The “Remember the Removal” Bike Riders will join together with family, friends and supporters on the Oconaluftee Island Park on Saturday, June 4 at 4pm to kick-off their 1,000 mile bike ride to Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Six members of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Nation (Casey Cooper, Hugh Lambert, Blain Parker, Sheena Kanott, Jack Teesateskie and Tara McCoy) will ride with a group of Cherokee Nation members on a challenging bike ride that will retrace the historic Trail of Tears.
Before starting their tough and often treacherous journey, the riders are kicking off their adventure at home in Cherokee by having a celebration with a bike rodeo which will include BMX demonstrations, safety and skills assessments and food. The celebration will start with Bryson City Bicycles’ demonstrations for kids. There will be a 5K fun ride around the loop in Cherokee and the night will end with the team’s symbolic practice ride to the Kituwah Mound and back.
If you would like more information on the “Remember the Removal” Project check out www.remembertheremoval.com. To keep up with our six on their journey go to www.cherokeeriders.net and read their blogs.
Want to join in on the fun and ride for the day during the kick-off but don’t have a bike? Bryson City Bicycles has rentals too. Be sure to contact them before the big day. Want to cheer on the riders as they finish their journey in Tahlequah? There will be a bus for anyone that would like to travel and be there as the riders complete the retracing of their ancestors’ historical journey. Seating is limited so contact Jody Bradley at 497-9163 ext. 6203 for more information on how you can reserve a seat.
– Jody Bradley