Citizen Chrome Grants are funded with 2% of every Chrome Citizen Messenger sold and awarded to makers, disruptors, and innovators making our cities better places. Their vision and fierce drive to take action inspires us. They are 100% action, 0% administration.
Citizen Chrome Grant #004 is awarded to Radical Adventure Riders (RAR), an active group of riders with a mission to enhance gender inclusivity and racial equity in the bicycle and outdoor adventure scene. With the expansion of RAR Chapters, RAR is using the Citizen Chrome Grant to create Chapter Toolkits - guides that will help implement hyper-local networks and programs to support femmes, trans, women, and non-binary (FTWN-B), while also centering Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) in the cycling and outdoor spaces throughout the U.S.
5 QUESTIONS WITH RAR CO-FOUNDER + DESIGNER, MOLLY SUGAR
What lead to the creation of RAR?
In 2017 Everett, Jocelyn, and I went to Whitefish to ride bikes and play in the dirt to celebrate Everett’s birthday. At that time, we all worked in the cycling industry. We were frustrated with the lack of representation for femme, trans, women, and non-binary (FTWN-B) folks in the cycling community, especially for adventure cycling and bikepacking. Not surprisingly, Sarah, Nam, and Everett had the same conversation while riding in Baja earlier that year. One thing was clear – we all felt the same way, and we each knew that the only way to create the change we wanted to see was to make it happen ourselves.
In only a few months after our initial conversations, we had the first RAR Summit in Whitefish, Montana, with over 100 attendees who felt the same way we did when we rode our bikes and asked the question, “what if?”.
Since launching in 2017, what has been the biggest takeaway?
I think the biggest takeaway has been to step back, listen and be flexible to change. In four years, we moved away from hosting a summit to creating six programs that support FTWN-B and BIPOC folks in the cycling and outdoors scene. We’ve changed our name to be more representative of our community. We brought in new leadership to bring in new voices and perspectives. We’re still growing and learning, which I think is our biggest strength too.
With chapters getting off the ground, what's next for the future of RAR?
For RAR Chapters, we’re excited to see how FTWN-B connections grow and deepen at a local and regional level across the U.S. and beyond! We’re also currently working on the second issue of the Get Rad Be Radical publication, where we are centering BIPOC contributors. We’re opening applications for the SJ Brooks Scholarship very soon too! Since 2017, we’ve provided 27 scholarships to increase access and reduce barriers for BIPOC and FTWN-B folks to get into cycling. For the future, we have a lot of ideas! Probably way too many, which is something we’re always working on too.
What's been the most rewarding experience so far?
The most rewarding experience has been seeing all the meaningful connections formed through RAR. Whether that's friendships created from attending a Chapter ride or feeling more confident to go bike camping for the first time because you learned from our resources and community - we hope that these connections will help create a more diverse cycling and outdoors community.
Best advice for folks looking to get involved with RAR?
Folks can find a RAR Chapter by going on our website. If there isn’t a Chapter in your area, you can join the Radical Adventure Riders Facebook group. There is also a Discord group for the East Coast region organized by @rar.fingerlakes. We have regional Slack groups on the West Coast that you can ask about on our FB group.
Follow RAR on Instagram, find a RAR Chapter near you or donate to RAR's SJ Brooks Scholarships - a direct effort to bridge the gaps between community, industry, and BIPOC cyclists by reducing some of the financial and material barriers required to ride.