By: Cody Dedow  July 08, 2020

Indigenous men have over two times the prevalence of lifetime PTSD compared to non-Hispanic white men.

Suicide was the 3rd leading cause of death for Black males aged 15 to 24 as recently as 2014.

These are tragedies that Damen Bell recognizes all too well. A former DI basketball player and avid cyclists who also identifies as Black and Indigenous, Damen has dedicated his life to speaking up against racism and mentoring youth in his community. That is why he has created Break the (BI)Cycle, using cycling as a vehicle to promote mental wellness through building communities within marginalized groups.

Damen Bell

"I have long recognized a large gap in the cycling industry - there is not a strong presence of men of color. Break the (BI)Cycle focuses on Black and Indigenous men, two groups who experience personal and systemic racism resulting in significant mental health challenges. The idea of Break the (BI)Cycle is to create opportunities through a shared experience (cycling) to discuss mental health issues." explained Damen.

The Break the (Bi)cycle movement has already begun with cycling challenges continuing through July and August but it is much more than just that. Beginning July 7th, Damen and Break the (BI)Cycle will raise $100,000 to fund a bikepacking trip from Vancouver, BC to San Diego, CA comprised of 40 Black and Indigenous men. The $100,000 raised will go towards funding this ride as well as supporting an additional 20 initiatives in villages and communities with similar purposes.

From August 29th to September 30th, the riders will travel roughly 50 miles a day on a route through Indigenous lands. Damen has hand-selected daily end destinations to be communities that represent the rider's heritage, helping build community and additional support for the cause.

The composition of the ride is meant to bolster the narrative and storytelling of (BI)CYCLE as well. "By documenting riding on tribal lands and speaking with leaders in the community, we are able to share this story with not only Black and Indigenous people, who are well aware of these issues, but with groups that are unaware or unengaged in this ongoing fight." explained Damen.

To learn more about Break the (BI)cycle and to contribute to the cause, check out the Break the (BI)Cycle donation page here.


Lover of bikes and their fellow man?

Industry Partners:

  • Damen is looking for financial backing and commitments of resources. There are multiple sponsor levels and any contribution to help facilitate the mission and the ride is welcome.

Industry Storytellers (Located on West Coast):

  • Check out the schedule and let Damen know if you are willing to lend your expertise to help amplify this ride’s mission and message!

The Ride: Community Stops

August 29th – September 30th -1,707 mile bike ride from Vancouver, BC to San Diego, CA

August 29th Vancouver (Salish / Tles) - Bellingham (Lummi) 50.5 miles

August 30th Bellingham (Lummi) – Marysville (tulalip) 55 miles

August 31st Marysville (tulalip) - seattle (duwamish) 34 miles

September 1st Seattle (duwamish) - Puyallup 36 miles

September 2nd Puyallup - Olympia (Nisqually) 33 miles

September 3rd Olympia (Nisqually) - Raymond 64 miles

September 4th Raymond - Astoria (clatsop) 52 miles

September 5th Astoria (Clatsop) - Manzanita 39 miles

September 6th Manzanita - Tillamook 26 miles

September 7th Tillamook - Newport (Siletz) 68 miles

September 8th Newport (Siletz) - Florence (Umqua) 49 miles

September 9th Florence (Umqua) - Coos Bay (Coos) 49 miles

September 10th Coos Bay (Coos) - Bandon (Coquille) 23 miles

September 11th Bandon (Coquille) - Brookings (Chetco) 83 miles

September 12th Brookings (Chetco) - Klamath 45 miles

September 13th Klamath - Trinidad (Wiyot) 41 miles

September 14th Trinidad (Wiyot) - Rio Dell (Nekanni) 48 miles

September 15th Rio Dell - Leggett (64 miles)

September 16th Leggett - Fort Bragg (Pomo) 43 miles

September 17th Fort Bragg (Pomo) - Sea Ranch 64 miles

September 18th Sea Ranch - Bodega Bay (Coast Miwok) 42 miles

September 19th Bodega Bay (Coast Miwok) - Iverness 36 miles

September 20th Verness - San Francisco (Ohlone) 45 miles

September 21st San Francisco (Ohlone) - Halfmoon Bay 29 miles

September 22nd Half moon Bay - Santa Cruz 51 miles

September 23rd Santa Cruz (Awaswas) - Monterrey 50 miles

September 24th Monterrey (Costanoan) - Lucia 50 miles

September 25th Lucia (Essellen) - Morro Bay (Chumash)68 miles

September 26th Morro Bay - Santa Barbara 125 miles

September 27th Santa Barbara - Oxnard 39 miles

September 28th Oxnard - Los Angeles (Tongva) 65 miles

September 28th Los Angeles - Newport Beach 45 miles

September 29th Newport Beach - Oceanside (Luiseno) 56 miles

September 30th Oceanside - San Diego 40 miles

To learn more about Break the (BI)cycle and to contribute to the cause, check out the Break the (BI)Cycle donation page here.