For gym enthusiasts, the pandemic put a damper on working out. But Brian Alexander had an idea … taking it to the streets. He and eight of his friends started cycling on Sundays.
Each week, there were more and more guys, and now there are about 20. He says each week they choose a different route – this trip included a stop at Black Lives Matter Plaza. They all ride at different levels, and that’s okay, he says – nobody gets left … it’s about fellowship while working to get fit.
“A lot of us are former athletes so we’ve always been healthy and fit. As we get older health problems become a concern. We need to stay on top of it, we need to maintain a healthy lifestyle – eat the right foods.
All of that is to be taken into consideration so riding bikes is something we’ve added to the repertoire. Instead of just going to the gym or lifting weights, with riding bikes we get to see nice scenic routes.
"The camaraderie is great as we get to see each other and talk in a safe environment during COVID. In our community, it’s really important. A lot of us don’t like to go to the doctor – there’s fear, stigma, and if there’s something wrong, we don’t like talking about it. So, our group has been very open about it through our own experiences.
"My own father had prostate cancer, my fiancé also had a health challenge so even in our group there are health concerns so we take it very seriously. Health disparities are serious.
"In terms of access, there are a lot of barriers in the way. Many of us haven’t had them but it is certainly present among our families and friends. So, it’s very important for us to stay on top of it and set an example for everyone else."