“We encourage anyone and everyone to take part, regardless of how they identity, how far they can ride a bike or where they are situated”
BY PRiDE OUT
Monday 7 June 2021 marks the start of PRiDE RiDE WEEK, a national virtual cycling event to celebrate lesbian, gay, bi, trans, queer, intersex, ACE (LGBTQIA+) people and allies who enjoy riding their bike. It follows the first event of its kind which was held in June 2020 and was a runaway success.
Why hold a Pride ride you may be asking? Precise figures for the total LGBTQIA+ population do not exist, but we believe there are an estimated 7-10 million in the UK, a significant number by anyone’s standards. However our community often appears to be cut out of the big picture in sport and cycling.
We are baffled why large cycling organisations and sport councils often don’t mention LGBTQIA+ in their annual reports, surveys or vision documents. For example Sport England’s Active Lives Adult Survey November 2019-20 details that out of those exercising more than 150 minutes per week, cycling is the 4th most popular activity after walking, fitness activities, and running/athletics. The report highlights levels of activity by demographic for gender, age, socio-economic group, disability and ethnicity. However, not once is LGBTQ+ mentioned. Their 10 year strategy, Uniting The Movement, also doesn’t mention the LGBTQIA+ community once. It begs the question, why?
Role models in LGBTQA+ role models in cycling are scarce, and a recent Cycling Weekly article asked why there is so little representation. In it they spoke to Emily Bridges, a 20-year-old trans woman, who until last year had been setting national records in the junior male category and had gained selection to British Cycling’s Senior Academy. Asked about her experience, Emily said: “It was just the gay jokes, being asked constantly ‘Are you gay?’ as if that would be a bad thing, and it always left me feeling uncomfortable… It was just rubbish.”
There is positive news though. On 1 June, Trek Bicycle, one of the largest bicycle brands in the world, announced a partnership with PRiDE OUT in an effort to bring greater diversity, equity and inclusion of the LGBTQIA+ community to cycling. The partnership aims to grow the reach and visibility of PRiDE OUT (and LGBTQIA+ cyclists) in a number of ways that celebrate inclusivity and individuality.
Richard Hearne, Founder and Chairperson of PRiDE OUT says: “Much too often LGBTQIA+ people are missing from the cycling landscape picture, so to have the support of one of the world’s largest bicycle companies will make a huge difference in bringing about positive change and getting many more LGBTQIA+ people on bikes.”
Given the lack of representation, PRiDE RiDE WEEK is the perfect opportunity to celebrate all LGBTQIA+ people who enjoy cycling. We encourage anyone and everyone to take part, regardless of how they identity, how far they can ride a bike or where they are situated.
On the week of 7-13 June, PRiDE OUT and our allies are coming together virtually to celebrate LGBTQIA+ people who cycle, with a weekend of social-distanced riding with #OurPrideRide. Whether you are cycling a mile to the shops, heading out on a mountain bike trail or taking on an all-day an epic route, you can make it an #OurPrideRide celebration by:
1. Wearing or posing with something rainbow on your ride (flags, glitter, rainbow laces, rainbow armband, t-shirt etc) or even just something brightly coloured.
2. Tag your rides and any photos from it using #OurPrideRide on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
We can’t wait to see your colourful photos!
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