Bike U recap: Stamina Racing Collective
On March 28, TCBC’s Bike U held its third session for 2022. The topic was “Equity in Bicycling” and was presented by Erin Ayala and her cycling team, Stamina Racing Collective. Erin, who cofounded the team in 2020, held an enlightening panel discussion with three members of the team: Christina Knudson, Mel (Melissa) Tangye, and Madilynn Garcia.
Erin has an interesting TCBC connection: Randall Huskamp, from the Midtown Cycling Group, helped her get into bicycle racing and has been a mentor to her.
Erin asked the panel what behaviors decrease the chances that they would return to a ride and what behaviors increase the chances they would return.Here are a few of their responses:
- the announcer at a racing event missed announcing the first-place woman racer because he was focused on the dominant performance of a male racer
- a male person who was showing a Stamina member where to pin on her race number touched her back and side without permission
- seeing few people of color at an event
- being questioned about clothing or type of bike brought to a ride
- being shamed for having a rusty chain
- a race director added a new field to a race upon request to accommodate riding abilities
- a race director reached out to Stamina and wanted to get more FTW (femme/trans/women) to participate in the race
- no-drop types of rides that give specific details about the route and promote safety, and then actually stay together
- use of language that does not make assumptions about people. For example, asking and using preferred pronouns. Another example: instead of addressing a group of riders with phrases like “Hey ladies!” or “Hey girls!” use more inclusive language such as “Hey pals!” or “Hey folks!”
Erin also asked the panel for advice to people who are trying to make cycling more inclusive. Some of the same things mentioned above were brought up again such as using preferred pronouns (she/her, he/him, they/them) and not touching someone else without their permission. These might seem like little things, but they make a difference. One panelist, Mel, said it’s important to consider the invisible needs of others such as whether someone has a hearing or vision limitation.
It was also mentioned that it’s important to be open to feedback and criticism even if it is not delivered very smoothly. One final response, given by Christina, was to do some research; search the web on how to talk to a trans person or person of color.
Overall, it was a very positive presentation that gave us viewers a lot to think about. On their website, they have blogs and info about team members. You can read about their efforts to volunteer, mentor others that might be race-curious, take action in the community, and diversify cycling overall.
If you missed the presentation, you can view it here.
Submitted by John Benda, Member of the TCBC U Council of Regents
Photo courtesy of Stamina Racing Collective