Our mission is to foster diversity, equity, and inclusion in the cycling and active transportation worlds by uniting a coalition of diverse stakeholders. Together, we advocate for policy changes, build public awareness, and empower marginalized communities to create an inclusive built environment. Our collaborative efforts aim to break down barriers and pave the way for a more equitable and accessible future for everyone.
In 2021, BIKE.POC embarked on a mission to enhance the presence of cycling in underserved communities across Northwest Arkansas by joining forces with Trailblazers. Together, we aimed to cultivate a substantial community of cyclists and advocates committed to improving and ensuring safer streets. The inaugural BIPOC Solidarity Ride in the summer of 2020 underscored the potential of collaboration and resource-sharing, revealing the capacity to create something greater than the sum of its individual components.
Through our dynamic partnership with Trailblazers, BIKE.POC has made a tangible impact by hosting numerous outward-facing events. These initiatives not only engaged the existing ecosystem but also expanded our advocacy base through the community-building efforts outlined in previous sections. Since 2020, our collaboration with Trailblazers has been instrumental in advancing dialogues on equity and representation. Events like the inaugural BIPOC Solidarity Ride, Pass the Mic, and the Critical Mass Summit have played a pivotal role in shaping meaningful conversations within our community. From 2021 to 2022, we covered significant miles on our bikes, fostering relationships and actively embodying the representation for BIPOC folks that was notably absent at the starting line.
Starting in 2020, we partnered with Trailblazers to advance dialogues on equity and representation, through the first BIPOC Solidarity Ride, Pass the Mic, and Critical Mass Summit events.
The first BIPOC Solidarity Ride in the summer of 2021 made evident that through partnership and sharing of resources, we could create something that was bigger than the sum of its parts.
BIKE.POC set out to expand the reach of cycling in underserved communities in Northwest Arkansas by partnering with Trailblazers to build a critical mass of cyclists and advocates for better and safer streets.
Pass the Mic: BIPOC Experiences
The first Pass the Mic event was held on May 5, 2021 with BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) riders including pro cyclists Eliot Jackson and Rahsaan Bahati as well as local cyclists and advocates Kim Sea, Bea Apple, and KC Cross.
1st Critical Mass Summit Event
Critical Mass Summit aims to foster a more inclusive trail, cycling, and active transportation community. The summit welcomes marginalized community members and existing stakeholders to redefine decision-making influence in our region's built environment. Led by national and local voices, the summit equips attendees with tools to positively impact the development of active transportation infrastructure and promote an inclusive culture. With the expanding diversity in Northwest Arkansas, the focus is on building systems that support equitable movement for all.
Pass the Mic: LGBTQIA+ in NWA and the Cycling Community
Held on October 12, 2021, the event pulled in professional athletes, advocates, and members of the NWA community including Molly Cameron, Elyse Rylander, KC Cross, Cody Stuessy, and Lauren Hildreth. Attendees were invited to lean in and listen to experiences from the LGBTQIA+ community.
2nd Critical Mass Summit Event
Critical Mass Summit aimed to create a more inclusive trail, cycling, and active transportation community by engaging marginalized members and stakeholders in redefining decision-making influence. Led by national and local voices, the summit aimed to equip attendees with tools to positively impact active transportation infrastructure development and foster an inclusive culture. Addressing the growing diversity in Northwest Arkansas, the focus was on building systems that support equitable movement for everyone.
Pass the Mic: Intersectional Advocacy in Cycling
Hosted in conjunction with the 2022 Walmart UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships on January 28, 2022, the panel brought together cyclists and advocates from around the country to discuss overlapping perspectives, challenges, and opportunities. Panelists included KC Cross, Bea Apple, Abi Robbins, Devon Cowens, Maggie Taylor, Kaley Kornhauser, and Eric Arce.
Pass the Mic: Bike Culture in the US - How We Got Here
Occurred on October 18, 2022 in connection with the PeopleForBikes SHIFT'22 Bicycle Leadership Conference. The topic focused on the existing state of bike culture in the US, the ways in which systemic racism has created an ecosystem that affects our experience in the world on bikes, as well as sustainable, grassroots solutions to co-creating an ecosystem that works for ALL of us.
Pass the Mic: Exploring Arkansas' Bike Stories
Held on June 8, 2023, the panel offered a unique storytelling experience. Featured speakers included Erick Cedeño, founder of Bicycle Nomad; Lisa Gilbert, former mayor of Elaine, Arkansas; and Sharon Killian, co-founder of NWA Black Heritage, weaving together history, family stories, and culture.
Pass the Mic aimed to amplify community voices, utilizing art, place, trails, and the bicycle to foster a space of learning and community engagement. The event provided insights into inclusive bike experiences from the perspective of minority riders, offering a glimpse into the history of Northwest Arkansas' built environment.
In 2020, BIKE.POC was initiated by Bea Apple and Kim Seay, commencing with a BIPOC Solidarity Ride following the tragic death of George Floyd. Presently, our committed executive team and board of directors persist in propelling our mission. Their wealth of knowledge, expertise, and ties to the business community prove invaluable in serving the needs of our community.