Behind all that money, cycling is growing in some regions while being outlawed in others.
Go ahead and take a minute to think about what cyclists look like or where they are from. I bet you don’t picture someone who looks like me — a Kuwaiti man.
And when there’s talk about increasing diversity where it’s needed, such as in the sports industry, people like me aren’t showing up in those “diverse” ads.
What’s more, teams like UAE Team Emirates and Team Bahrain Victoriou s, funded by those deep Middle Eastern pockets, have rosters of mostly non-Arab riders. It’s somewhat peculiar how they represent countries without their people.
Yet when I ask those working in the cycling industry about the lack of Arab cyclists, I get silence. Or worse, “reality check” facts about my region of the world. “It’s too hot.” “It’s too dangerous,” “The politics there…” this and that and all the in-between, I’ve heard it all.
But us Arabs, we do cycle, we buy bikes and host WorldTour races — yet remain unseen and face tremendous challenges just trying to ride.
And for a while, I felt marginalized, valueless, and, quite honestly, alone.My cycling journey started in 2015 when I moved to Portland, Oregon for school. I bought my first bike a week after moving, and I started commuting almost everywhere I could go by bike. I weighed 355 pounds then, and biking was a new activity for me. But in Portland, that is simply how you get around and I’m not fond […]
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