Black History Month
Black men and women have made an enormous impact on the cycling community. Celebrate and learn more about the people and organizations featured here.
Cycling pioneer who helped desegregate cycling and make it accessible to all people.
Black Girls Do Bike
BGDB champions efforts to introduce the joy of cycling to all women, but especially women and girls of color.
The 1928 Bike Tour
Marylou Jackson, Velma Jackson, Ethyl Miller, Leolya Nelson and Constance White rode their bikes from NYC to DC.
Known as "The Cheetah," Vails was the the first African-American to win an Olympic medal in cycling. Today, he seeks to have his legacy live on in a new generation of kids of all colours and ethnic backgrounds.
The first ever African-American woman pro road cyclist, McGowan races with the Liv Racing World team. She is passionate about creating representation in cycling that will encourage and inspire other African-American women and youth to follow their dreams.
Founder of Black Girls Do Bike, Garrison aims to grow and support a community of women of color who share a passion for cycling. She believes that the simple act of riding a bike can be the catalyst to wonderful and empowering experiences for women of all ages.
The owner, founder, and mechanic for Hard Knox Bikes, Binky Brown hopes help create a safe space for women, people of color, queer and transgender persons to gain bicycle education in a welcoming environment.
Kittie Weston Knauer
Once a middle school teacher, Knauer commuted to work by bike for eight years. It wasn’t until her 40s that she discovered a passion for BMX racing. Now over 70, this Des Moines native knows no barriers.
For years “Tall” Paul Brown has been building bikes free for kids in West Oakland who show them they did well on their report cards.
“In diversity, there is beauty and there is strength.”
– Maya Angelou
Let Diversity Bloom
At Velorosa, we believe in equity for all. We aim to empower women to feel confident and comfortable on their bikes. And we want to support a growing community of women of color who seek to enjoy cycling.
We're thrilled to collaborate with designer Ashlè Easley on our new, special edition Let Diversity Bloom Jersey. We hope that cyclists everywhere will wear it proudly and it will encourage a more diverse cycling scene. All proceeds from the sale of this jersey will be donated to the Black Girls Do Bike cycling non-profit.
Our short-sleeved jersey is designed for riders who want a high-performance top tailored to fit a woman’s body. We’re not built like men, so we need a jersey that fits our shape. A ¾ length invisible zipper adds to the streamlined effect and minimizes unwanted bunching in the midsection.
This limited-edition short-sleeve jersey will be available for pre-order from Tuesday, February 8 through February 28, 2022 with delivery expected in April 2022. All proceeds from the sale of this jersey will be donated to the Black Girls Do Bike cycling non-profit.
Meet Designer Ashlè Easley
Ashlè Easley is a Peoria, Illinois, native and a Central State University alumna. She is an established design and marketing professional and owner of Made Easley Advertising.
Ashlè moved to Des Moines in 2014 without friends or family in the area. That’s when she fell in love with the biking trails. Being able to release all her stress on the bike was pure therapy. Ashlè joined the Black Girls Do Bike (BGDB) Des Moines Chapter and instantly connected with the biking community. Through cycling, Ashlè gained friends, fitness, and even rode her first RAGBRAI in 2018.
Iowa’s cycling community has made a mark on Ashlè. Designing the Let Diversity Bloom jersey has allowed her to make an impact on a community that has made a difference in her life. She hopes to make more original designs that bring her love for design and cycling together.