A few years ago, I was in Downtown Houston and I saw a guy, on a bike, with a kayak. It tripped me out! As I became immersed in the cycling community of Houston, I saw that same guy riding, racing and making moves to make things better all around. That guy is Veon McReynolds
"I got started in cycling for health reasons. I have been a "health nut" as they say since the early 70's. That when I became vegan and began running for health. I rode my bike to class in undergraduate school. I went to graduate school in Austin. That where I began racing in the Tuesday Night Races in the 80's. I joined Peloton racing team. I'm now on Southern Elite racing team. The racing just keeps me in good condition and complements the health aspect. Here in Houston, I try to support anything cycling related. I have been doing Tour de Hood, getting people on the bike for 10 years. I focus on the people who would not normally ride. Given the health crisis in our community, I thought that would be a good project. As a community psychologist I have always been involved in some project that would benefit the community. Tour de Hood is very comprehensive. I get people out doing a healthy activity that more than likely would not ride. I supply the bikes and helmets, which removes excuses. By providing fruit at the halfway point I get them eating healthy, no cookies or Gatorade. It also gets them out in nature going slow enough to see how others live. The ride brings people from all sectors together. The people get stress relief. So Tour de Hood is more than a ride it's therapy."
"My real major cycling achievement was getting my name on the wall at the Alkek Velodrome. They put the name of the best rider in specific categories permanently on the wall. That's much better than all the trophies and medals I have won. In 2012 and 2013 I rode from Houston to Akron, Ohio, 1300 miles in 13 days. I had no support of any kind. I carried all my gear and mostly camped along the road side. I have not owned a car in over 3 years. I like kayaking so I have biked it to Lake Livingston and Surfside on camping trips. At 62 I'm still a very competitive cyclist and can generally hang with the young folks.
I'm currently training for track nationals in Seattle, mid August. I plan to continue training for next year's nationals also. It takes a lot to be competitive nationally. We draft behind a car to get our leg speed up to 40+ mph and that's on easy days. I want also to turn The Compound into a training facility, maybe have some trainer roller sessions. I also would like to have yoga, Thai chi and general boot camp exercise. I am also planning, if time permits, to get people out doing some bike packing. I want to get people on their bike with short overnight camping, possibly 35 miles to Lake Houston park. I have two long trips planned. I may get the Houston to Key West on this year after nationals. The Houston to Vancouver is on hold until time and weather coincide."
"I have been participating with Third Ward Bikes and Work Shop Houston since they began. They spun off Third Ward bikes with their community-based bike program to The Compound. The project no longer fit their mission. It involved random participation from children and adults. We had space and it came over to The Compound. The project has been at 2305 wheeler for over a year now. It has lost much of the fix your own bike components resulting from lack of staff, theft and vandalism. However we have one of the best mechanics and experienced racers Dan Khan in the hood. So now people can get their bike fixed and buy parts. It's not what I would like it to be yet but it's here and growing in popularity.
At the compound we have space where we have had events with over 30 bands. It also houses bikes and helmets that we loan out. Organizations come and start their rides at The Compound or use our trailer. The trailer holds over 40 bikes that organizations back in, hook on and take back to their site. SHAPE, KIPP, Women's Earth Depelchin, Beatrice Mays, and Benbrook Elementary and some of our previous users of the service. So we are very bike friendly and community oriented."
"We have been hosting regular Wednesday rides for over two years in conjunction with our other periodic rides. Each Wednesday we depart 2305 Wheeler at 7:00pm year round. We ride if it's not raining at the ride's starting. We ride as fast as the slowest rider while providing the bike, helmet, lights and food at halfway point. The beautiful part is, it's all free. There are no excuses not to ride with us. All you have to do is SHOW-UP!"