Chamois Butt'r Ambassador Avery Young on co-founding Chicago United: A Cycling Team by and for People of Color
Our Social Media Specialist, Stan Jones spoke with Chamois Butt’r Ambassador Avery Young about his work recently co-founding Chicago United with three other Chicago area cyclists (Brandon Goodall, Marcus Lumpkin, Avery Young, Isabel Reyes Todd).
Chicago United is a cycling team by and for people of color. They are making spaces and sharing the love and passion for cycling. We're proud to support cyclists like Avery, doing the most for his community. Avery discussed his goals and gave tips to new cyclists out there. Check it out:
Chicago United Founders. (L:R: Brandon Goodall, Marcus Lumpkin, Avery Young, Isabel Reyes Todd).
How/Why did Chicago United form?
- "Besides our love for cycling, we formed Chicago United because we wanted to be a safe and welcoming space for people who felt like they didn't belong. We all see ourselves as advocates for a fair and equitable sport and wanted to bring that into the community here in Chicago. There are a lot of traditional viewpoints that don't get challenged, and we're here to challenge tradition."
Who is involved in Chicago United?
- Brandon Goodall / @poindexter_coleslaw (Original Co-Founder) - Firm believer that a good ride should always include a donut or pastry stop when possible. Connecting through bikes, beers, and backyard hangs.
- Marcus Lumpkin / @crankcampgo (Original Co-Founder) - Bike nerd, librarian, dad. A year-round cyclist is always looking for more miles and 1 more bike.
- Isabel Reyes Todd / @isabel_reyestodd (Original Co-Founder) - Team mom/gravel shredder. When Isabelle isn't mama bearing, she's out adding to her already lengthy list of off-road Palmares. Always there to lend a hand, she's a good wheel to follow when the surface gets choppy.
- Avery Young / @def_not_ur_mans (Original Co-Founder) - Multi-disciplined chiller. Always down to ride no matter what the surface may be.
- JV Delfin / @jvizzle24 (Core Member) - Resident flatbar ripper. Whether dirt or snow, JV loves to ride, and you can usually catch him on the trails.
- Ruth Rosas / (@ruthdujour (Core Member) - A Climate Justice Urbanist and a local activist here in Chicago.
- Honorable mention to Sam Scipio (@salmonilla or @jubileemfg) and Nico Deportago-Cabrera (@indigo_nico) for being a part of the conversation at the very beginning.
- I haven't been doing too many events as of late, so my summer short term list has just been to have as much fun as possible. My long-term goals in cycling are just as they are in life: Try to get a little bit better every day, try to do it for as long as I can. I would love to build a bucket list of spots to ride or something though!
What would you tell someone who has just started cycling? Any helpful tips?
- It doesn't matter what bike you're riding, if you're having a good time. The best thing you can do is keep the bike(s) you like/ride in good condition. You will get to ride more, and you'll make a lot of mechanical friends. They love it if your bike isn't toasted every time, it needs service 😂 (Tip them too, it's a service being performed!)
- Don't be deterred from taking things at your own pace. Whether it's on the road or with your equipment, don't let trendiness, or peer pressure be the reason you end up with a carbon bike and $300 kit, riding a century on your third day!
- Ask questions! People who cycle/ride bikes are nerds! (Coming from a nerd!) More times than not, someone will/wants to field that question you think is super obvious
- Ride with people who want to ride with you. Invest in each other and everyone will become better.
- Be the trendsetter in your community. If no rides, and you really want to, start doing it! I guarantee there are people out there that are curious, but it's hard when you don't see anyone like you doing it. Many times, it's the reason activities/sports carry the same demographic for many years.
- Wear a helmet!
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