A new charity aiming to get more women of colour cycling says its mission is to “inspire, empower and motivate.”
The Womxn of Colour Cycling Collective has now officially been given charitable status and aims to help more people enjoy riding their bike, while addressing the racial imbalance in cycling.
After meeting as an informal group back in 2018, at the Look Mum No Hands cycling cafe in London, Womxn of Colour Cycling Collective (WCCC) has since grown into a hub for minority ethnic women and non-binary people across the UK getting involved in cycling.
The chair of WCCC, Jenni Gwiazdowski, said: “Our mission is to inspire, empower, and motivate women of colour to cycle - whether you’re new to riding a bike, or you’re a seasoned veteran, we welcome women and non-binary folks to join us.
“Our collective addresses the loneliness and isolation of being a minority by creating a safe space for people to be seen, support each other and grow.
“We are challenging the stereotype of what a cyclist looks like. We’re here to celebrate the joy that cycling brings us.”
According to a Transport for London report women of colour were vastly underrepresented amongst cyclists, as 73 per cent of cycling journeys in 2018/19 were made by men, while 85 per cent of those making the journeys were white.
During the coronavirus lockdown, the charity shifted to online meetings and was bolstered by increased support due to the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020, with numbers growing throughout the year.
WCCC has now appointed a diverse board of trustees including regular cyclists Sidrah Shafag, Sara Nanayakkara and former BBC journalist Victoria Hazael, who now works for charity Cycling UK.
The group currently has more than one hundred members across the UK and holds online training sessions and advice events, and also runs a Whatsapp support group.
WCCC opted to use the term 'womxn' in their name to be more gender inclusive.
As part of its continued progress, the charity is seeking cycling brands and organisations who would like to help fund their work, projects and offer training.
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Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers. Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.
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