The Washington Post notes that fans of cycling in the United States have faced racial discrimination. Bicycling magazine has published police data according to which black cyclists are stopped three times more often than whites. And if you look at the statistics, among cyclists in the United States, 86% are white, 83% are male and 50% are middle-aged.
With the appearance of former NBA star Reggie Miller on the Board of Directors of USA Cycling and the noticeable growth of activist groups, black cyclists are putting a lot of effort into racial problems to be solved.
These problems are rooted in the distant past. Since the beginning of the bicycle revolution in the 1890s, white Americans have done everything to prohibit black men, women and children from riding bicycles.
During the first big wave of cycling popularity, cycling clubs were opened in places like New Orleans, Atlanta, Louisville and Nashville. White Southerners used an expensive and high-tech bicycle to demonstrate their wealth and promote bicycle infrastructure.
The South did not become the first cycling region of America, because racism intervened. Black Americans got carried away by cycling, which for them, in addition to a convenient means of transportation, became a symbol of freedom in the Jim Crow era (this is the unofficial name of racial segregation laws. - Editor's note). Black cyclists organized bicycle parades and participated in competitions. By doing so, they claimed the status of the middle class and the public space of the South at a time when the laws on racial segregation demanded that black Southerners be deprived of both.
The mobility of black citizens was also controlled by the police. In 1893, Jim Murray, the only black cyclist from Macon, Georgia, was the first to be arrested for violating the city's new bicycle laws. During the bicycle boom, there were many other cases of 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 are more modern, faster and better, but because cars were inaccessible to blacks.
The Washington Post has discovered racism in the history of the bicycle, so soon there will be ******* for riding a bike (beat- Ed.),
- comments the author of the telegram channel "Nebozhena".