Black Cyclists

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Jun 2, 2010
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For road cycling, beside expensive bike and equipment you need at least decent roads and at least somewhat reasonable traffic conditions/culture both of which is rare in Africa.

Plus, as it was mentioned, there are cultural and other reasons.
 
Jun 29, 2009
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The main reason for the east african success in distance running are their small ankles/lower legs, what is a huge factor in running economy.
The Schlecks have skinny legs by european standards but still have very powerful calfs compared to Kenyans.

just look at that pic for example:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/7a/AndySchleck.jpg/180px-AndySchleck.jpg

If we see a black guy becoming a star in pro cycling, most likely it would be a sprinter of west african heritage, someone like Gregory Bauge.
 
Jun 8, 2011
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auscyclefan94 said:
You lose all credibility when you insult someone in your posts.
Ha,ha, ha ... Coming from you that really is 'the kettle calling the pot black' (no thread related pun intended)!
 
Jun 8, 2011
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simo1733 said:
Thats true.Gaelic people are actually pale blue. It takes 3 days in the sun to become white.
:DVery true. And then on the 4th and 5th days I go bright red. After that it just involves skin coming off! However, we are very waterproof.
 
Jul 28, 2010
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I doubt it's a physiological thing.

More likely to be the the cost of a half decent bike is beyond many African kids & the roads are lethal.
 
Jun 8, 2011
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The Hitch said:
You have US basketball players who are minimum 196 cm. Half of them are 210 cm +. Then you have pygmy people who are maximum 150 cm.
QUOTE]

But there have also been smaller black NBA players - Muggsy Bogues was 160cm and had a solid NBA career (he was also in Space Jam with MJ) and Spud Webb was 168cm and won the NBA Slam Dunk Competition! Allen Iverson was 183cm and a dominant scorer in the NBA. Interestingly Jacob Tucker who is 180cm (and white) won this years NCAA slam dunk competition. Which just shows that if you have 'hops' it does not matter what colour your skin is.
 
Apr 12, 2009
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What's interesting to me is the fact that over the past couple of decades we've seen a number of top-caliber black track riders: Nelson Vails, Gregory Bauge, and (I believe) a couple of other French guys. I suspect that you see this because track cycling tends to be run through national Olympic organizations more than trade teams and is for this reason more transparent and egalitarian (like anything government-run). Road cycling, meanwhile, is a trade sport with strongly developed institutional cultures that tend to be white: white working-class in Europe and white upper-middle class in the U.S. I'm sure this isn't the only factor at work here; but Gregory Bauge did once say (in an interview with CS) that road cycling in Europe has a kind of white working-class culture that's not an issue on the track.
 
Aug 18, 2009
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My take is that over the last decades there probably has been an unchallenged, quietly racist culture in road cycling in Europe over the last decades, if not now. To be racist you don't need to go on marches with one arm up, you can just quietly consider black people undeserving of opportunities, for example, without anyone bothering you.

The other thing is that you need, I guess, a large grassroots participation in road cycling to produce a small number of pro road racers, which you don't often have, because of money or just cultural habit, in places where many people are black. I don't know where, outside Martinique (is it?) you'll next find that.
 
Jan 14, 2011
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My experiencs

In India it was not uncomon to see masses of people cycling, for transporttation. Dad pedaling, mom on top tube sometimes holding one child, another child on handle bars, sometime another on the rear rack. Not goin fast but faster and easier than walking.

There nobody of the social class which uses bicycles has any time to devote to something as useless as sports. Most nations of colour are developing ones where making a living and survival are the priorities.
 
I doubt it's genetic, because there are black (from African descend) people with all kinds of muscular structures. They aren't all either skinny marathon runners or 100m sprinters or basketball players.

It can't be economics. Of course, many people in Africa may not be able to afford a race bike, and the roads may not really be ideal for it either. But what about the millions that live in Europe and the US? I hope we can pass the racist stereotype of them being poor, lazy and/or living in the ghetto's on crack. Of course there are more white people in Europe, but that can hardly be the explanation. Cycling in Belgium is about as big as football (soccer) is. Our national "soccer" team consists of 50% people of African descend. They weren't all born in the gutter and they weren't all **** poor and all of them were born here. You can get a 2nd hand race bike for 100 bucks if you don't mind riding with a 20 year old thing. I bought my Ridley (3 years ago, new) with campa Veloce/Centaur for 900 euro's as a winter promo. In Europe, most countries have good social security, making the argument even more insane, especially since cycling is so popular here.

