Meet the mentors and recipients from our first two rounds of grants.

Bikepacking Roots supports and advances bikepacking, the growth of a diverse bikepacking community, and access to and the conservation of the landscapes and public lands through which we ride.

Our Team

Mentor & Former Grant Recipient

박 (Pak) is a first-generation Korean American video editor, director, and dirt-chasing cyclist based out of Seattle, WA. The BIPOC Bike Adventure Grant supported Pak’s 2021 bikepacking trip from the border of Mexico to Canada along The Great Divide Mountain Bike Route with his 17-year-old brother and childhood best friend. This trip inspired the Award-Winning Film Pak directed called Riding Han.

Sam (she/her) is a designer and bike mechanic living and working in Detroit, MI. Her love of bikes came out of necessity – a commuter to start after her car broke down. Now she rides and races everywhere she can. Sam loves riding in the mountains, sand, and dirt; and wants to create space for more people of color to do the same. In 2020 she founded Jubilee MFG, a custom framebuilding and small bicycle components company.

Antonio Miranda is from Modesto, California. He says “Cycling has been my main mode of transportation until from about 2008-2020 when I submerged myself into adventure cycling culture. I toured From Virginia to the edge of Ohio and multiple remote parts of Puerto Rico and Northern California. Bikepacking has played a huge role in my development as a cyclist.⁠

I want to change the faces in adventure cycling and encourage more POC to join the outdoor adventure community and embrace those spaces. I want others to join me and help them realize they can do this as well without the fear of physical harm or death that shadows our community. I want to continue to strengthen the bonds of local outreach and build a larger community of adventure cycling that becomes more accessible and encourages personal growth.”⁠

Shawnee Dez was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago. She is the founder and organizer of the Black JoyRide. In June 2020, Shawnee and friends organized a mass Juneteenth bike ride to promote Black joy, wellness, and to take up space in the second most segregated city in the United States, Chicago. This ride is a symbol of liberation and mobility.

Shawnee’s work centers youth and community advocacy. When off the music stage, she activates spaces for creative youth to express unapologetically. The mission of the Black JoyRide is to get as many Black folks on bikes as possible!

Shawnee will be bringing the Black JoyRide to Leimert Park, Los Angeles to host the very first Black JoyRide in California on August 25th, 2022. Their goal is to connect with Black folks throughout the diaspora, domestic and abroad, to promote liberation, wellness and joy through biking!

Will Cortez, Silas Sanderson, and Sukho Viboolsittiseri formed BikePOCPNW to respond to the community need for cycling spaces for BIPOC folks in the Portland Metro area. They are actively creating a brave space for BIPOC folks to ride bikes, build community, forge life-long friendships, and challenge the status quo. They do this while holding themselves accountable for behaviors that may replicate or uphold any and all forms of oppression.

Since its inception in January 2021, the group has hosted an AAPI Solidarity Ride, monthly rides for all disciplines of riding (party pace, mountain bike, gravel, etc.), clinics, and trained riders interested in competition.

They are using the grant to build BilePOCPNW’s bikepacking gear library. The gear will be used to for bikepacking trips to Stub Stewart State Park, the Deschutes River State Recreation Area, and more.

Roxy Robles is a cyclist, urban planner, sewist, and Filipinx food enthusiast living on the ancestral lands of the Duwamish (Seattle, Washington). She started bike touring after realizing that bike touring was not that different than hauling groceries up and down Seattle hills on a bike. In Seattle, she organizes with Friends on Bikes (a community for people living at the intersections of trans, two-spirit, women, intersex, gender nonconforming and Black, Indigenous, and other people of the global majority identities), and volunteers with The Bikery & Outdoors for All. She has conducted introductory bike touring courses with Seattle Colleges, Adventure Cycling Association, and Swift Industries.

Roxy is passionate about supporting new cyclists and spreading her love of bikes and bike touring. She thinks tarot cards are an essential item on any packing list and loves to talk about feelings. You can get her book, An Introduction to Bike Touring to get started on your cycling journey! Roxy is using the grant to lead a group from Friends on Bikes Seattle to occupied Nimiipuu and Shohone-Bannock territories in colonized southeast Idaho for a 80-mile loop near Warm Lake. The route includes climbs, views from the Boise National Forest and HOT SPRINGS!

