Stories of Commitment: The Black Foxes

text by: Jalen Bazile

In June of 2021, The Black Foxes (TBF), an international collective of Black cyclists reclaiming their narratives in the outdoors, came together for a bikepacking trip in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Tennessee and the ancestral lands of the Cherokee, Yuchi, and Miccosukee nations.

The trip celebrated our collective work across the globe and within the cycling and outdoor industries. We chose bikepacking, a form of outdoor recreation that blends overnight backpacking with off-road cycling, for our first annual trip because it was new to many of us and others had wisdom to share. The chance to travel off-grid and sleep overnight under the stars provided space to closely bond and reflect on how far we came in our first year.

The Black Foxes riding in the Blue Ridge Mountains

The Blue Ridge Mountains stood out to us as a bikepacking destination because of the numerous waterfalls and rivers accessible by winding forest roads, and its convenient proximity to the USA Cycling Pro Nationals where Ayesha would be competing. Cycling in the heat of June can really test one’s tolerance to summer temperatures, and there’s no better way to cool off than an icy waterfall. We were blown away by how the coarse gravel roads meandered under the tree canopies and alongside rushing rivers. Above us the limbs of trees were full of life with various birds, critters and eventually rain.

The Black Foxes bikepacking in June 2021

True to our slogan, “We control our own narratives” TBF employed an all-Black film crew to document the adventure and the reflections we shared. By having Black creatives behind the camera we ensured that our narratives would be expressed authentically and in their entirety. The balance of holding the pain and heaviness as well as the joy and love of the Black experience could only be trusted in the hands of other Black creators. We were honored and excited to work with B. Monet and her fabulous crew - Eddie Yasin, Kaylan Jacobs, Brian Neris, and Taylor Polydore. Moreover, the significance of exposing the all Black film crew to a different form of filming - chasing after a group of cyclists and camping off-grid, was fulfilling.

The Black Foxes connecting on a bikepacking trip in 2021

The annual group trip brought us Foxes together more than expected. We’ve always said there is no better way to connect with one another than in the natural world. Creating a space where we could lower our emotional armor and embrace one another while diving into an adventure together was life changing. We aim to do the same for others, and we hope everyone enjoys the film that captures this!

All photography by William Loyd

Past Events

Denver, CO, USA

September 16, 2022

9:30 - 11:30 PM

Film Screening at Landmark's Chez Artiste Theater

September 17, 2022

11:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Joy Ride from Giant of Centennial

See how the event went! 

Virtual Film Release

November 25, 2022

2 PM PST | 5 PM EST | 11 PM CET

The live screening includes other works created together with the Foxes, a discussion of the film, and a Q&A with The Black Foxes and film director B. Monet.

Watch the Replay on YOUTUBE

Girona, ES

October 28, 2022

7:00 - 9:00 PM

Film Screening at Eat, Sleep, Cycle

October 29, 2022

11:00 AM

Joy Ride from Eat, Sleep, Cycle

See how the event went!

Pittsburgh, PA, USA

November 9, 2022

6:30 - 8:30 PM

Film Screening at Row House Cinema

November 12, 2022

12:00 PM

Joy Ride from Everyday Cafe

See how the event went!

Minneapolis, MN, USA

November 11, 2022

8:00 - 10:00 PM

Film Screening at Cedar Cultural Center

November 12, 2022

12:00 PM

Joy Ride from Venture North

Meet The Black Foxes

Alexa Everson

I'm a SoCal girl living in Colorado with a background in geology, guiding in the outdoors, and being a top-tier soigneur for Thee Abundance Project. Being able to mesh my knowledge of the earth with my passion for being active outside is my mission. I share my experience and knowledge in outdoor recreation to make it less intimidating and more accessible to underrepresented and underprivileged folks.

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Ayesha McGowan

I started riding bikes because I was looking for a better way to transport myself, I never realized it would transform my entire world. I love riding bikes, racing bikes, fixing bikes, and talking about bikes has allowed me to go to so many incredible places, meet so many incredible people, and do so many incredible things.

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Shanika "Nikki" Rhodes

For the majority of my life I lived in Arkansas. We don’t have real mountains there and I didn’t know mountain biking was a thing until I moved to Colorado. I started mountain biking because I enjoyed the satisfaction of knowing you’re flowing a trail right. I love the feeling when you conquer the drops you always dreamed of. Putting those skills you learned over the years to work and to do those things with friends you have met along the way is the best feeling ever.

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Shequaya Bailey

Bailey is a Pittsburgher who started out cycling as a means of transportation. Biking has taken her places further than she could have initially imagined... traveling, being a mentor, community leader (PMTCC), and learning the importance of relationships through cycling.

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Jalen Bazile

Bikepacker, outdoorsman, and community bridge builder are the roles I roll into every week. For the last several years Colorado has been my home, workplace, and playspace as I've facilitated outdoor trips, community gatherings, and self-supported adventures.

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Marty Merritt

Bikes didn't become a passion until late 2014, when I started racing local crits and CX in the Chicago area. Historically, I've had the tendency to lack mental focus, but structured training gives me goals to consistently strive for. Even better, a whole new world has been opened that I had no idea even existed! A lot of my travels, friendships, and inner peace have cycling at their nucleus.

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Raequan Wilson

As a coach, student, and volunteer in Minneapolis, Minnesota, I am ambitious when it comes to bridging the gap for inclusion in the cycling community. In my current role at a local non-profit, I specialize in creating a passion for the outdoors, focusing on underserved communities. I enjoy sharing the knowledge I’ve gained through the years. I continue doing the work I’m doing because of the connection it gives me to the community. Constantly learning and growing with the community is a gift.

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William Loyd

From humble beginnings in Hollis, Queens, cycling has enabled me to see & travel the world. Whether it be fixed gear thru a busy center city, gravel adventures or endless road miles. It's not the type of bicycle but the memories and experiences that come with the ride.

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