So what? I believe it's purely cultural. It's simply not considered to be cool. 5 hours of racing and in the end only one of 200 can win. A lot less chance to diferentiate yourself from the others. Riding together for 2 hours, is a lot less social than it is playing soccer or basketball together for 2 hours. These things matter. You could argue that marathon runners suffer the same conditions, but i think there you should make a distinction between black people living in Africa, and those living in western countries. As has been said, the people in Africa just don't have any other option besides running and soccer. Even finding basketball fields would prove to be a problem, let alone a decent ball with a leveled floor. As opposed to running or soccer, which you can do anywhere, on any surface with any object (even a can). Maybe the black youths that live in the west (and especially Europe, since it's less popular in the US in general and where there have been more black people over a larger period of time), are still influenced by the sport their older family members practiced (who maybe still lived in Africa... hence, not cycling).

I would expect things to change over time.
 
May 3, 2010
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Jungle Fever

Sweet water, african rain/Haze men', glow!/break your chains/The wazungus' trust do not/Tex sized power grabbed/Visual candy TV ad'/Sound track/I'm the war maker, I'm the peace keeper/They call me tripple blank/I'll save my last breath/My saliva/For the long journey ahead/trek//Çause I've only witnessed the spillage of my life/Grew up in so called marvelous WhiteManLand/Where they leave the crumbs after taking your hands/And also expect you to bow & to move to the side/Then they claimed I must have smoked that funny thing/But to fight I need not build the destroyer machine/Times are ripe/Clean hands/One on One/It's my theme!
 
May 17, 2011
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mombus said:
So, why are there no black professional cyclists? I hope we're all mature enough to leave racism or anything like that out of this. So, objectively... Africans excel at distance running and most other endurance sports. Why the sheer white dominance in the sport?
There actually quite a number of black professional cyclists, in America and in Africa, but not many at the protour level. The reason for that I am not sure. Maybe there isn't yet a good enough black athlete to challenge for a top spot in a classic or stage race. However there is a vibrant cycling scene in many African countries like Burkina Faso( its a national sport there ), Mali, Cameroon, Gabon, South Africa( Cycling is huge here and lots of pro teams ), DR - Congo, Togo, Senegal, plus the Islamic Magreb countries which have produce a number of cyclist who race in France.

Races like the Tour du Faso, La Tropical Amisa Bongo attract a number of top teams like Quick-Step, Europ-Car, Garmin-Cervelo amongst others.
Here are some pictures from the Tour du Faso Africa's Premier Stage Race:








From the La Tropical Amissa Bongo: Gabon

 
Apr 4, 2010
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Considering everything that has been thought of so far, can we assume that it is only a matter of time before a black man wears yellow at the tour, sort to speak. In the near future that is.
 
Aug 18, 2009
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Captain_Obvious said:
Considering everything that has been thought of so far, can we assume that it is only a matter of time before a black man wears yellow at the tour, sort to speak. In the near future that is.
Would be significant, I'd like to see that, I'd consider it a good sign.

Seeing as almost all of the black men in the peloton are on French conti teams who do get Tour invites, it's possible that this could happen anytime. Yohann Gene was already quite visible in this years Tour while Voeckler was in Yellow, although obviously it's not the same.
 
Mshengu said:
There actually quite a number of black professional cyclists, in America and in Africa, but not many at the protour level. The reason for that I am not sure. Maybe there isn't yet a good enough black athlete to challenge for a top spot in a classic or stage race. However there is a vibrant cycling scene in many African countries like Burkina Faso( its a national sport there ), Mali, Cameroon, Gabon, South Africa( Cycling is huge here and lots of pro teams ), DR - Congo, Togo, Senegal, plus the Islamic Magreb countries which have produce a number of cyclist who race in France.

Races like the Tour du Faso, La Tropical Amisa Bongo attract a number of top teams like Quick-Step, Europ-Car, Garmin-Cervelo amongst others.
Here are some pictures from the Tour du Faso Africa's Premier Stage Race:
Don't forget Eritrea, cycling is the countries number one sport.
 
Rwanda cycling: The unlikely bike boom

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-19345732

Best known in the history books for a bloody ethnic genocide in 1994, Rwanda is a nation in need of heroes. The lycra-clad athletes in the country's leading cycling team may have the answer. Team Rwanda are now a familiar sight around Ruhengeri in the country's north-west.

For the BBC World Service, reporter Tim Mansel spent a week with the team as it prepares for its latest international competition. Here, he talks to their American coach, Jock Boyer - and cyclist, Rafiki Uwimana.
 
Jun 3, 2012
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mombus said:
So, why are there no black professional cyclists? I hope we're all mature enough to leave racism or anything like that out of this. So, objectively... Africans excel at distance running and most other endurance sports. Why the sheer white dominance in the sport?
When I was in junior high, I thought Bo Hamburger was a black cyclist because the only picture of him I had ever seen had him caked in mud in some classic. :eek:
 

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