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Eliot Jackson is a former Motocross rider and World Cup Downhill bike racer and is now a presenter for Red Bull TV and an entrepreneur. He is a published author in multiple national and international magazines. He is also the Chairman of the Grow Cycling Foundation, created shortly after the 2020 George Floyd protests. With the knowledge that the cycling world is not immune from a culture of exclusivity and racism, the foundation was created to deliver new avenues for inclusive community building and career development in the cycling industry and work to tear down barriers to entry in cycling for marginalized communities. 

The Grow Cycling Foundation promotes education, access and opportunities to increase diversity and inclusion in cycling. The foundation believes cycling has a unique ability to address intersecting areas where specific communities have been underserved. They invest in programs that build belongingness in cycling by creating inclusive cycling spaces. 

One of their first initiatives is building a Vesosolutions Pumptrack in Los Angeles to bring a cycling ecosystem to an area that has never had this sort of opportunity.

In this week’s episode, Sonya sits down with Eliot to talk about his racing career, work ethic and being a Black athlete in a white dominated sport. You’ll also learn more about the Grow Cycling Foundation and its mission. 

I feel like my role is the infrastructure layer where I want there to be a path to entry and then I want you to have a great time when you’re here. We’re building a Pumptrack in Los Angeles and right now, if you were going to try to get into mountain bikes, you’d have to drive an hour outside the city, so even if you’re super educated and the cycling industry is all on board and super inclusive, that person in Los Angeles will still never be able to ride the bike. I think, for me, it’s about how do we provide – if my role is the infrastructure layer and allowing people the voice of education and teaching people what the barriers are – then I can say, now that we know that, let’s provide the path.”

Eliot Jackson

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Key Takeaways

  • What makes Eliot love the bike
  • Importance of work ethic and thinking big
  • Understanding there’s variance in success
  • Fulfillment coming from doing things you love to do
  • Identity is not just about the things you do
  • Being a Black athlete in a white dominated sport
  • Understanding different perspectives to communicate the right way
  • Speaking out after George Floyd’s murder
  • Grow Cycling Foundation




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