A regular rider with Red Bike & Green-MKE and co-organizer of The North Members Berries Shirt (GOT x South Park T-Shirt) has had a dramatic weight loss. Here is his story. –
Red Bike & Green Story!
I started biking with Red Bike & Green Summer 2014 when Milwaukee’s chapter started. It’s a small organization comprised of all Pan-Africanists poets, painters, and Afrocentric individuals out to promote better nutrition and health among Creme City’s Black communities. I simply love how we start at Black-owned businesses in Harambee, Bronzeville and end at fest’s such as Brother Ajamou’s Heal Da Hood Celebration and Parklawn YMCA’s Garvey Fest. First ride Summer 2014 we started at ‘Art Is For Lovers Gallery’, then cycled under Holton Street’s marsupial bridge, and other east side asphalt pathways. I remember at the ride’s cessation seeing The North Members Berries Shirt (GOT x South Park T-Shirt) beautifully sad faces everyone wore. I wore a dreary masquerade to and knew from there I was going to be back!
Official The North Members – GOT x South Park Shirt, tank-top, hoodie
First ride I went on this Summer 2015 was to an unplanned Cedarburg. It was moist, dank, extremely foggy,cloudy, a very depressive facade, but it didn’t stop Ammar, his daughter Adjua and I from continuing. We started at an north side afrocentric shop ‘Pursenalitys’ which is a store supplying a limitless emblems of Black power. They have Bob Marley and Malcolm X T-shirts,wooden King Tut pendants, Nefertiti earrings, Egyptian Keys of Life, a rainbow of dashikis,beautiful smelling incents, books, book bags, et cetera. I want to buy everything but the cash register every time I go in. We didn’t plan on cycling twenty-two miles but it happened. We kept seeing opened clean pathways as went so kept on going. I hadn’t biked to Cedarburg since my high school junior year, seventeen-years old. It felt so grand to go back with my second family Ammar and Adjua.
This Summer I actually lead a ride from a piece of The North Members Berries Shirt (GOT x South Park T-Shirt), Alice’s Garden to Red Arrow Park, where an unarmed mentally ill Black man was shot fourteen times. We fulfilled our intentions by meeting at the STITCH Milwaukee mural sites in Alice’s Garden and south side’s Aztec Ink Tattoo Shop. I lead the north side and Ammar lead south side riders. This was the Black & Brown Unity Ride to racially cultivate and break color barriers. Community members from youth organizations, Youth Empowered In the Struggle(YES) and Urban Underground accompanied us. Their was close to about thirty of us ages raging from elementary to midlife. We made a pit stop at Casa Romero Renewal Center in Walker’s Point where they supplied us water and little snacks to carry. I didn’t make it to the end because cycling around industrious Milwaukee you encounter a lot of broken glass and other street remnants. A nice sized screw got stuck in my back tire in particular so I had to bail out. We were around the Mitchell Park Domes when it happened, but in all I still enjoyed myself.
One of our next Black odysseys began at a clothing store on Brady & Humboldt Boulevard named Sole Salvation. This was the Dashiki Ride to Brother Ajamou’s Heal the Hood Fest. Everyone wore their stylish West Africa cloth and necklaces. I had on my what I call my purple Jimi Hendrix style dashiki. All twenty of us in our rainbow of colored and patterned apparel took a family photo before we took off. Some had a Panther fists up and others with still-life smiles, but we all were magnificent. We were a Jacob Lawrence masterpiece come to life for one split second. We got tons of encouraging and supportive cars and fist pumps out of driver seat windows. Arrival to Heal Da Hood Fest was all we thought it would be. About 300 young pharaohs and Neo-Nubian sisters, proud Black folks were out having a ol’ good time on the Parklawn grass.
Red Bike & Green was my motivation to get back healthy. I was a muscular 200 pounds when I graduated from Riverside University High School in 2013. About two years later in February 2015 this year I was 232 knowing hypertension (High Blood Pressure) ran in our family. I went from eating vile fast food out of greasy foam plates, boxes, and brown paper bags to natural nutrition like more fruits and vegetables. I got a Planet Fitness membership in January and did an hour straight on The North Members Berries Shirt (GOT x South Park T-Shirt). As of September 26th my 21st Birthday I am now a solid 189, 43 pounds gone. It feels so good.