Alisha Zellner reflects on her BIPOC focused virtual learning clinic and what it means about representation:
Representation matters. This summer I had an opportunity to create an initiative that allowed me to find my voice and honor the Black community while riding my bicycle. As a novice rider, there were so many things I truly didn’t know about the incredible machine that gave me so much freedom and I was disheartened that there weren’t people who looked like me to ask for help.
Since Trek has several stores in the Fort Collins community, I reached out to them to start a BIPOC group ride series where I could bond with people who looked like me and learn things new riders should know. I wanted to feel safe, comfortable, and knowledgeable out on the streets and share this learning journey with others who could relate.
Since we are currently in the middle of a pandemic, Trek thought it would be awesome to create a virtual learning series, focused on the BIPOC riding experience, where I got the opportunity to learn from a BIPOC instructor all the things I didn’t know. Learning with Alisha was a 6-part virtual series that focused on topics like picking the perfect bike, finding the right kit, basic maintenance, fixing a flat tire, shifting, bike safety, and rules of the road in 10-15 minute clips that aired from September to November. We then took the videos and shared them with other Trek stores around the nation and across social media platforms. Jimmie Hawks, the South Fort Collins Trek Store Manager and instructor for the series, was extremely knowledgeable and it was awesome to share this experience with another BIPOC rider. We received a lot of positive feedback about how fun and relatable the content was and we hope to continue creating more videos in the future.
This experience really taught me that if there’s something I need that doesn’t exist in order to be a successful rider, like representation in the cycling community, just create it! It’s possible that someone else out there needs it too! The series can be found on the South Fort Collins Trek Store Facebook page, on @BikeRideForBlackLives IGTV on Instagram, and at www.bike4blacklives.com.”
– Alisha Zellner
Photo credit: Joe Mendoza