XL Biking is bigger than XL Biking! What? Yes, the vision is needed and it's bigger than the visionaries! Our community fills an important gap that might determine the future of cycling!
Welcome to the freak show
A friend of XLBiking wrote an amazing article in swedish (worth translating) in which she, among other important things, points out the trends that will probably save cycling from becoming evermore discriminating and excluding as a sport and motion form. Her excellent analysis soon found itself to be the target of, to say the least, interesting comments on social media such as the following:
"Cycling as a sport will remain being practiced generally by white, lean, middle-class people, and that's nothing to be ashamed of, as long as we don't exclude others let it be conscioulsy or unconsciously"
Does that surprise you? What is your take on it? Is that the end of cycling? Is our sport doomed? Are we to quietly accept our place as subspecies, bizarre caricatures wandering around as a some sort of P.T. Barnum freakshow as other cyclists, cycling brands, cycling clothes designers and makers ridicule us in private and public conversations spreading disinformation, intolerance and utter ignorance? Isn't it time this whole thing stops?
Cycling is not changing, cycling has changed! But, unfortunately the growth pains are being felt by those bearing the change on their shoulders! We are! We are the present and the future of cycling, we feed the industry that sponsors athletes and organize the races we love to see and participate as spectators and competitors. We, the simple people, the holders of dreams and hopes, the consumer of products that feed a machinery that systematically excludes us. The greatest paradox needs to give place to all who are passionate about cycling and stop stigmatizing and excluding!
We need you to get on that bike!
Take a moment to read the article below, consider and ponder our role in the cycling community. It is my understanding that cycling is an important part of a much needed movement that can benefit the biopsychosocial (body, mind and relationships in all areas of life and living) of millions of people worldwide! It starts on our trainers, our Zwift rides, our bikes, our laps around the neighborhood, our criterium races, our learning how to ride, and in our hearts and minds!
XL Biking means all riders are welcome
Our vision is much bigger than ourselves. I can't, I won't sit here and be a mere spectator of more exclusion in cycling. I won't just let overweight kids be bullied for owning a bike, or teenagers being excluded from cycling clubs for not being lean enough! I can't stand the fact that here in Sweden and in other parts of the world women are being mistreated in bikeshops just for being female and deemed unknowledgeable of bike parts! My stomach turns when talking to cycling men and hearing them display disdain towards the LGBTQ riders! And the part the hurts the most is when I see people with disabilities being leftout of our sport.
We represent a much better side of the present cycling culture and need to be seen and heard!
Please read the interview below.
A freakin' cyclist - not a freak!
I don't care what others are saying about you and I, we are freakin' cyclists not freaks! That's right, you ARE a cyclist just like any other cyclists whether you compete or not. Cycling is what it is and can be done in many different ways! You ARE it, my friend! You are the one who dares, who rebels, who secures the fun future of cycling! You don't need to become a cycling celebrity, an influencer, nor do you need to post your rides every single day - you just need to be! Yes! Cycle in your own terms, don't worry, it will be good for you - that in itself is enough and means a lot to us all! Should you choose to share your amazingly unique, special, and fun journey with us and others, it is our privilege to follow! Thank you! IShould you choose to become actively engaged in XL Biking and consciously fight to reclaim cycling and redefine its roots and future, please drop me a note here or on Instagram, thank you so much! Last but not least, let's not allow things to remain the same in a sport that is so good for people and for the environment! We are the future of cycling! - Ebbe Silva
Fat freakin' cyclist, founder of XL Biking.