DENVER (Nov. 18, 2020) – Ride for Racial Justice and SBT GRVL today announce a new, trailblazing partnership and athlete program that will bring greater diversity, equity and representation to one of the world’s most premiere gravel races. Launching today, the joint program offers 25 secured spots for Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) cyclists at the starting line of the 2021 SBT GRVL race taking place in Steamboat Springs, Colo. BIPOC cyclists of all disciplines are invited to apply to the SBT GRVL X RFRJ BIPOC Athlete Program, which will also offer financial assistance through a fund to each of the 25 athletes to help cover costs related to transportation, lodging, coaching services, mentorship and gear to compete in the race.
“In cycling, we often say that everyone is welcome at the race start line, but that is not always the case,” says Ride for Racial Justice co-founder Marcus Robinson. “So many athletes from the BIPOC community express that they often feel marginalized or have experienced overt racism at cycling races and events, and it’s our duty to collectively change that. Our new partnership and program between our organizations sets a precedent in creating a tone of inclusivity, equity and safety not only at SBT GRVL, but for other race directors to follow suit and create a model for change and diversity from local to national race level.”
In a zoom press conference Tuesday evening, a passionate and enthused Robinson said, “we are organized trying to change a sport I love and a sport I quit doing because of racial tension. Riding a bike is freedom that was taken away in June.”
Boulder cycling and endurance coach, Neal Henderson, on the board of Ride for Justice will be offering training plans to athletes said, “we need to improve what we see in cycling and endurance, its not been a terribly inviting community.”
Ride for Racial Justice, a Denver-based non-profit organization founded in June 2020, and SBT GRVL, a world-class gravel bike race in Steamboat Springs launched in 2019, both share a mission of working towards greater inclusivity, equity and racial diversity in cycling. The organizational partnership and athlete program seeks to foster greater athlete participation and access for the BIPOC community, while setting a precedent for other races around the country to follow the model with similar programs.
“We are honored to partner with the Ride for Racial Justice team and excited to be a part of this unique opportunity to foster inclusivity in the gravel community,” says Amy Charity, Co-Founder of SBT GRVL. “Growing from our core values of parity and inclusivity, the R4RJ program continues to build upon our initial goal and commitment to increase diversity at our event. This is another step towards driving lasting positive change in cycling.”
The SBT GRVL X RFRJ BIPOC Athlete Program application program is open starting today through December 2. Athletes can apply by going to www.rideforracialjustice.org/sbt-grvl-program and uploading application materials via a Google Forms link. Submissions will be reviewed by the Ride for Racial Justice team based on select criteria which includes being a BIPOC athlete who is 18+ years of age, being an avid cyclist working towards change in the sport, and a history of being an active community member and steward with goals to use the opportunity to make a profound impact. Recipients will be announced in mid-December 2020. Individuals that would like to make a donation to the financial assistance fund for the selected 25 athletes can do so at https://gf.me/u/y8gaa2.
Please direct Ride for Racial Justice media inquiries to Massimo Alpian at email@example.com.
About Ride for Racial Justice
Founded in Denver in 2020, Ride for Racial Justice rides towards an equitable future for the sport of cycling through the power and freedom of the bicycle. Our mission is to ensure access to resources, education, and community for Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) cyclists and to dismantle systemic racism. Through advocacy and lobbying, we work to enhance BIPOC leadership, voices, experiences, community and infrastructure in cycling, from global brand to local events. The way forward is together, in solidarity.
About SBT GRVL
SBT GRVL launched August 2019 as a world-class gravel bike experience committed to Beauty, Inclusivity, Family, Challenge, and Fun. The event enables gravel fans of all ability levels to experience the unmatched gravel roads winding around and through the iconic, beautiful mountain town of Steamboat Springs, Colo. Riders are invited to push their abilities on four-course distances ranging from 37 miles to 145 miles. Those seeking the ultimate challenge can saddle up to 9,400 feet of climbing on the Black 145-mile racecourse—a sought-after title for endurance gravel pros. The Blue Course is a ‘best-of-Steamboat’ experience wrapped up in 104 miles and the Red course is a condensed 65-mile “best of” route offering challenge, beauty and fun. The Green Course is a 37-mile introduction to the area’s unrivaled gravel roads. Come experience high-altitude gravel, a weekend full of events for the whole family and ranch-town hospitality at SBT GRVL.