Roberto Hiraldo, 47
His ride is pure Puerto Rican pride.
Lakefront Trail at Oak Street
Tell me about your ride. It’s a cruiser deluxe. This is old-school! It’s got the works: whitewall tires, rearview mirrors. I ordered lights, but they haven’t come in. It rides like a Cadillac.
And you’re proudly flying U.S. and Puerto Rican flags on the handlebars. That’s because I rode it in the Puerto Rican Day Parade yesterday in Humboldt Park. To qualify to ride in the parade, you gotta have a bike with some flash. I got mud flaps and valve caps with dice on ’em.
Are you a gambling man? A long time ago. We’d play dice in the neighborhood, games like 7-11, which is what we called craps. When money would get short, people would get mad—and that’s when the fights would start. I saw people bet their gym shoes, hats, rings, earrings—all out of desperation.
I see you have the Puerto Rican flag tattooed on your arm. I’m 100 percent Puerto Rican! Puerto Ricans like to show and tell. We’re prideful people. I was born in San Juan. I lived about four blocks from Roberto Clemente. And I’ve been living here since I was five. Every couple years, I visit my grandfather and my aunts on my mother’s side who still live there.
You also have a tattoo that says prieto. What does that mean? In a Puerto Rican household, everyone has a nickname, and that’s mine. It means “dark-skinned.” I’m the blackest one in my family.
Do you have a big family? I got six girls by four different black womens. I was a busy man. [Laughs] I’m older now, so I know to do what I didn’t want to as a young man: pull out.