Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Bike to work for white people day

I hope nobody takes this wrong, but I've long noticed that while most transportational cyclists in the US tend to be in the underclass, Bike To Work Day event participation is overwhelmingly Caucasian. Others made note of this also.

Here in California and in Colorado, most utility cyclists are Hispanic and they are probably recent immigrants. At the breakfast stations I noticed all of the Latino bikers riding by without stopping, though a few glaced curiously at the goings on.

The Spanish-language Bike To Work Day pamphlet shown here is a direct result of input I gave to the Denver Region Council of Governments two years ago during my participation in the Bike To Work Day committee. Some of the Denver-area breakfast stations will have signs in Spanish for the first time this year encouraging Latinos to drop in for free food and schwag. Here in California, I've already recommended Spanish-language outreach for Bike To Work Day activities in the future.

What about your area? Do minorities participate in cyclist advocacy? Do you do outreach in your community to this segment of the cycling population? If not, what is needed to get you started?

Photo info: Denver BTWD Spanish Side 2 by richardmasoner.


Tom Jones said...

I've noticed teh same demographic. I'm a recreational rider. I live 35 miles from my office so the daily commute's not really an option.

RE: bike to work day and latinos, I would suggest seeing if someone could work with bell or some of the helmet manufacturers to give away some helmets. Most of the commuters I see each day are riding without helmets on relatively dangerous roads. would do alot of good and might save a few lives.

JHop said...

Bike Miami held a public meeting earlier this month to talk about bicycle advocacy, and 17 of the 44 people who showed up were Hispanic. I don't recall there being any black people present, however -- and they are indeed a significant part of the daily riders in our town. Nor did I see any at the Ride of Silence last Wednesday.

So I agree with you that the bicycle community has a challenge of inclusivity here. The fact that we can organize well among people who spend $1,000 or up on a bicycle doesn't mean we are going to be effective in building a healthy riding environment.

Donna Tocci said...

Bravo, Fritz, for recognizing this and helping out in Colorado! Surprisingly, Cali seems to need your help in this area, too. Go get 'em!