The LA Sweat cycling team is partnering with Blackstone Bicycle Works—an educational youth program and community bike shop providing opportunities for youth from Chicago’s most underserved neighborhoods—to serve as Women-Trans-Femme (WTF) youth program mentors, both on and off the bike.
As part of their partnership with Blackstone Bikes, LA Sweat will bring on four young riders interested in road cycling and racing to create the LA Sweat Junior Development team. Additionally, the team, which is welcoming back its current roster for next season, will open up spots specifically for Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) riders looking to race at the elite level.
“[Blackstone Bicycle Works’] program is inspiring, and we want to do whatever we need to help foster and mentor their WTF BIPOC youth,” said Kelli Samuleson, founder and owner of LA Sweat. “We all truly believe we can make a difference in the peloton and help grow this sport for all.”
Currently, Blackstone Bicycle Works teaches bicycle mechanics, cycling, advocacy and business operations to create an inclusive for Black youths from Woodlawn and surrounding neighborhoods on Chicago’s South Side. This partnership helps Blackstone expand its influence. “Through our work together, we look to shift the cycling industry towards greater inclusion and accessibility for Young WTF and BIPOC Riders,” said DJ Fish, program coordinator for Blackstone. “With access to pro-level coaching, resources and mentorship, we look to create a community of inclusion and excellence, where young people can push and support one another in the pursuit of their goals.”