Watch First HBCU Cycling Team Riders ‘Chasing History’ in Stirring Canyon Film Series

‘When you’re making history, you’re often unaware at the time …’

For two riders on the St. Augustine’s University Cycling Team — the first official cycling team at a historically Black college or university (HBCU) — their career and possibly life highlight came on a beautiful day in Rock Hill, South Carolina.

St. Augustine University students Brandon Valentine-Parris and Finote Weldemariam competed in their first statewide, UCI-sanctioned race in June 2021. “It was only a 50-minute, 20-lap event. But the moment felt bigger somehow,” teased Canyon in advance of the film.

SAU cyclists Brandon and Finote

“Eight months ago, I barely knew how to pedal a bike and now I’m competing in races,” said Valentine-Parris. “I made a conscious decision to see how far I can take cycling, how competitive I can be in this sport.”

This episode is part 4 in the “Chasing History” series. Watch the full series.

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Mary Murphy

Mary Murphy is the Managing Editor of GearJunkie and serves as the leader of Lola Digital Media’s DEI Committee.

She has been writing about hiking, running, climbing, camping, skiing, and more for seven years, and has been on staff at GearJunkie since 2019. Prior to that, Mary wrote for 5280 Magazine in Denver while working as an outdoor instructor teaching climbing, kayaking, paddleboarding, and mountain biking at Avid4Adventure. Based in Denver, Colorado, Murphy is an avid hiker, runner, backpacker, skier, yogi, and pack-paddleboarder.

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