In the past months, we have seen bikes used as a tool of resistance and demonstration for racial justice, but also, unfortunately, as a tool of violence in the hands of police departments. We condemn this horrific use of bikes for harm, as well as racism and white supremacy in all forms. The Williams College Cycling team stands with the Black Lives Matter movement and recognizes the need for serious, systemic change to create racial equality in our country and in our sport.
We believe that cycling should be accessible to anyone who is curious enough to try this great sport. To us, cycling represents the freedom to travel wherever our legs can take us. Cycling connects us to fellow riders, as well as the communities we visit. However, we understand that this experience is not shared by everyone. For as long as this sport existed, the culture of cycling has favored white, wealthy men. Even in 2020, this bias continues to exist. Not everyone can safely bike and exercise without the fear of discrimination and violence. Not everyone can access the resources to participate in this sport. We know that as a member of the Williams community and the greater cycling community we can and will do better.
Through our club team, we can start to close the gap in cycling equality by actively dismantling the barriers that exclude women and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) from this sport. With our action steps below, we hope to get closer to this goal.
- Improve outreach and accessibility on campus by providing more clear information on our beginner rides, bike loans, and financial aid availability
- Restructure our team rides to make them more welcoming and accessible
- Increase our partnership with other student organizations and administrative offices (including, but not limited to, Williams Outing Club, the Purple Bike Coalition, and the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Inclusion)
- Address the inclusivity of our team with conscious reflection on our culture and leadership
- Work to improve the inclusivity of the broader cycling community by partnering with local non-profits or community organizations in the long-term
This conversation doesn’t end here. We are committed to do the work to support and expand the cycling community. Please feel to reach out to Coach Tyler or our three captains, Ashton, Gabriel, and Ben Platt, for further information.
| Financial Aid Programming
Bike Loan Program:
We understand that bikes can be expensive, so we have created a bike loan program to take away that initial barrier to entry into the sport. We are fortunate to have a wide variety of road bikes for club members to loan out during the year, free of charge. That means that any student who comes to the cycling team eager to ride, regardless of if they have a bike or not and their previous experience, can use one of our road bikes for team rides.
Cycling Kit Aid Program:
Each year we order a team kit. For students who cannot afford the price of a jersey, we have a special fund of money used to offset the cost of purchasing these items for interested students. Equally as important as having a good bike is having a Williams jersey to feel confident in when representing our college at races all across the East Coast.
If you want to help us continue and expand these financial aid programs please email Coach Tyler at [email protected].