Gravel Rider Rachel Parker Speaks to the Transformative Power of Obstacles

What’s it like to be a queer Black woman in cycling? For one rider, it’s a vulnerable, powerful, and transcendent experience.

In terms of racing, Rachel Parker has done (and loved) it all. Many of the benefits she sees in it are widely familiar: there’s camaraderie, connection with nature, stress relief, and triumphs.

But most of all, she’s drawn to gravel cycling and its less-apparent virtues.

“Cycling is a very spiritual sport, and I want to embrace the vulnerability that comes with the process of evolving within it,” Parker explains. “As the emotions flow, movement is what drives me to transcend my doubts and insecurities as a rider.”

Hear it from the rider herself in this brief film from Flashpoint MVMT. Take a look.

Runtime: 5 minutes

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Jilli Cluff

Jilli grew up in the rural southern Colorado mountains, later moving to Texas for college. After seven years in corporate consulting, she was introduced to sport climbing — and life would never be the same. She now works as a contributor, gear tester, and editor for GearJunkie and other outlets within the AllGear family. She is based out of Atlanta, Georgia where she takes up residence with her climbing gear and one-eared blue heeler, George Michael.

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