Vee Lowe, co-host of intro to bikepacking for people of colour
If we are serious about improving diversity in cycling, it is essential that initiatives like these happen. If you only see people that do not look like you, it can make you feel like you stand out; like being the only kid who forgot non-uniform day and showed up in uniform.
Just the anticipation of being the odd one out is off-putting enough to avoid an activity altogether. Having a specific event for a marginalised group immediately sends the message of you're welcome into this space, you’re not alone, and you’re not the odd one out. It will inevitably encourage people to participate.
I’m not sure whether participants would have signed up to an event like this without the active encouragement for this intersectional group. Everyone seemed so keen and willing to try bikepacking, helpful to one another, positive, determined and inquisitive.
It was so wholesome and was great to see the very rapid progress people made with bike handling, confidence on trails, and sorting out all their gear. All of those adventure-seeking participants may not have had the initial supported experience of bikepacking, and may not have realised that this door was open to them and that it was something they enjoy. Now they have a community, and experience and I can’t wait to see what they do next.