There’s quite a lot that’s been going on since our last communication on Instagram and FB. We arrived back from tour earlier than expected (more on that later) so we had the majority of the youth take off the month of August.
My “always down for the ride” crew have been disappointed by rain, suffered with me on a ride to Saxapahaw where I had over 5 flats due to a wear in the tire (thanks for the support Lee!), and most recently, a ride to Durham. They can’t get enough. That’s why Labor Day weekend we’re heading down to Atlanta for the great One Love Century ride where they’ll meet people from all over the country and take in 40 miles of Atlanta terrain.
To top it off, we had our very own Black Farm Tour century ride at the start of August where youth volunteered at rest stops and led the riders at the start. Exhibiting service and leadership.
These are the experiences that build great character. And I’m very proud to say we do this together. And all that we do, you make possible.
As a trusted partner you’ve placed a lot of faith in Triangle Bikeworks. We recognize you. For those of you who are open to the question, we ask, “What is your reason for giving to the youth of Triangle Bikeworks?”
Triangle Bikeworks has grown and continues to impact, empower and inspire. The contribution it has on their development, wellbeing and hope for the future will continue to have my support.
I first learned about Triangle Bikeworks through my older sister, Itza. She was a part of the “guinea pig” group back in 2010 who joined the Cycle North Carolina coastal ride. Of course, through association I wanted a part of it! The following year I was given that opportunity.
At 16 years old, I clipped on my helmet, donned on my jersey, and pulled on my cycling shorts. It was game time and we were ready to cycle the Underground Railroad. 32 days, 1,500 miles of just us and the road!
I didn’t know it then but this ride was going to change my life.
My favorite memories of these trips always include the unexpected stops. I still remember how in Oregon we dipped our toes into a freezing stream. Or how Itza and I stumbled upon a small town in Illinois dedicated to Superman!
11 YEARS AND I’M PROUD
Fast forward 11 years and I’m proud to be here retelling my story. Getting excited as if I had just gotten back from a tour. Being a member of Triangle Bikeworks through high school gave me the experience I needed to succeed in College. I earned a large Honor’s scholarship from Barton College based on my time on the bike tours. I eventually graduated from Barton in 2018 with a Nursing and Spanish degree. I am currently working as a Registered Nurse at Duke University Hospital. I often use my cycling stories as distractions when I talk to my patients. These stories lead to so many interesting conversations with my patients that I get to learn more about them and their history.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention one of our fist volunteers, Mr. Bob Brogden. He was many of the team’s high school history teacher. He came along with us every mile of the way and showed us the “ropes” of cross-country cycling. The fact that he kept a journal of all the trips he went on inspired us to do the same. It’s nice going back and revisiting our thoughts and feelings during those days. The gamut of emotions were all over the place; running the from our highs to our lows.
Thank you Triangle Bikeworks for teaching me that it is possible to cycle 80 miles a day. I can’t wait to join you guys on the next trip.
Closing Out The Summer Season
As far as I know, I was the first to experience symptoms of what we came to realize was COVID-19, Ba.5 variant.
Because of that, a week into the Great Migration themed tour we had to “call it quits”. Over half the youth, me and Fernando tested positive for COVID.
Unfortunate as it was, for safety’s sake we ended our Summer Experience tour in Indiana, just on the other side of the Ohio River. We camped out and waited a couple more days to see who else tested positive to ensure we could safely split the group into two vans.
It wasn’t all sneezes, sniffles, and headaches. The youth still had a great summer experience by having some fantastic rides through the beautiful (and beautifully hilly) state of Kentucky. Although many of the youth did not enjoy the hilly parts of the state.
The stops at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and the Muhammad Ali Museum were definite highlights of education and history.
At the Freedom Center youth learned of the impacts of racism and the enslavement period and how it continues today in its many forms. They also were able to examine their own personal biases when they participated in an interactive presentation.
At the Muhammad Ali Center the youth learned that Muhammad Ali was more than just a sports figure. He was an advocate and world wide humanitarian. And get this, his boxing career started because his bike was stolen and he wanted to find and fight the guy who stole it!
The center was very engaging and interactive so the youth had a great time there.
Out past the cornfields where the woods got heavy
Making friends for life!
At some point we all get ’em. But Taj was not happy about his time
Yes, it was hot. Our goal was to stay hydrated at all times.
Riding out the first day!
David on his last tour cycling the Great Migration
Riding out the first day!
Always a joy
On August 5 we kicked off the weekend of the Princeville Homecoming Black Farm Tour with several events such as the Old Time Fish Fry at the home of Buck Leonard of Negro Baseball fame and a farm-to-table dinner at Golden Organic farm. While the ride celebrated all black farmers in eastern North Carolina we highlighted three specifically, as places to rest along the ride.
We happily hosted up to 200+ cyclists and friends from around North Carolina, Virginia, and Maryland. Riding through the bucolic region of eastern North Carolina, riders enjoyed quiet roads and beautiful stretches of land between farms. Many were enthralled with the recounting of the history surrounding the family owned farms serving as rest stops. At these stops riders enjoyed sweet red melons from nearby farms and were gifted “goody bags” of product samples as a thank you for their participation in this first ever event.
This is intended this to be an annual ride and community event that highlights the historic region of eastern North Carolina. There’s a lot of history between Princeville and Rocky Mount, and in the surrounding counties, with even more road to cover by bike. We can’t wait to unveil what we have in mind for you next year!
Thanks for reading this far. My goal is to keep these newsletters short enough to give you an update via email about what’s going on at Triangle Bikeworks and sometimes a little more. And today, it was a little more.
KEVIN HICKS – EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR