Statistically speaking, the odds were against the kid from Compton. But Rahsaan’s life changed for the better when, at age 11, a middle school teacher introduced him to the sport of cycling. Suddenly, he found himself on a different path.
And that in a nutshell is the purpose of the Bahati Foundation: to show inner city kids that they have other options. That they can follow a different path, the one that Rahsaan found. The foundation’s mission is all about introducing cycling to kids in overlooked communities—not just as a sport, but also as a healthy and fun way to gain freedom and mobility in their lives.
CHANGING THE CULTURE
Long before he started the foundation, from his early days as a junior track racer at the Dominguez Hills Velodrome—site of the track racing events during the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics—and throughout his pro road racing career, Rahsaan had a desire to bring more people like himself into the sport.
“I didn’t always know that I wanted to start a foundation,” Rahsaan says. “But what I did know is that I wanted to change the way cycling looked from my perspective, which was all one color—white. I remember being at races in the U.S. and abroad and not seeing one single person that looked like me. From the racers all the way to the event and team directors and every job in between. I always asked myself, why is this? I never found the answer, so I decided to go about trying to change things myself.”