Annijke Wade’s outlook on life has been changed by mountain biking. Through it, she has found more balance, the ability to work through challenging situations, a wonderful community, and traveled to many awesome locations and trails.

In 2021, Annijke experienced a life-changing spinal cord injury from a horrible mountain biking accident. She is now entering the adaptive mountain biking (aMTB) world. One of her recovery and recreation goals is to figure out how to bikepack with a spinal cord injury.

Annijke is committed to using her position to amplify BIPOC, LGBTQ+ and Disabled voices and will be using her privilege to empower folx in the community. Annijke is using the grant to go on a one-day bikepacking adventure with her friend Fanny in Golden, Colorado!

Selena Feliciano is an artist, strategist and half of the Borikén Bicycle Tour, based on occupied Chochenyo Ohlone territory (Oakland, CA). She spends most of her days dreaming of how to deepen connections to the biosphere on a mass scale, and how to reverse the effects of capitalism, white supremacy, and centuries-long destruction of indigenous roots under colonialism.

She finds the intersection of bicycles and art ripe with possibility for deepening our ties to our beloved Earth; She is an avid bicycle tourist and contributing performer with Agile Rascal Bicycle Touring Theatre Company, as well as a 2022 athlete with the Ride for Racial Justice Gravel Team.

Selena and her collaborator, Jackie Rivera, are using the funds to embark on the Borikén Bicycle Tour in the spring of 2023, across the island of Puerto Rico, creating art, memories, and reflection from the inevitable inspiration of our ancestral ecology and genetic ties to Taíno lands and waters. Find out more at

Ester is a purpose-driven Afro-Latino woman from Brazil who lives in Syracuse, New York. She works in the climate and energy sector, and in her free time you can find her biking and being a cat mom.  She got her first bike seven years ago to commute to college and since then she has never owned a car. Biking has always been her main way of transportation. She is also a passionate, lifelong motorsports fan, advocating for for diversity and inclusion in the male-dominant sport.

Ester is using the grant to tackle the 585+ mile Adirondack Trail Ride (TATR) bikepacking race in fall 2022, and preparing for the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route in 2023.

Elisha Bishop is a husband, father and a member of the Gila River Indian Community. He organizes bike rides for the community in Gila River, where he met Mario and his son Isaac. Elisha used the grant to embark on his first bikepacking trip with Mario and Isaac along portions of the Western Wildlands Route and Arizona Trail from Flagstaff to the Grand Canyon.

In 2024, Elisha continues to grow as a community leader and is hosting the inaugural RezGravel: an Indigenous-Led Adventure Ride to support the Hopi Composite Youth MTB Team and Sii’Hasin Bike Project.

Suzanne Alexander developed a passion for endurance sports after a three-day, 60-mile walk in support of breast cancer research. Her love for biking grew when training for and completing her first sprint triathlon. Suzanne is a member of the Atlanta chapter of Black Girls Do Bike and enjoys biking on trails around Atlanta.

Suzanne is thrilled to plan and complete the inaugural “Tubman Trek”, a multi-day bike adventure along the 125-mile Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway. She plans to expand the trip to include others in future years. The trek will facilitate freedom from pre-conceived notions of limitations based on age, sex or race, from personal doubts about physical or mental ability, and to experience, enjoy and protect the richness and beauty of nature.

Mentor & Former Grant Recipient

박 (Pak) is a first-generation Korean American video editor, director, and dirt-chasing cyclist based out of Seattle, WA. The BIPOC Bike Adventure Grant supported Pak’s 2021 bikepacking trip from the border of Mexico to Canada along The Great Divide Mountain Bike Route with his 17-year-old brother and childhood best friend. This trip inspired the Award-Winning Film Pak directed called Riding Han.

mónica teresa ortiz was born and raised in Texas and is a novice adventure cyclist focusing on political geography and ecology in the Southwest, marginalized communities impacted by environmental racism, and hopes to improve conversations on sustainability and solidarity.

