Sep 14, 2022 - News

Houston's Veon McReynolds on bikes and grapes

Veon McReynolds loads groceries onto a black bicycle parked at a bike rack outside a large store.
Veon McReynolds really digs grapes. Photo: Jay R. Jordan/Axios

Have you ever met someone carrying a small child's weight in grapes on a bike? I recently did and wanted to tell you about his plight.

The intrigue: I met Veon McReynolds by happenstance Friday as he loaded bags of gum drop grapes onto his custom-built bicycle outside the MacGregor H-E-B.

  • When I say bags of grapes, I mean dozens of bags.
  • I asked him how many pounds he purchased, and he showed me his receipt: 89.93 pounds, plus some other fruits and veggies.

But, why? McReynolds, who goes by Dr. V, is a "health fanatic" and bike ride organizer in Third Ward who can't pass up a good deal. At 87 cents per pound, it was basically a steal.

  • "Every time I put some in the cart, I asked 'Is that enough? Oh no, I better get some more,'" McReynolds told Axios.

The big picture: McReynolds leads Third Ward's Tour de Hood bike ride, a beginner's trek through the city's historic neighborhood and beyond.

  • He tries to teach people that swapping a car trip with a bike ride for everyday errands is healthy for themselves and the environment.
  • "You can ride your bike to Walmart. You can ride your bike to H-E-B. You can do that," McReynolds said. "It gets people in the mindset that they can get out in the street and ride."

On the ride, he offers mostly vegan snacks to persuade people that "eating healthy can taste good" and raise awareness about climate change.

  • "It's a win-win," McReynolds said of riding his bike to the grocery store. "And you can save the planet at the same time? Damn!"

The grape plan: McReynolds plans to freeze half of them and dehydrate the others.

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