By Cori Lucas,
Visitors to Baltimore are bound to see dozens of people gliding to and fro on bicycles. Whether to explore a new area, stay fit, or get somewhere quickly, bike riding is an efficient and enjoyable way to travel. Black People Ride Bikes (BPRB) is an organization dedicated to exposing all Black residents of Baltimore to the physical, mental, and social rewards of cycling! Regardless of age, income, or experience level, Black People Ride Bikes is making bicycling more accessible to everyone through mentorship and community advocacy. They host weekly group rides, as well as special monthly rides that have taken their riders to scenic destinations such as York, Pennsylvania, and Washington D.C.
Co-founders and cycling enthusiasts Shaka Pitts and Nia Reed-Jones first met at a gathering for cyclists in 2019. One of their biggest challenges in becoming avid bicyclists was overcoming—at first their own, then others’—ideas that riding bikes is solely an adolescent activity. Their aim was to educate novice riders so as to abolish this stigma and help people understand how they can utilize a bicycle to drastically benefit their physical and mental health. They also sought to bridge the lack of representation of Black people in the cycling space which would break down racial barriers and encourage more Black riders. Their desire to share the wonders of their passion and motivate more Black people to get on wheels led them to establish Black People Ride Bikes in 2019.
Provided all the funding and resources Black People Rides Bikes needed, they would allocate a large portion of it to the Baltimore community. BPRB wants to be able to see more bike shops in Baltimore’s Black communities and more Black folk attending races. They’d also support Black competitors in biking competitions such as the Tour de France and other cycling events.
In BPRB’s short few years as an official organization, they’ve amassed an incredible 1,400 active memberships! They have Conditioning Rides every Thursday and Soul Food Saturday rides every second Saturday of each month. Their Saturday Exploratory rides, however, are the most advanced and exciting trips they host that take you out of state to beautiful and culturally relevant locations, such as the Breonna Taylor mural in Annapolis (these trips are only open to intermediate and expert riders). To become a member of Black People Ride Bikes or contribute to their mission, visit their page at cllctivly.org/listing/black-people-ride-bikes or follow them @blackpeopleridebikes.
All February, we’re honoring a few of the many Black leaders in our community making history every day with #28DaysofBlackFutures.
This is a crowdfunding and narrative power campaign that amplifies and mobilizes resources for Black-led organizations serving Greater Baltimore.
Throughout the month, we will highlight 28 dedicated Black leaders and organizations on the ground creating programs and initiatives that drive health, wealth, safety, and culture in #Baltimore.
Let’s CELEBRATE these changemakers and SUPPORT their work! Our goal is to raise $100,000 by the end of this campaign.
Head over to 28DaysofBlackfutures.org to donate today! ❤️🖤💚