Bicycles are popular for daily transportation in good weather. As many black people as white can be seen commuting to work and back by bike, you may discover that the white people in the USA participate in mass sports events. Here will illustrate five reasons.
Historically, road cycling developed as a major sport in a small number of European countries and less so elsewhere. For most of the 20th century, and particularly after the war, the highest profile bits of the sport all took place in France, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Spain. None of these countries have been particularly brilliant at assimilating migrants from their colonial possessions; Italy had very few immigrants at all until very recently while the non-white populations of France and Belgium were largely ghettoized in until recently, a fairly small number of urban areas. In France cycling had developed as a working class mass-participation sport with strong roots in agricultural and coal-mining areas, neither of which industries made great use of migrant labor in the post-war era; the Belgian coal mines did, but the migrants were Italians, a community that produced not a few Belgian-Italian riders like Pino Cerami. During the late colonial and decolonization era there were fitful attempts to organize professional races in the French and Italian-dominated parts of Africa, but nothing of any great substance, with travel being far more of an obstacle than it is now. The events were largely exhibition criteriums.
The situation was, to be honest, not much different in the UK and other European countries outside the cycling mainstream. In the Warsaw Pact countries, cycling was taken seriously as a sport but there was no non-white population to speak of (Djamodoline Abduzhabarov, from a Crimean Tartar family, displaced to Soviet Uzbekistan, might be considered as an exception, depending on how your race model defines “white”, though). Generally, the road cycling associated with alpine roads, Tour de France, because of the origins; mountain biking as a sport started in Great Britain. Best mountain bikers are from Switzerland. Most of the stages of the cycling sports events that are considered primary (Enduro World Series, Tour de France, UCI XCO) are held in regions of white ethnicity. For tradition, it tends to originate where the bicycle was developed, which is Europe. I think there’s a cultural river that needs crossing for folks of any stripe to understand, appreciate and embrace the beauty of the competition there. In England, certainly, the running and the cycling are very much the sports of the middle class. Of course, most of us take part because they are fun but to many, they appear as simple aerobic exercises to keep fit and lose weight. I would suppose that the attainment and quest of them are the realm of the mid to upper classes and since these are largely composed of "white" people, these are the people that participate in these sports.
It has to be the cost involved. But in the beginning, perhaps, it is not so much expensive. Assuming that one found riding interesting at all, one could buy a used bike and ride for the comparatively little money. Now clearly, when it comes down to competing, upgrades are in order, but when it comes to training (hopefully 80% of anybody’s riding who hopes to compete), the simple principle that the equipment is expensive even doesn’t paint a full picture for me. Riding by oneself is a closed loop of what one can afford and what value it is to them. Cycling is one of the most expensive sports. The cost of the equipment, the maintenance, regular upgrades of tires, chains, the strict diets, coaches, training camps, equipment (not excluding the very expensive machines between their legs).etc. is very high. There is a huge entry barrier to get into competitive cycling. Frankly speaking, it is easier for a Kenyan/ Ethiopian/ Indian to run/ play soccer., but are rare in more expensive sports like Golf, Tennis, and Hockey.
Since dedicated tri bikes are ridiculously expensive compared to Soccer, Running, Basketball or Baseball, in the US African Americans have much higher percentage living below the poverty line so that tend to dominate in low-cost sports. If they don't have enough money for the essentials of everyday life then an expensive item like a bicycle isn't really practical. It has nothing to with ability it is strictly economics.
Other more accessible, more urban sports were more attractive to black kids in inner cities; in the UK, cricket had been popularized in the colonies for a few generations before mass migration, black American boxers, and runners provided powerful role models, and football was just plain omnipresent. The few black cyclists who entered the sport tended to be track riders, or at least to start out that way.
Road Cycling audiences and market still remain primarily Europe and somewhat North America. It is essentially the audiences that drive a sport. French supporters want to see a Frenchman win the Tour de France.
Bicycle/ Component Manufacturers
Pro Cycling remains mainly a sponsored event to showcase Bike technology. Again, the equipment manufacturing companies are still mostly located in Europe and North America. Also, China is beginning to have the presence of these (Merida/ Giant). These companies have marketing budgets to spend on Pro Cycling. And they want to spend their money in the biggest markets. Besides, it notes that it is easier to sell a Belgian Ridley bike to the Belgian people when a Belgian cyclist rides it to success.
In recent years as cycling has gained popularity outside its historical core through participation booms and high-profile individual sporting successes, it has become perceived as a (de facto white) middle-class activity; however, to some extent it's being dragged away from its roots may yet show some positive returns in a society where, without denying contemporary manifestations of racism, people are becoming used to not making assumptions based on skin melanin levels.
There are more black professional cyclists now than there ever was. Sure, Europeans are still the dominant presence in the sport, but now you have riders from Eritrea, the Guadalupe Islands, and Rwanda. Some of the most notable black cyclists are super domestiques like Yohann Gene and Kevin Reza. Daniel Teklahaminot is a specialist climber that has worn the polka dot jersey as recently as last year’s Tour De France. Adrien Niyonshuti is an up and coming all-rounder from the Rwanda development team.
I still believe the best cyclists are unknowns still undiscovered from these countries. Many probably have talent but lack the exposure or the financial backing to compete on the professional circuit.