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Vincent Van Great's ride to fight juvenile diabetes rolls on

Vincent Van Great

Milwaukee’s Vincent Van Great isn’t one for sitting still. The rapper, singer, producer and director recognizes opportunities and puts in the effort to take advantage of them. His pursuits outside of music are no different, which is how Vincent Van Great’s Bike Ride for Juvenile Diabetes came into being last year.

Launching the event, he pointed to his own experiences — and that drive to take action — as the motivation that got things rolling.

“As a type 1 diabetic, I understand firsthand the daily challenges and struggles of living with this condition. I’m also aware of the lack of awareness and understanding that exists around diabetes in society,” he said. “A few years back, I started to have several brainstorming sessions with my management team about how I can be an advocate, which brings us to now. I felt like by creating a bike ride for type 1 diabetes, we can raise awareness about this condition and its impact on people's lives, and hopefully find a cure.”

In pursuit of those goals, the bike ride is back for its second edition this Saturday, June 8. Best Place at the Historic Pabst Brewery will once again serve as the jumping-off point, with day-of registration starting at 8 a.m. and Van Great taking the microphone along with a few other speakers at 9 a.m.

The ride itself starts at 9:30 a.m. and will cover roughly a mile and a half, finishing at the Kellogg PEAK Initiative at 2480 W. Cherry St. There will also be a quick pit stop to join the Milwaukee Academy of Science in celebrating the opening of its second campus in the former Penfield Montessori School at 2433 W. Cherry St.

Van Great is no stranger to the saddle, having established his affection for cycling as a kid and eventually growing to become an ambassador for Bublr Bikes. As he put it last year, “I grew up riding bikes with my homies — to the park, to shoot hoops, to each other’s houses, even to the store. Our bikes were EVERYTHING to us, so it's no coincidence that my relationship with Bublr Bikes has grown over the years.

“Not only is the bike ride to raise awareness for diabetes but also to promote an overall healthier lifestyle. Biking is a great way to exercise, but it’s also a healthier means of transportation for the environment. By choosing to bike instead of driving a car, we can help reduce our impact on the environment and promote a more sustainable future."

You can join Van Great in his quest to promote biking and a cure for juvenile diabetes by registering for the ride right now via his website. At the general admission level, you can choose your donation ($10, $25, $50 or $100), while children 12 and under can participate for free. And if you’d rather not ride but still want to show your support, there’s also an option to make a $5 donation.