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  #21  
Old March 4th 05, 05:42 PM
Rich Clark
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"Chris Zacho "The Wheelman"" wrote in message
...
I have been riding for over 30 years now. I've been the member of many
clubs, large and small, on both coasts and in the middle. I've been to
and done many organized rides (short, long and "are you nuts?") and bike
rallies boasting attendances ranging from the hundreds to the thousands.


Yet at any one of these organizations or events, I could count the total
number of "Afro-American" riders with the fingers of one hand.


And yet, riding to and from work every day (which is as organized as *I*
ever get about riding) I see blacks represented in roughly the same
proportion as they exist in the general local population.

The
portion of South Carolina where I live now, according to the latest
census, has a population that is about 60% black. Yet the local club,
which has nearly 100 members, to my knowledge has only one black
cyclist. Hardly an accurate representation of the population at large.

In fact, I'll be willing to bet, that out of all the posters on this
board, only one, maybe two, max. are black. If indeed anybody here is.
Where are all the black riders? What is it about our sport that makes it
so unappealing to an entire race of people?

Anybody have any theories?


My theory is that some people don't find it necessary to pay dues, join
organizations, and wear uniforms in order to ride a bicycle.

And the more I ride, the less time I spend talking about it.

RichC


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  #22  
Old March 4th 05, 05:59 PM
maxo
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On Fri, 04 Mar 2005 17:40:11 +0000, Neil Brooks wrote:

I think it's incendiary
based on the potential for ill-conceived, mean spirited responses that
are based more in ignorance, prejudice, preconception, or bigotry than
in any semblance of fact.


It also gives us to potential to laugh at our ridiculous, mostly pale,
lycra-wearing selves.

Perhaps it's because I grew up a really square white guy in a black
neighborhood, or maybe I'm just insensitive--but I find laughing about our
cultural differences to be quite healthy and cathartic. Serious
discussions about race have their place, but I'd rather point out the fact
that I can't dance.



  #23  
Old March 4th 05, 07:15 PM
Buck
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Brendon M. Troy wrote:
The implication that all black people are poor, and that all that
all black people are interested in doing for recreation is
basketball (in overpriced shoes, no less). Those (followed up by
more generalization about what "black people like to (do)") were
what I took umbrage at, if it wasn't clear.

-Brendon


Brendon,

It seems to me that you are a victim of the hyper-sensitivity that
seems prevalent in the U.S. these days. Every group - whether linked by
race, economic status, attendance at a certain college - has certain
characteristics in common. Is should not be considered racist to
discuss commonalities and point out the outliers which defy the
stereotype.

This discussion about blacks and cycling reminds me of a report
yesterday about "Urban Youth" who are participating in a program which
exposes them to another primarily white sport, snowboarding. The first
youth interviewed says "I thought it was just uh... a sport for white
people." Although they are careful to call him a poor inner-city youth,
he sounds like a young black man. Here's where you can hear it for
yourself: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...toryId=4517994

He also states that he loved to watch the sport on TV, but never
considered participating. I find it facinating that this young man
recognizes there are differences and is willing to voice it. Yet here
we are on this open form getting incensed over some simple comments.

Is it reasonable to have such an inflammatory response over an unbiased
observation or fact? Most of our world operates in a self-segratory
manner. Just look at blacks, hispanics, or asians in the U.S., Kurds in
Iraq, or Palestinians in Israel. Why do we have a "Little Italy" in New
York or a "Chinatown" in San Francisco? Since we have such
self-segration in cities, is it unreasonable to think we may also have
self-segregation in sports or other activities? I think it is important
to discuss the issues so we can understand *why* these things happen
and perhaps do something about it.

-Buck

  #24  
Old March 4th 05, 07:30 PM
Peter Cole
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Chris Zacho "The Wheelman" wrote:

In fact, I'll be willing to bet, that out of all the posters on this
board, only one, maybe two, max. are black. If indeed anybody here

is.
Where are all the black riders? What is it about our sport that makes

it
so unappealing to an entire race of people?


It's an interesting question, but I wouldn't limit it to
black/non-black. I'm curious about the demographics of recreational
cycling. In my experience of club riding (Boston), many groups seem
under-represented. I think cycling is a bit like running in that
respect, only perhaps more so.

How do people get into cycling? Perhaps it's the path that's important.
Most of us don't have a cultural heritage of recreational cycling, so
it's something we have to pick up from other kinds of exposure. I
became "exposed" in an east coast university town (Boston) where a few
acquaintances were serious cyclists during college. I bought a bike
then and did a bit of cycling out of imitation, I guess.

