#BlackCyclistsMatter: 5 Black Women Who are Doing Cool Things in Cycling and the Outdoors

#BlackCyclistsMatter: 5 Black Women Who are Doing Cool Things in Cycling and the Outdoors

It's a tragic time for the country. I have not been able to watch the George Floyd video, and don't think that I will ever be able to.  Although I'm a white woman, I grew up in Soul City, North Carolina and have witnessed the challenges experienced by Black Americans for a long time.

Tonik is about empowerment of ALL women, and we are honoring that by reaching out to touch some lives: 40 tank tops donated to the local Boys and Girls club, to go into graduation bags for the 8th grade girls; 25 dresses this week, to CORA Women's Shelter not far from our offices. 

Also, let's recognize some Black women who are working hard to achieve dreams and break barriers in cycling and the outdoors. Black cyclists traditionally don't get a lot of exposure, and that goes double for black WOMEN cyclists. Here are some very cool ladies you should know about.  

For more, see this 2019 article from Bicycling magazine.

Ayesha McGowan

Any list of Black women cyclists needs to have Ayesha McGowan on it. A former preschool music teacher, she started commuting by bicycle in college and is now pursuing a career in professional road racing. Her dream is to become the first African-American woman on a pro road cycling team. She is sponsored by Liv Cycling and blogs about cycling, bike maintenance and other cycling-related stuff at her blog and podcast, A Quick Brown Fox. 

Laura Solís

Originally from the Bronx, Laura is a freelance bike mechanic and a community activist in Portland, Oregon. She was a winner of the QBP 2017 Women's Bike Mechanic Scholarships, and she and Ayesha McGowan hosted the weekly podcast, "Fix it Black Jesus"from 2016-2018.

Brooklyn Bell

Brooklyn is an amazing mountain biker, skier, graphic designer and outdoor adventurer living in the Pacific Northwest. Not finding a role model for herself, she created her own hand-drawn hero, Ruby J,and set out to live like Ruby. Watch the Patagonia film "Becoming Ruby" to see more about Brooklyn's work and watch her shred a forest trail with lightning speed. 

Shanelle Smith Whigham

Shanelle Smith Whigham grew up in a neighborhood near petrochemical plants, and was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in her 20's. She serves now as the Ohio State Director for the Trust for Public Land. She is dedicated to making sure that today's kids have a chance to see parks, bike trails, and water, instead of freeways and smokestacks. 

Veronica Davis

Veronica Davis is an engineer, environmental and urban planner and transportation expert. In 2011, she founded Black Women Bike, a bicycling advocacy organization based in DC with a purpose to get Black women on bikes and give them a community within cycling.  

We're committed to diversity and open dialogue within our community. We appreciate all of your feedback and support!