“I’m from the Big Island of Hawai’i, the land of the Kanaka ‘Ōiwi, and grew up biking on Mana, the dirt road that circles the beautiful Mauna Kea. I’ve been living in the PNW for over 12 years now and have recently discovered gravel riding here in Washington and how similar it feels to riding while growing up. When I was in the 7th grade we rode around Mauna Kea in 3 days, camping along the way. While I would love to ride that again, due to the pandemic I haven’t been home in over a year. So, I would like to create a ride in WA that connects where I’m from (Pacific Ocean) to where I’m currently living (Seattle, WA). I plan to ride across the Olympic Peninsula, West to East, avoiding most highways in attempt to connect many different forest service roads from Twin Rivers beach, on the ancestral land of the Coast Salish and S’Klallam people, to the Kingston ferry, and ending in Seattle, on the ancestral land of the Coast Salish and Duwamish people.”

“I am Inupiaq Native American! I plan on traveling throughout Colorado and I LOVE bikes. I was a cyclist for about 7-8 years and I competed all around the nation, I even placed nationally multiple times! I haven’t been on the bike in a long time, but this would be a great chance for me to get back on and truly enjoy the sport of cycling. Lots of love to all my other BIPOC cyclists out there!!! “

“I’m craving the desert trails for my future adventure and couldn’t be more exciting about this opportunity. I’m so grateful beyond words for Bikepacking Roots, they are paving the way for BIPOC adventurists like myself who have an enormous amount of love for the cycling and the outdoors. I hope my adventure inspires other organizations to invest in our BIPOC cycling community to allow other people just like myself, to have their own experience of a lifetime. “

Jaimie Morales is a Puerto Rican mother of two boys who applied for the grant along with two friends, Shannon Evans is a Native American single mother and Latonya Nicholson is an African American woman and mother of four. They used the grant to complete an adventure on the Great Allegheny Passage Rail Trail, also know as the GAP trail.

I live in Augusta, Maine with my son Oliver. I started a lot of new things in the last year that I really did not know existed. Biking was one of those things. I am growing my interest and confidence and want my kid to grow with me. I want to show him he can do hard things and learn about the rewards of biking earlier than I did.

Cycling is a wonderful sport. It can be a solitary ride, or it could be with a small group of riders who become your friends. I love cycling because you get to breathe in fresh air outside and see how nature has changed through the seasons. You’ve heard of fish stories will it’s the same thing with cycling. We like to discuss our adventures. My dream is to bike and camp the KATY TRAIL in Missouri. I biked this trail 20 years ago. It’s time to go back and enjoy the beauty of biking next to the Mississippi River.

Sarah is a cycling commuter turned-on to bikepacking and exploring the off-roads of Georgia. She is excited to traverse the North Georgia mountains with the folx that helped make the South her home away from home. This adventure is important to her because it not only frees her from the stresses of the city, but she hopes this opportunity will heighten representation of the BIPOC cyclists in the Southeast, as well as contribute to the gear library that will serve as a resource for BIPOC womxn cyclists to fuel their own bikepacking adventures.

Brenda is a southern Latina living in Nashville, Tennessee, the Cherokee/Muscogee lands. My bikepacking adventure will take me to four beautiful state parks, starting with the Obed Wild Life and Scenic River, where the Milky Way is visible to the naked eye, and ending at Percy Priest Lake. In her own words, “Southern lands carry a history of violence on people, reclaiming the outdoors for BIPOC communities is a way to reclaim our future and reimagine our existence with these beautiful lands.” I am excited to document this journey, learn from the experience and bring others along to see the beauty of the southern United States.

Emmanuel Portillo was born and raised in Koreatown and South Los Angeles. Emmanuel has worked in education for the last 10 years, working closely with educators, youth, and families to support educational opportunities that cultivate and advance critical and creative thinking, racial equity, and social transformation. An adventurer at heart, Emmanuel is excited about bikepacking through the San Gabriel/Tongva Mountains to connect with the rich, complex, and erased hxstories of native/indigenous people, plants and fauna of the region. Further, some of his long-term goals of this trip is to leverage that experience and knowledge, to develop deep connections with people of the region and support other BIPOC, especially youth, interested in bikepacking.

The vision of our trip “Womxn Warriors for Land, Liberation and the Struggle” is to honor the sacred, historic lands in California, while building community and challenging our bodies physically. More specifically, during this trip, we will visit numerous BIPOC places and memorials to pay our respects to the land and its peoples.

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