A lot of people like me (middle-aged guys) seemed to pick up cycling
during college, let it lapse a bit afterwards, then returned to it when
seeking a fitness activity. I don't think I'd be cycling now if I
hadn't had that relatively brief exposure during college.

The people I know who do physical work seem to prefer non-physical
recreations (like fishing). Almost all the cyclists I know have
non-physical (desk) jobs. Most of the cyclists I know seem to approach
cycling as more of a fitness activity than a social one, which seems to
bias things to an older population, as there are many better venues for
workout with socialization. The few black club cyclists I know are all
like me: middle-aged, middle-class, college-educated, desk-jockys.

Lastly, I consider the impact of sports on TV. When I played basketball
regularly, you'd see a big increase in turnout during the pro season,
peaking during the playoffs. Similarly, the rise in popularity of
sports like tennis & golf seems to follow the TV coverage and rise of
super stars. Cycling just doesn't get that kind of exposure, so that
limits the demographic breadth of interest. How's a kid today
(black/white/male/fem) get to know about cycling and become a club
cyclist later on?

I do mountain bike patrol in a park that has a very heavy
black/latino/asian user base. White people typically hike and mountain
bike, non-whites picnic, fish and swim. Recently, I've seen a few small
all-black groups of MTB riders show up. I don't think I've seen any
mixed groups. Boston, like most of the country I guess, is still pretty
segregated socially. If cycling is popularized via friend-to-friend
contact, then the lack of black-white socialization may be the only
thing which keeps the activity segregated. It's really a shame since
cycling is so neutral in terms of all factors: age, gender and income,
never mind race.

  #25  
Old March 4th 05, 08:42 PM
psycholist
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"Buck" wrote in message
ups.com...
Brendon M. Troy wrote:
The implication that all black people are poor, and that all that
all black people are interested in doing for recreation is
basketball (in overpriced shoes, no less). Those (followed up by
more generalization about what "black people like to (do)") were
what I took umbrage at, if it wasn't clear.

-Brendon


Brendon,

It seems to me that you are a victim of the hyper-sensitivity that
seems prevalent in the U.S. these days. Every group - whether linked by
race, economic status, attendance at a certain college - has certain
characteristics in common. Is should not be considered racist to
discuss commonalities and point out the outliers which defy the
stereotype.

This discussion about blacks and cycling reminds me of a report
yesterday about "Urban Youth" who are participating in a program which
exposes them to another primarily white sport, snowboarding. The first
youth interviewed says "I thought it was just uh... a sport for white
people." Although they are careful to call him a poor inner-city youth,
he sounds like a young black man. Here's where you can hear it for
yourself: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...toryId=4517994

He also states that he loved to watch the sport on TV, but never
considered participating. I find it facinating that this young man
recognizes there are differences and is willing to voice it. Yet here
we are on this open form getting incensed over some simple comments.

Is it reasonable to have such an inflammatory response over an unbiased
observation or fact? Most of our world operates in a self-segratory
manner. Just look at blacks, hispanics, or asians in the U.S., Kurds in
Iraq, or Palestinians in Israel. Why do we have a "Little Italy" in New
York or a "Chinatown" in San Francisco? Since we have such
self-segration in cities, is it unreasonable to think we may also have
self-segregation in sports or other activities? I think it is important
to discuss the issues so we can understand *why* these things happen
and perhaps do something about it.

-Buck



Isn't it interesting how we're supposed to "celebrate diversity," but we
dare not point out any of the attributes that make us diverse.

--
Bob C.

"Of course it hurts. The trick is not minding that it hurts."
T. E. Lawrence (of Arabia)


  #29  
Old March 4th 05, 11:28 PM
Chris Zacho The Wheelman
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Wow, would you look at that, I actually started a lengthy thread, and it
didn't fall in "flames" after seven or eight posts! LOL Glad to see the
great input and opinions.

And to the one that implied that I was trying to "start something",
you're right, and it seems I did. What inspired it up was a discussion I
heard at the bike shop by a customer who was under the impression that
bicycling was somehow like baseball in the pre-Jackie Robinson days.
That we, as cyclists, simply didn't welcome blacks.

- -

"May you have the winds at your back,
And a really low gear for the hills!"

Chris Zacho ~ "Your Friendly Neighborhood Wheelman"

Chris'Z Corner
http://www.geocities.com/czcorner

 




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