whatever they may be.

Adjusting people to the idea of sitting in discomfort is like
trying to explain to children that death happens to everyone,
and that there's nothing you can do about it. Just like coming to
terms with the truth about death, if we so choose, we can also
acknowledge that implicit bias, privilege and tokenism exist.
Once we accept that they exist, we might also be able to let in
the ideas that we are also participants in the systems that keep
SUMMER 2018

Through various initiatives that focus on representation like her "Do Better Together" virtual ride series,
Ayesha has inspired countless people to ride more,
ride together, and to challenge themselves and their
views of how they define the word "cyclist."
Ayesha is supported by Cannondale, ASSOS and
SRAM. She has been featured in VICE Sports, Outside Magazine, Bicycling Magazine and BBC World.
BICYCLE FRIENDLY AMERICA 7



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Bicycle Friendly America Summer 2018

No label
Bicycle Friendly America Summer 2018 - No label
Bicycle Friendly America Summer 2018 - Cover1
Bicycle Friendly America Summer 2018 - Cover2
Bicycle Friendly America Summer 2018 - 1
Bicycle Friendly America Summer 2018 - 2
Bicycle Friendly America Summer 2018 - 3
Bicycle Friendly America Summer 2018 - 4
Bicycle Friendly America Summer 2018 - 5
Bicycle Friendly America Summer 2018 - 6
Bicycle Friendly America Summer 2018 - 7
Bicycle Friendly America Summer 2018 - 8
Bicycle Friendly America Summer 2018 - 9
Bicycle Friendly America Summer 2018 - 10
Bicycle Friendly America Summer 2018 - 11
Bicycle Friendly America Summer 2018 - 12
Bicycle Friendly America Summer 2018 - 13
Bicycle Friendly America Summer 2018 - 14
Bicycle Friendly America Summer 2018 - 15
Bicycle Friendly America Summer 2018 - 16
Bicycle Friendly America Summer 2018 - 17
Bicycle Friendly America Summer 2018 - 18
Bicycle Friendly America Summer 2018 - 19
Bicycle Friendly America Summer 2018 - 20
Bicycle Friendly America Summer 2018 - 21
Bicycle Friendly America Summer 2018 - 22
Bicycle Friendly America Summer 2018 - 23
Bicycle Friendly America Summer 2018 - 24
Bicycle Friendly America Summer 2018 - 25
Bicycle Friendly America Summer 2018 - 26
Bicycle Friendly America Summer 2018 - 27
Bicycle Friendly America Summer 2018 - 28
Bicycle Friendly America Summer 2018 - 29
Bicycle Friendly America Summer 2018 - 30
Bicycle Friendly America Summer 2018 - 31
Bicycle Friendly America Summer 2018 - 32
Bicycle Friendly America Summer 2018 - 33
Bicycle Friendly America Summer 2018 - 34
Bicycle Friendly America Summer 2018 - 35
Bicycle Friendly America Summer 2018 - 36
Bicycle Friendly America Summer 2018 - 37
Bicycle Friendly America Summer 2018 - 38
Bicycle Friendly America Summer 2018 - 39
Bicycle Friendly America Summer 2018 - 40
Bicycle Friendly America Summer 2018 - 41
Bicycle Friendly America Summer 2018 - Cover3
Bicycle Friendly America Summer 2018 - Cover4
http://www.nxtbook.com/mercury/bikeleague/BFA_Summer2018
http://www.nxtbook.com/mercury/bikeleague/BFA_Winter2018
http://www.nxtbook.com/mercury/bikeleague/BFA_Fall2017
http://www.nxtbook.com/mercury/bikeleague/BFA_Summer2017
http://www.nxtbook.com/mercury/bikeleague/BFA_Winter2017
http://www.nxtbook.com/mercury/bikeleague/BFA_Fall2016_GatewayDemo
http://www.nxtbook.com/mercury/bikeleague/BFA_Fall2016
http://www.nxtbook.com/mercury/bikeleague/BFA_Spring2016
http://www.nxtbookMEDIA.com