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Support Navajo Biking With Sportful Jersey Collaboration

Over half the price of each Sportful x Silver Stallion jersey will go to a nonprofit bringing cycling teams, classes, and events to the Navajo Nation.
sportful x silver stallion collabMeet Agdren, Darnell, and Myles, or the 'Navabros.' The Navajo youths compete on the Diné Composite NICA Team; (photo/Shaun Price)
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The country’s largest Indian Tribe, the Navajo Nation, spreads across a huge swath of the Southwest. It’s roughly the size of West Virginia, with a population of over 250,000.

But until recently, the area didn’t have a single bike shop.

“It’s a tough situation,” said Scott Nydam, a former professional cyclist. “These kids are in a really tough spot.”

In 2014, Nydam and his family moved to Gallup, New Mexico, a border town at the edge of the Navajo reservation. While his wife worked as the lead midwife for the tribe, Nydam — who nearly died in a bike accident toward the end of his cycling career — was free to build a new life.

As he saw the lack of resources available to Navajo kids, Nydam found another purpose. He turned his Gallup coffee shop, the Silver Stallion, into a nonprofit focused on getting more Navajo youth on bicycles. Since 2018, the group has established after-school programs and racing teams, and repaired more than 1,400 bikes.

Now, cycling brand Sportful has released a limited run of jerseys to kick this burgeoning nonprofit into a higher gear.

sportful x silver stallion jerseys

Sportful x Silver Stallion Jerseys

When cyclist Yuri Hauswald saw the work that Nydam was doing in Gallup, he knew he had to help. As the athlete manager for GU Energy Labs and a generally well-connected guy in the cycling world, Hauswald conceived of a jersey collaboration to funnel more money toward Silver Stallion’s Navajo biking programs.

“I’ve been super impressed with what he’s created down there,” Hauswald said. “This nonprofit is a really powerful testament to what the bike can do for kids and adults.”

So Hauswald began putting the pieces together. For the jersey design, he reached out to Taro Takizawa, a Japanese artist who Hauswald met during a gravel race in Kansas last year. Takizawa’s work blends traditional Japanese printmaking and textiles with contemporary art designs.

silver stallion 2020
Coach AJ Murphy helps rider Wyatt fix a bike tire; (photo/Shaun Price)

To actually produce the jerseys, Hauswald found a willing partner in cycling brand Sportful. The company already has the creative processes in place to take Takizawa’s traditional prints and put them on jerseys. That makes them “a unique, one-of-a-kind piece of art that cannot be found anywhere else,” Hauswald said.

Most importantly, Sportful agreed to donate $65 of every $110 jersey directly to Silver Stallion. Just a few hundred dollars is enough to ensure that one Navajo kid gets to race all season, he said.

“These jerseys are beautiful,” he said. “But we can also really make an impact on what Scott is doing.”

Silver Stallion ‘In The Dirt’

So, just what has Silver Stallion done exactly? Well, the above trailer for the documentary “In The Dirt,” which premiered at film festivals last year, provides a glimpse at the importance of biking to the Navajo community.

Nydam has been able to greatly expand Silver Stallion’s impact by partnering with several existing nonprofits. He worked with Outride’s Riding for Focus program to bring 13 middle school mountain bike classes to the region. Tapping the help of Free Bikes 4 Kidz resulted in hundreds of bikes distributed to Navajo youths.

“Many of these kids are born into isolation and poverty,” Nydam said. “It’s a very slippery slope for them, so there’s an urgency to this project.”

silver stallion Navajo
Randy Bitsue, Franklin Cook, and Lorenzo Manuelito at one of Silver Stallion’s free bike repair events; (photo/Shaun Price)

Perhaps most importantly, Nydam has started seven afterschool programs, five of them on the reservation. For 10-12 weeks each semester, about 100 kids show up for a weekly ride on mountain bikes. Over the years, that has resulted in a growing number of talented young Navajo shredders who compete on two teams created by Silver Stallion: the Gallup Composite NICA Team and the Diné Composite NICA Teams.

More than 50 kids participate across both teams, getting two weekly practices and competing in race events throughout New Mexico. Nydam is even starting an enduro program for the advanced kids who have several years of experience.

Money from the Sportful jerseys will mostly be used to support these growing teams, Nydam said. It will pay for the kids’ race registration fees, their meals on the road, the cost of gas for families to travel and see their children compete, and maybe even some pay for the (mostly volunteer) coaches.

“Our hope is that people can be a part of this,” Nydam said. “It’s healing for our whole nation.”

How to Purchase the Jerseys

The process for buying the Sportful x Silver Stallion jerseys is a little different than usual. You’ll first need to create an account through this Sportful ordering portal. Once created, you’ll reach the ordering page and can proceed as usual. If you’re a returning customer to the Yuri Hauswald 24.1 Team Store, you can just log in.

Not interested in a jersey and just want to help out? Then, you can donate directly to Silver Stallion through the nonprofit website.

A Jersey With a Message: One Cyclist Weaves His Story Into Lycra

You could look at this jersey and chalk it up to just another artist collaboration. Or you could dive deep into the story behind it. Read more…

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