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Black Girls Do Bike team encourages more women of color to cycle

  • 28 July, 2018
  • Linh Ta
Peyton McDade, Michelle Ngo, Brandi Miller, Anh Tran, Erin Jones and Ashley Easley ride with Black Girls Do Bike on Tuesday, July 24, 2018, from Jefferson to Ames.

After completing her first RAGBRAI in 2017, Brandi Miller, an African-American woman, wanted to get a jersey that said, “Black Girls Bike Too.”

What she found on Google instead was a national organization called Black Girls Do Bike, which encourages and supports more women of color to jump on two wheels and enter a sport that’s population is predominantly male and white.

“I’m an African-American female and I got into biking last year,” said Miller, 42, of Des Moines. “I loved it and wanted more women of color to do it, too.”

During RAGBRAI last year, Miller was approached by a white man who asked, “Why don’t more black women cycle?” she said.

It’s a matter of accessibility, Miller said. There’s a daunting amount of information about bicycling: types of bikes, clothing, equipment and where you can bike. There also aren’t many black women in the bicycling community to ask these questions.

“It seemed very involved instead of just getting on your bike and getting to the Dairy Queen,” Miller said. “It wasn’t that I couldn’t buy a bike, but I didn’t even know how to start.”

Miller helped form a Black Girls Do Bike chapter in Des Moines this last year. Fifty-four women signed up and expressed interest in the group. This year for the first time, Black Girls Do Bike joined the RAGBRAI trail, Miller and six other women riding.

The group encourages women of any race or ethnicity to join them, but the goal is to tell black women that you can bike too.

“Being a part of RAGBRAI is a goal for them. Even just being a part of the group is exciting,” Miller said. “We can ride 60 miles in one day. That’s pretty important.”

Just Go Bike Podcast: Members of the Black Girls Do Bike team share their story

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