The Washington Post notes that cyclists in the United States have faced racial discrimination. Bicycling magazine published police figures according to which black cyclists are stopped three times more often than whites. And if you look at the statistics, 86% of cyclists in the United States are white, 83% are men and 50% are middle-aged.
With former NBA star Reggie Miller joining the US cycling board of directors and a notable rise in activist groups, black cyclists are working hard to address racial issues.
These problems are rooted in the distant past. Since the beginning of the bicycle revolution in the 1890s, white Americans have done everything to ban black men, women, and children from cycling.
During the first big wave of popularity for cycling, bike clubs were opened in places like New Orleans, Atlanta, Louisville and Nashville. White southerners have used expensive and high-tech bicycles to showcase their wealth and promote cycling infrastructure.
The South did not become America's first cycling region because racism intervened. Black Americans became interested in cycling, which for them, in addition to being a convenient means of transportation, became a symbol of freedom in the era of Jim Crow (this is the unofficial name for the time when laws on racial segregation existed. – Ed.). Black cyclists organized bike parades and competed. In doing so, they were claiming middle-class status and southern public space at a time when racial segregation laws required to deprive black Southerners of both.
The police also controlled the mobility of black citizens. In 1893, Jim Murray, the only black cyclist from Macon, Georgia, was first arrested for violating the city's new bicycle laws. During the cycle boom, there were many other attacks by white southerners on black cyclists.
At the beginning of the last century, the popularity of the bicycle declined – it was replaced by a car. White southerners switched to cars not only because they were more modern, faster and better, but because cars were not available to blacks.
The Washington Post has discovered racism in the history of cycling, so soon there will be ******* for riding a bike too,
– comments the author of the telegram channel “Nebozhena”.