TAHLEQUAH, OK. (WRCB) -- The highways and byways of north Georgia will soon fill with young bicyclists undertaking a life changing journey.
Cyclists on the Remember the Removal ride will stay at the New Echota site Sunday night, June 3 and will ride out early Monday on the road to Red Clay, TN. While at New Echota Sunday evening the participants will tour the area and present the site with a Cherokee Nation flag.
The 2012 Remember the Removal Bike Ride is the fourth annual bicycle ride commemorating the forced removal of the Cherokee Nation from its homelands during the winter of 1838-39.
The 900-mile trek is accomplished over a three week period as selected riders representing the Cherokee Nation and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians retrace the northern route of the Trail of Tears through Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma.
The Cherokee Nation will sponsor a team of 16 riders and will meet up the first weekend in June with a team of seven riders representing the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians near New Echota, Ga. From there, the combined group will take off on the journey of a lifetime, averaging 60 miles of riding per day.
During evenings and along the way, the group will explore and experience activities that link the riders to the experiences their Cherokee ancestors had at the time of the removal. The ride is both an educational opportunity and a goodwill event.
While on the trip, individual riders will use social media, photos and videos to provide daily updates of their experiences on the ride. The ride will culminate with an exciting homecoming event on June 22, as the team arrives in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, the capitol of the Cherokee Nation.