Inside the Peloton Community Dedicated to Black Women
Home to more than 7,000 members worldwide, this at-home cycling group is all about sisterhood and accountability
In 2017, Courtney Snowden was pregnant with her younger son and thought she’d never see the inside of a gym again. A single mom by choice, she was juggling a demanding job as a deputy mayor for the District of Columbia and was unsure how a regular workout routine would fit into her already hectic schedule.
Today, her boys are three and 11, and Snowden is the founder of one of the most popular home exercise cycling groups you may have never heard of, #BlackGirlMagic: The Peloton Edition. #BGM is “a space that is for us, by us, and about us in celebration of our fitness journeys on and off the bike,” according to the official Facebook group description.
Snowden started #BGM in February 2018 after asking members of the Official Peloton Members Facebook group, which has more than 300,000 members, for hair tips.
“Of course, the answers I got were laughable,” she says. “[The responses were] ‘“I use dry shampoo,’ or ‘I just put mine in a ponytail.” A couple of Black women chimed in, and I got a lot of messages with product recommendations.”
The experience left Snowden with a desire for a workout community that mirrored her experiences as a Black woman on a fitness journey. Another reason for starting her own group, Snowden explains, were some of the racist comments she’d seen from other members.
“I’d made the choice a few years ago that I wasn’t welcoming that in my life anymore, and I’m not taking responsibility for helping people to do better,” she says.
“I think if I wouldn’t have found this group, my bike would probably be hidden underneath a pile of clothes.”
And thus, a Facebook group was born. First, Snowden contacted the Black women who’d previously messaged her. After expanding the group to other Black women, #BGM is home to four moderators and more than 7,000 members worldwide — a number that has steadily increased since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.