Gullah Geechee Heritage bicycle ride stops in Brunswick, St. Marys, headed for St. Augustine | jacksonville.comBRUNSWICK | A group of young bicyclists pedaled down U.S. 17 Tuesday for a lunch stop on a 550-mile tour from Durham, N.C., to St. Augustine having taken in Gullah Geechee heritage stops along the way.But for all the culture and history, the ride dominates the talk the way sweat dominates the riding clothes as the sun beats down and the thermometer crosses 90 degrees before noon.
Micco is formerly from
Chapel Hill, NC but now lives in Bloomington, Indiana and attends Bloomington North High School. He’s a returning youth cyclist. He cycled the King 2 King route from Atlanta, GA to Washington, DC in 2014. Like most boys he likes basketball, is very good at it and practices frequently. His favorite basketball player is Dirk Nowitzki
Micco believes that this type of cycling challenges you mentally and can help prepare you for whatever happens to come your way in the future, whether it is good or bad. He says honestly that the trip is difficult, but he’s still a member of Spoke’n Revolutions because the things that are being learned on these tours are very interesting.
He says, “this is a unique opportunity to get a great experience because it allows you to realize that you can do more than you thought you ever could do”.
Keair (Key-Air) is one of our youngest participants on the Gullah Geechee Paat Ta Freedom tour and is from Dublin, GA. Keair loves the adventures and the history on these tours. I first met him last year on the King 2 King tour linking the King Historic site in Atlanta to the King Memorial in Washington, DC. He’s a very strong cyclist for his age and has no trouble keeping up with the “big” folks.
Keair loves these cross country tours because he gets to travel to different places that he’s never been. Keair rides for the BRAG Dream Team when they do the Bicycle Ride Across Georgia but didn’t get to participate this year so that another youth from his town could. That allowed him to ride with us cross country a second year in a row. He enjoys making friends, having great experiences and opportunity to meet new people. He likes riding up front with the fast group of cyclist.
He is a member of OCMA – Occonnee Community Mentoring Association – with coach Chris Johnson – he rides bikes, practices oratorical speaking and this year he took first place. Keair comes from a large family with 3 sisters and 4 brothers.
Camilo is a member of Spoke’n Revolutions and is a junior from East Chapel Hill High in NC. He’s worked at Waffle House for the last year and plays football and rugbee. Camilo is a National Achievers Society member. He’s really enjoying the tour, and it is getting easier and he’s able to show his strengths by taking a leadership role during the rides by “pulling” other members of the team when we encounter headwinds.
Camilo is here because he wants to explore and get out to the state of NC – the main reason is that his best friend, Fernando, is a senior member and he wanted to make this trip special for him by being here with him. When Fernando moves on Camilo wants to take over his leadership role. He is confident that when he applies himself he is able to accomplish anything
Ree Ree is a Jack of All Trades in her returning role as a senior member of Spoke’n Revolutions Youth Cycling. She lives in Chapel Hill and attends Chapel Hill High School. When she’s not busy cycling she fills her time with all sorts of activities like:
- B’Hai youth group; children class teacher;
- youth collaborative group at the Transplanting Traditions’ Community farm
- Being a Frank Gallery artist
- Being a youth Board Member of Triangle Bikeworks
- President of the Refugee Community Partnershipfeels SnR is fun and always has new adventures and learning about other cultures and history
Abeo said that she came on this tour because she was asked and thought it couldn’t be as bad as she thought it would be (( She thinks the tour is fun, she likes it and thinks it’s going well. She has also taken notice to the differences in the quality of bikes that we are touring with. The BRAG Dream Team loaned her a Trek touring bike and it was an exceptional, and highly outstanding bike compared to her 20 yr old Bianchi. Abeo believes that it’s not just about riding bikes but the opportunity to acquire new experiences and it definitely beats staying at home for the summer. During the school year when she’s not cycling she’s a soccer player, as well.
Originally from GA she now lives in Chapel Hill, NC when not at school she enjoys riding her bike, hanging out with friend and watching a little TV. She feels what’s special about the tour is meeting new people in the regions she travels and meeting other youth cyclists and forming new friendships.
Keep in mind, to keep programs like this and others coming out of Triangle Bikeworks well into the future we need contributions from people like you who believe in the beauty of youth, opportunity and exploration. Please share and make a contribution to their IndieGoGo Campaign
was born and currently lives in Chapel Hill, NC and is a dedicated youth cyclist since her first tour. Since her sisters were original members of Spoke’n Revolutions she didn’t think “it was her thing” and didn’t want to join. After her first tour cycling the Mississippi River Valley Trail from New Orleans, LA to St. Louis, MO retracing the path that the great Abraham Lincoln took to sell his goods (rafting down river and walking back home) she has been hooked on Culture, History and Cycling. Now she sits in a leadership position in Spoke’n Revolutions and is a Board Member for the parent organization Triangle Bikeworks.
Visiting the spaces where history was made isn’t the only thing this heavily connected young lady is involved in. She prides herself in being a member of SAVE (Students Against Violence Everywhere), National Honors Society, Wildcat Ambassador for East Chapel Hill High, a member of the Youth Leadership Initiative and Blue Ribbon. She does volunteer work with Habitat for Humanity, as well. Her favorite color is green and her favorite TV show when she’s home is One Tree Hill because it’s based in NC.
To support Joanna and other youth like her please checkout the kid’s IndieGoGo fundraising campaign to fund all of Triangle Bikeworks click here.
A coach’s life on tour is all about jumping in and being ready for anything.
Day 4 started off as usual with lots of coffee and bike checks. Helping youth through the ABC check (air, brake, chain… and more)… And jumping in to fix what surprises may come. Quick releases flipped (how did that even happen), wheels out of true, derailleurs whacked out from 60 + miles of riding the day before… Or from the little gremlins that come at night and attack resting bikes.
Next was jumping in with our Wilmington local cyclist to help navigate greenways, streets, and UNCW campus… all with 25 youth and adults following along.
Out on the longer open road, next up is stretching the legs with some of the faster youth, getting them the opportunity to push themselves… Safely and without losing the larger group.
Crank it back for some help of a cyclist super worried about the large bridge crossing over the cape fear river (a very imposing site). After some dancing, singing and other distractions, she cruised down the other side with a huge smile on her face. She could have jumped in the van or walked. Instead, she was awesome and super proud of herself (rightly so!).
On to a great ferry ride and jumping in to quickly make some lunch wraps so we can et everyone enough calories to complete the remaining 30+ miles in the afternoon.
The afternoon was back and forth racing to the front group to contain or push it or heading to pull and motivate for the group in the back.
Throw in some neosporin spraying, hydration checking and a few too many (or not enough?) sweet teas… And that rounds out a day of coaching on tour.
Oh wait, and also some swim lessons, laundry, great converstions on and off the bike… and some blogging. All and all a super great day. Off to bed!