Updated: Dec 7, 2020
Cycle Sisters' Statement.
Cycle Sisters stand in solidarity with Black Lives Matter and all those united in the struggle against racism and the fight for justice. The horrific killing of George Floyd on 25 May 2020, and the events that have unfolded globally since then have troubled us. We created Cycle Sisters as a safe cycling space for Muslim women and we have seen how simple barriers, if removed, can unlock the world of cycling for under-represented communities. We recognise, increasingly, that we need to look at specific groups within the Muslim community who may also feel excluded within Muslim spaces. In particular, for black people, cycling is an arena in which discrimination and a lack of representation, accessibility and safety are still issues today. We are aware that as well as playing a pivotal role in lobbying for the destruction of these barriers to cycling, we ourselves need to improve the way we operate to ensure Muslim women from all communities are able to join our rides.
Cycle Sisters aims to see a world in which all Muslim women have the opportunity to benefit from cycling and that means looking at all of the diverse communities we serve. The cycling world is still not representative of the whole community. In England, 4.7% of white adults participate in cycling, but the figure is just over half that (2.6%) for BAME groups. Black people are still ten times more likely to be stopped and searched than white people in England and Wales, and this challenge, among others, may deter black people from cycling or make them feel more vulnerable when they do.
We at Cycle Sisters remain committed to our vision, mission and values which aim to address the inequalities in cycling by ensuring the needs of Muslim women are understood. We are aware that we need to do more to engage with and meet the needs of our black sisters. We want black women to feel able to join our rides and we want to reach out to black women to encourage them to experience the benefits of cycling. We recognise that more needs to be done to ensure our ride leaders, instructors and rides participants are representative of all parts of the Muslim community. We will in the coming months be reflecting, learning and developing an action plan with the input of our members to ensure that everyone is welcome and that we are fully inclusive. We would welcome feedback, ideas and opportunities to collaborate with other groups to help us achieve this goal. You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.