A few weeks ago the Junior Racer X Cycling/ Colorado Bike Law teammates rode for more than fun. They found a cause.
They learned of the struggles of the Navajo Nation and White Mountain Apache Tribe with the corona virus, and wanted to help. They felt so passionate about helping these Native Americans with their battle against the Covid-19 pandemic that they raised over $6,000 to help them acquire the necessary resourses to aid in their fight. The reservations have been hit particularly hard and with a lack of facilities, even running water in many homes, fighting the virus is very difficult and is devastating multi-generational families living under the same roof.
Spearheaded by Lia Young, Jalen Capps and Clara Landreth, these ladies created a Bike-a-thon and GoFundMe page, then rallied their high school teammates to ride long and hard while convincing their families and friends to pledge their donation to this worthy cause.
There were 15 RXC/CBL juniors who rode over 1,000 miles! The Racer X/CBL adults topped it off and added to the coffers by dedicating a third of their fundraising challenge races to the cause. Pledges can still be made to:
These are some testimonials by two of the riders, Lia and Jalen and the impact of giving had on them.
If there is one thing I have taken from my experience organizing and sharing the RXC bikeathon for COVID relief, it has been a reaffirmation of shared connection through land, recreation and movement.
These connections exist between us as mountain bikers and indigenous communities, and with all people. The hurting that the Navajo nation and the White Mountain Apache tribe have experienced from Covid 19 has been the result of neglect, disrespect, and harm of indigenous peoples and communities for years and years.
The practices and people that cause this hurting are unjust, a stagnancy. As mountain bikers recreating on indigenous land, we have a responsibility to use the privilege and resources that we have to support and uplift indigenous communities. It is more than using our privilege for good. We share the stories of the land that we ride with those who cared and continue to care for our lands. To sustain the land and the stories of the land we ride, we must be conscious and practice growth and learning.
A bike is one of the greatest tools in the world. A bike can be liberating, freeing; a bike is movement. It is up to us to use our bike as a tool for good.
The lessons that I come away with, that I can hopefully influence others with, are: remember your place on this land. Be respectful, be mindful, be contentious. Learn and grow from the land around you; this includes learning and growing from those who share it. In reflection, we are connected to others through the land that we share. It is up to us to create healing bonds. It is up to us to do good in the wake of others that have caused harm. Learn, grow, ride, share. I am here, I am grateful, I am ready to grow and learn. This is the greatest lesson that I have taken away from my experience with our bikeathon.
I really enjoyed the process of the bike-a-thon. It gave me good experience in working with others and setting up a project for something bigger than myself. I feel like it’s really easy to forget how privileged we are to live in a place with lots of resources and help around us. Knowing that the White Mountain Apache Tribe and Navajo Nation weren’t so lucky to have these resources made me kind of sad. I felt very fulfilled knowing that I was helping give them something that I just naturally have. I understand that times have been very difficult for everybody, so being able to make things better for such a large group of people is very satisfying. I was glad I got to contribute to that change.