Kirk Charles

Kirk Charles Challenges One Million People To Join Plant-Based Lifestyle With 1K Mile Bike Ride

“The reason that I'm doing this is that I want to give people hope and inspiration,” Charles told BLACK ENTERPRISE

Kirk Charles is on a mission to raise awareness about the health disparities impacting Black Americans, and he’s doing it one bike ride at a time. He is biking 1,000 miles to inspire others to take back their health just as he did after deciding to lead a healthier lifestyle many years ago.

The first leg of Charles’ 1,000-mile bike trip included his voyage from Central Park, NYC, to Montclair, NJ. From there, he is on his way to Philadelphia and will conclude the ride in Chicago on Wednesday, June 5.

“The reason that I’m doing this is that I want to give people hope and inspiration,” Charles, 61,  told BLACK ENTERPRISE after rainy conditions caused him to pull over for a break in the Columbus, Ohio area. “Once we hit 50, a lot of things just start to creep up…Being overweight, heart issues, Type 2 diabetes, cancer, you name it. And I’ve been a plant-based vegan for like 35 years now. I don’t touch any meat products at all, no chicken, no eggs, no dairy.”

Despite his work as a personal trainer to keep himself and others in shape, as well as adapting a plant-based lifestyle a little over three decades ago, Charles still found the need to jump into action when he was diagnosed with hypertension in 2017.

For 35 years, he has been preaching that same lifestyle to others, but now, he’s done talking; he wants to continue putting action behind those thoughts by being a living example for others to turn their lives around. 

“I don’t feel like talking about it anymore,” he continued. “I feel like doing something, and I want to show people that they, too, can turn their lives around. I’ve been doing this for 35 years, but I want to bring attention to myself because so many people are asking me what I’m doing all the time. The more people know about me, the more I can address what I’m doing and how eating certain foods and having a diet and exercise regimen in place can alleviate the need for drugs. You can also lose weight easily, have more energy, and you’ll feel better than ever.”

Charles added, “The bottom line is that you’ll have more fun and be happier.”

Montclair Local reports that a study led by Public Health Nutrition, conducted with 592 African American participants, revealed that the group that adopted a vegetarian/vegan lifestyle witnessed a 44% decline in the risk of hypertension. The outlet also revealed that some days, Charles’ ride will range anywhere between 30 and 95 miles; however, it is his excitement that pushes him to go hard. 

That, coupled with his background in exercise and fitness, the ever-evolving desire to continue eating clean and encourage others to adopt the same lifestyle is more than enough to keep him going.

“I want to get one million people to investigate plant-based eating. You don’t have to be vegan, vegetarian, or all of these labels,” said Charles. “We give out all of these labels, but my philosophy is that whenever you eat plants, anything is possible, and the more plants you eat, the better off you’ll be.”

Charles, a member of the Major Taylor cycling club, is grateful to have the support of his community and is also encouraging all New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, and Chicago members to join him on the ride as he passes through their respective cities.