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Aliya Tyus-Barnwell, founder of Ride Up Grades, on redefining the word “cyclist” and breaking down barriers to entry in biking


Aliya Tyus-Barnwell is a New York City based writer, cyclist, and the founder and president of the nonprofit Ride Up Grades. She got her start doing cycling work as an Instructor at Bike New York. As a road cyclist she wanted to pass the freedom she found there on to riders in neighborhoods that lacked any bike programs; the closest Bike New York program to her Crown Heights neighborhood was too far for any youth to walk. Getting to a bike program for someone in her neighborhood required taking trains and/or buses. Further, there were no *free* public road bike programs for youth in her city – they either cost money or are limited to specific schools. Aliya strives to get more kids into bike racing, but also into commuting, and any other biking forms and disciplines.

Discussed in this episode:

Brooklyn Red Caps cycling group

Black Girls do Bike

Brown Bike Girl

Major Taylor Iron Riders, Aliya’s team

Bike New York

–Consumerism in cycling

–“There are already many Black cyclists, we just overlook them,” Aliya’s article in VeloNews

Cycling Industry Pledge (CIP)

–Ride Up Grades Race Scholarship

–Ride Up Grades Scholarship winners: Travis and Umut

Trek Summer Camp


I Challenge Myself 

–Comproller, Scott Stringer bike-to-school announcement 


“𝗪𝗲’𝘃𝗲 𝗴𝗶𝘃𝗲𝗻 𝗶𝗻𝘁𝗼 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗰𝗼𝗻𝘀𝘂𝗺𝗲𝗿𝗶𝘀𝘁 𝗺𝗶𝗻𝗱𝘀𝗲𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 ‘𝗰𝘆𝗰𝗹𝗶𝘀𝘁’ 𝗶𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝗴𝗲𝗻𝗿𝗲 𝗯𝗼𝘅 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗰𝗵𝗲𝗰𝗸 𝗼𝗳𝗳 𝘄𝗵𝗲𝗻 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝘀𝗶𝗴𝗻 𝘂𝗽 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗕𝗶𝗰𝘆𝗰𝗹𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗠𝗮𝗴𝗮𝘇𝗶𝗻𝗲 𝗼𝗿 𝘄𝗵𝗮𝘁𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗿…𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗹𝗹𝘆, 𝗮𝗻𝘆𝗯𝗼𝗱𝘆 𝘄𝗵𝗼 𝗿𝗶𝗱𝗲𝘀 𝗮 𝗯𝗶𝗸𝗲 𝗶𝘀 𝗮 𝗰𝘆𝗰𝗹𝗶𝘀𝘁. 𝗘𝘀𝗽𝗲𝗰𝗶𝗮𝗹𝗹𝘆 𝗮𝗻𝘆𝗯𝗼𝗱𝘆 𝘄𝗵𝗼 𝗿𝗶𝗱𝗲𝘀 𝗮 𝗯𝗶𝗸𝗲 𝗮𝘀 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗶𝗿 𝗽𝗿𝗶𝗺𝗮𝗿𝘆 𝗺𝗼𝗱𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝘁𝗿𝗮𝗻𝘀𝗽𝗼𝗿𝘁𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻, 𝘆𝗼𝘂’𝗿𝗲 𝗱𝗲𝗳𝗶𝗻𝗶𝘁𝗲𝗹𝘆 𝗮 𝗰𝘆𝗰𝗹𝗶𝘀𝘁. 𝗢𝗰𝗰𝘂𝗽𝗶𝗲𝗱 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗮𝗰𝘁 𝗼𝗳 𝗿𝗶𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗮 𝗯𝗶𝗸𝗲? 𝗔 𝗰𝘆𝗰𝗹𝗶𝘀𝘁.”

*This episode is sponsored by Paper Trails Greeting Co. Use code SOCIALSPORT for 15% off your order at

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