It is well known Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) athletes are underrepresented in cycling. Ride for Racial Justice is working to change that reality and ensure access to change the look of the start lines at cycling events throughout the country.
RFRJ is partnering with STB GRVL (the world class Gravel race in Steamboat, Colorado) to offer 25 spots for BIPOC athletes. This will not just change one race on one day. These athletes will return to their homes with a fire in their belly and a story to tell. Even the training is changing lives.
As you consider supporting RFRJ with a gift of $1,000, $500 or $250, read Lissa’s story below. You can be part of the change we all want to see. There are 24 other powerful stories and you can learn more about the other RFRJ athletes ( here ).
Like for many of us, 2020 was a year of significant grief and change for Lissa Muhammad. It was the year her husband Jon encouraged her to follow a new passion for cycling. “He knew it was my breather, my me space,” she shared with appreciation. It was the year Jon lost a nine-year battle with cancer. At the encouragement of their 5 children, it was also the year she entered her first bike race.
When she arrived at that start line Lissa realized two things. First there were only a couple dozen women in the race. Second, “I was the only person of color at the starting line,” she shared. “I was noticeable.”
Weeks later Lissa’s six-year-old daughter wanted to ride a bike race just like her mom. Lissa explained to her, training wheels weren’t allowed in races. That day they started practicing and the next weekend the training wheels were forgotten and both mom and daughter were racing.
Now Ride for Racial Justice has named Lissa as one of 25 BIPOC athletes they are sponsoring in the world class Steamboat Gravel Race (SBT GRVL) race in Steamboat Colorado.
Lissa is riding to inspire her children, but she is also riding to inspire people she has never met. She is riding to show other women of color the joy and freedom of a bicycle can be part of their lives as well.
RFRJ has changed her life by giving her the opportunity to ride for everyone who encouraged her and believed in her, even when she wasn’t sure of herself. RFRJ is giving her the opportunity to show everyone who is unsure, everyone person of color who has been excluded, every woman who was told they weren’t strong enough, just how much you can accomplish with the support and love of peer athletes found through RFRJ.
When she gets home after the race in Colorado Lissa’s five children will be there to celebrate with her. And then Lissa will get to be a mentor for one of the athletes chosen for SBT GRVL 2022.
Through the world class SBT GRVL Race RFRJ has the opportunity to change the look of the start line and change the lives of their first 25 BIPOC athletes. These athletes are provided with coveted entries, training resources, and everything they need to compete. Their stories are inspiring and their experiences will help bring the mission of RFRJ back to their home communities.
Your gift of $1,000, $500, $250 or $100 will advance the work of racial justice. You will become part of their journey from their homes to the gravel roads of Colorado and back home where they will carry on the work of justice.
RFRJ is empowering people like Lissa, changing their lives, so they can be agents of change in their communities and throughout this country. Come along for the ride towards racial justice, because together we can ride farther and faster than we can alone.
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