« WABA's Testimony for Today's Senate Committeee Hearing on Vehicular Homicide in Maryland | Main | Recycling »


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

This graphic appears to show that the (relatively modest) cycling demographic gap was cut n half between 2001 and 2009.

to quote from american flyers -- it's not like you see a great black biker.


ESPN analyst Stephen Bardo, a former professional basketball player and an amateur cyclist who is black, says it comes down to dollars and cents.
"Cycling is expensive and a lot of African-American youth aren't going to have expensive bikes, let alone ride them in urban areas where cycling can be dangerous," Bardo said. "In Chicago where I live, a huge population of African-Americans live on the south-side of the city. The south-side doesn't have its fair share of bike lanes that you see throughout the city that make it safer and encourages cycling. I love the sport and ride myself along the lake and on the north side of the city. I would love to see more African-American youth exposed to the sport because it's very exciting and competitive! I think it will take that first African-American cyclist to hit it big before it becomes "cool" for youth to strive after."

I see a lot of African American club cyclists at Haines Point (I'm not in a club, so can't comment further). They're represented at least as well as in the larger middle-class society.

You don't see a ton of top-level pros for the same reason you traditionally haven't seen a ton of top black American soccer players: the top athletes in that cohort aren't wasting their time on bikes, they're heavily recruited in football, basketball, baseball, and track.

Just to reiterate, blacks participation in cycling (both non-pro competitive, and recreationally) is exactly about what you'd expect given the percentage they comprise of the middle class in general.

As a postscript: you probably see *more* poor blacks (and hispanics) on bikes than you do poor whites. That's because poor blacks and Hispanics tend to live in neighborhoods where biking is an option.

There's a reason a bike left unattended and unlocked in the 'hood for more than 30 seconds is a stolen bike. They're a hot commodity.

I was going to say what oboe said - it's also a reason why there are fewer black hockey players and black baseball players.

Also, Nelson Vails.

It's more than a little ironic that the greatest American bicycle racer ever was an African American. His name was Major Taylor and he was the Michael Jordan of his day. Unfortunately that was 110 years aqo.

As for the stop sign issue, it is one of daily frustration for me. I ride at an average speed of 12 mph. If cars were going 12 mph, we wouldn't need the stops signs in the first place. They are put in place because cars going 30 mph need to be controlled. So lower the speed limits on the side streets of Vienna and take out the stop signs. Problem solved.

Umm... The demographic gap is falling because the average age of the white population is growing faster than other groups. The gap still looks pretty big to me.


So lower the speed limits on the side streets of Vienna and take out the stop signs. Problem solved.

Ah, right, but see traffic engineers have no choice but to set the posted speed limit at the greatest possible speed that 85% of drivers feel they can driver without losing control of their vehicle. This is known as the "maximum safe speed".

Otherwise...WAR ON DRIVERS!!

Charlie's just trolling. Again.

That club is Artemis, Oboe. It's home to one of the winningest amateur racers in DC (Dave Osborne). They've got an excellent women's team, too.

@Mark Williams

Umm...The demographic gap is falling because the average age of the white population is growing faster than other groups

Could you elaborate? With people over 40 accounting for an increasing share of all trips, intuitively one would expect that the share of white trips would increase rather than decrease, as a result of the average age of the white population is increasing faster.

Trolling, really?

What percentage of Cabi members are black?

The report itself says that whites makes up 79% of bike trips but 66% of the population.

So, I'd say the framing of the link is wrong. Biking -- white people still like it. Nonwhites are starting to like it.


Last I checked, Cabi Biking was a subset of biking. You might as well ask what percentage of hand-built Italian steel frames are black. Or what percentage of cargo-bike riders are black.

It's irrelevant.

Charlie, it says whites make up 79% of bike trips, but 76% of population, which means that whites are over-represented by 3%. Hardly overwhelming.

The chart may be in error. The original report says 66%. I can't copy and paste but the link is at section 3.3


charlie, you're right. It looks like the chart has an error in the population breakdown.

Something about the ACS (again). The chart is averaging the 2005-2009 vs the actual 2010 counts -- maybe?

I think he included hispanic whites in the population but not in the number of cyclists. The red bars add up to 100, but the gray bars add up to 107.

Good call. HIspanic whites vs. nonwhites is always tricky.

Jim T:

My comments on age demographics was just a hypothesis without examining the study behind it. An aging population implies both people aging into the 40-65 and those aging out of it. So, even if the number of rides by 40-65 is increasing, this does not imply that an aging population will increase the number of rides.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Banner design by creativecouchdesigns.com

City Paper's Best Local Bike Blog 2009


 Subscribe in a reader