Gear-obsessed editors choose every product we review. We may earn commission if you buy from a link. How we test gear.

This Race Director Wants More Black and Brown Athletes in Cyclocross

Randy Locklair doesn’t want you to be intimidated by this sport that’s all about having fun.

randy locklair of be cyclocross
Photo by Nicole Locklair / Getty Images

In cyclocross, you ride a bike around several laps of a course featuring pavement, trails, gravel, grass, steep hills, and obstacles. It involves dismounting, carrying your bike, and then remounting after short obstacle sections. Add in the potential of wild weather, and huge cheering sections ringing bells at every turn, and who wouldn’t want in?

Cyclocross started as an end-of-the-season way for pros to have some fun after a long year of racing tours. Then it became conditioning for upcoming races. Now, the ’cross boom in the U.S. almost can’t be ignored. ’Cross communities in towns and cities of all sizes from coast to coast are looking to spread the word about this fun discipline and get more riders involved.

Sign up for Bicycling All Access for the latest cycling news and health tips!

The ’cross season typically runs from late-September to February, and the race experience can vary greatly depending on the weather and terrain. Generally, courses are set up in local parks. If you’re in Los Angeles, expect dry, dusty courses. In the Midwest, you’ll get a little bit of everything, but definitely mud. Colorado riders will race at least once in a lot of snow and will likely have the time of their lives. Weather is part of the challenge, and part of the fun. In other words, don’t expect to see a ’cross event canceled because of inclement weather.

But how does someone break into a sport that sounds so intense with no firsthand experience? Members of ’cross communities throughout the country are trying to make it easier.

In early April, Randy Locklair, 41, the membership director for the Century Road Club Association (CRCA) in New York City, announced that he’s starting a cyclocross team called BE Cyclocross. And the team will be focused on getting more Black and Brown athletes into the sport.

doomy midouin of be cyclocross
Doomy Midouin 
Courtesy Doomy Midouin and Getty Images
karen chin of be cyclocross
Karen Chin
Courtesy Karen Chin and Getty Images

“The team is called BE because I wanted to show that we can exist in this space, and by existing in this space we can get more people who look like us to come and do this sport,” Locklair told Bicycling.

This content is imported from {embed-name}. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

Locklair is a Black man who lives in Brooklyn and has been racing ’cross since 2013, but constantly noticed the lack of diversity at the events. Locklair was motivated this year to get a team together by an experience he had at a CRCA event that was co-sponsored by the local Major Taylor road racing team.

“It was probably the first time that I was sitting around a table of eight Black men talking about bike racing. I had never been in that situation—it was fantastic, just wonderful.”

When they asked Locklair if he raced, he told them that he no longer races on the road, but loves cyclocross events—and while they could tell Locklair loved it, none of the men had ever heard of it.

Locklair put a call out in the NYC area for any POC athlete interested in trying ’cross, no experience necessary; he will even provide a ’cross bike to everyone on the team, knowing the high cost of entry into the sport. Unlike road racing, Locklair said, anyone can show up and join an event—you don’t have to be super fit—and no matter if you’re at the front of the pack or dead last, you’re having a great time.

“It’s fun no matter what. You’re going to be a little scared at the start, but you’re going to have a good time, I promise you,” Locklair said.

One of the first athletes to sign up was Nicole Sin Quee, 49, a long-standing multi-sport athlete, as well as a mom and a math teacher. Sin Quee says she’s always excited to try something new.

nicole sin quee of be cyclocross
Nicole Sin Quee
Courtesy Nicole Sin Quee and Getty Images

“I've been involved in running and triathlon for a very long time, but I'm always looking for new challenges and new ways to defy expectations,” Sin Quee told Bicycling. Sin Quee has raced in five national and world championship multisport races (duathlon, sprint, and long course triathlon) and has placed top-three in her age group at each. She even won the Duathlon National Championship (40-44 age group) in 2012, just six months after her son was born, and followed that up with a second-place finish at Duathlon Worlds in France later that year.

But she’s not afraid to be a beginner at something. “I’m an almost-50-year-old Jamaican woman, so not exactly a highly represented demographic at ’cross races. For me, the formation of BE Cyclocross comes at the perfect time. I’m very much looking forward to being pushed outside of my comfort zone, learning new skills, meeting great people, and opening some eyes. I’m proud to be a member of BE Cyclocross and their efforts to diversify the sport.”

More than anything, Locklair wants to get more Black and Brown athletes involved in the great community atmosphere, tear down any barriers that may exist, and facilitate Black and Brown joy in the outdoors.

“When people see that [joy], even in a small group of us, they might say, Oh, this is something that’s for me, I’m going to try it,” Locklair said. “Our local race is over by the Queensboro bridge, and there’s a big bike path with Brown and Black kids going by all the time, and if just one of them stops and sees Nicole racing and says, Oh, I could do that, then the whole thing was worth it.”

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at
Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
More From Culture