‘Remember the Removal’ cyclists prepare for 2016 journey
Sarah Holcomb, assistant “Remember the Removal” bicycle ride coordinator, helps RTR ride participant Amber Anderson, left, of Oklahoma City, with adjusting her bicycle seat on Feb. 27 in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. The 10 participants received their bicycles and riding gear at the Tribal Complex and took their first ride as a group. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
The Cherokee Nation’s 2016 “Remember the Removal” bicycle ride participants are, from left, Amber Anderson of Oklahoma City; Blayn Workman of Muldrow; Kylar Trumbla of Proctor; Stephanie Hammer of Tahlequah; Amicia Craig of Tahlequah; Nikki Lewis of Tahlequah; Glendon VanSandt of Siloam Springs, Arkansas; Kyla Holmes of Bunch; Kelsey Girty of Warner; and Rikki Ross of Fort Gibson. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Sarah Holcomb, assistant “Remember the Removal” bicycle ride coordinator, right, supervises participant Kyla Holmes, of Bunch, as she airs up a bicycle tire to ensure the proper pressure is pumped into the tire during training for the 10 RTR participants on Feb. 27. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
David Rogers, owner of Paceline Cyclery in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, meets with this year’s “Remember the Removal” participants to show them how the bicycle’s gearing and braking systems work, how to maintain proper air pressure in their tires, basic maintenance and how to properly sit on a bicycle seat. WILL CHAVEZ/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Among the participants selected, it’s likely Stephanie Hammer is the most excited about participating in the ninth “Remember the Removal” bicycle ride, the annual journey commemorating the removal of Cherokee people from their Southeastern homelands in 1838-39.
Hammer, 24, of Tahlequah, applied for the 2015 ride but was not chosen. After that she began preparing for this year’s ride by losing more than 60 pounds. She said her weight dropped from 216 to 155.
“I was trying to prepare for this getting my legs ready, getting my arms ready for it, as well as doing some cardio,” she said. “When I got the letter saying I was selected as a candidate I got really excited. It’s something I’m passionate about doing.”
She said she looks forward to seeing the Cherokee homelands in North Carolina and “getting a better understanding” of Cherokee history and culture and being able to honor her ancestors who “went on the trail.”
The 10 participants selected for this year’s ride, which occurs in June, applied for the trip, wrote essays about why they wanted to participate and were interviewed by a committee in the fall before being selected.
The seven women and three men have been meeting in Tahlequah since January to take history classes and exercise together to prepare for the 1,000-mile journey from Georgia to Oklahoma.
Kylar Trumbla, 23, of Proctor, is following in his brother Tristan’s footsteps by going on the trip. Tristan made the three-week journey in 2015.
Kylar said his brother got a lot from it and that Tristan told him it would be “a great opportunity” for him if he were chosen.
“It was something I really wanted to do to learn more about our culture and our language because I didn’t grow up around that stuff, so it’s a good opportunity for me,” he said.
To prepare for the trip, Trumbla said he’s been riding his mountain bike 15 miles, three days a week. The participants have also trained together at the tribe’s Male Seminary Recreation Center in Tahlequah.
“We’re working our way up, but we definitely got a long way to go,” he said.
Trumbla said the riders were “excited” about receiving their bikes and eager to learn more about them.
On Feb. 27, the cyclists received their bicycles and riding gear at the Tribal Complex. After making minor adjustments to the bikes, the group rode together for the first time in the parking lot and practiced hand and verbal signals to point out objects or obstacles in the road.
Before receiving their bikes, shoes, helmets and other gear, the participants received instruction about the bicycles from David Rogers, owner of Paceline Cyclery in Tahlequah. He showed them how their bicycle’s gearing and braking systems work, how to maintain proper air pressure in their tires, basic maintenance, and how to properly sit on a bicycle seat.
The participants are expected to train individually during the week and ride together on Saturdays and Sundays. The plan is to gradually increase mileage until they can complete an 80-mile ride in one day.
Nikki Lewis, 23, of Tahlequah, said for the past month the participants have trained with weights, spin or stationary bicycles and by walking.
She said she’s wanted to do the “Remember the Removal” ride since high school but never had the chance because of sports obligations and concentrating on finishing college.
“I wanted to do it for my grandpa. He told me a lot of stories about the Trail of Tears, but I never got to learn the whole story about it, so I wanted to be a part of it (ride),” she said. “I’m expecting to learn more about where my ancestors came from and know more about my culture.”
A send-off ceremony is set for May 31 in Tahlequah for the group. They then travel to Cherokee, North Carolina, where they will join seven cyclists from the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. On June 5, they begin their journey from New Echota, Georgia, and follow the northern route of the Trail of Tears. This overland route was used by Cherokee detachments that left southeastern Tennessee in 1838 and traveled through Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri and Arkansas before reaching Indian Territory in the winter and spring of 1839. They are expected to arrive back in Tahlequah on June 23.
The public may follow this year’s journey on www.facebook.com/Remember the Removal Bike Ride
ᏓᎵᏆ, ᎣᎦᎳᎰᎹ. – ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏥᏛᎾᏖᎳᏗ ᎨᎦᏑᏰᏗ, Stephanie Hammer Z ᎤᏛᏅᎢᏍᏔᏅᎢ ᎤᏪᎳᏗᏍᏗᎢ ᎥᎿ ᏐᏁᎵᏁ “ᎠᎾᏓᏗᏍᎬᎢ ᏗᎨᏥᎢᎸᏍᏔᏅᎢ” ᏔᎵ ᏗᎦᏆᏘ ᏓᎾᎩᎸᏗᏍᎬᎢ, ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏑᏕᏘᏴᏓ ᏳᏓᎵ ᏣᏁᎪᎢ ᎠᎾᏓᏗᏍᎬᎢ ᏗᎨᏥᎢᎸᏍᏔᏅᎢ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᎤᎦᎾᏮᎧᎸᎬᎢ ᏗᏜ ᏥᏛᏁᎲᎢ ᎾᎯᏳ ᏥᎨᏒᎢ 1838-39.
Hammer Z, 24, ᏓᎵᏆ ᎡᎯ, ᏭᏢᏁᏃ ᎪᏪᎵ ᎾᎯᏳᎢ 2015 ᏥᎨᏒᎢ ᎠᏎᏃ ᎥᏝ ᏯᎦᏑᏰᏎᎢ. ᎾᎯᏳᏃ ᎤᎴᏅᎮ ᎠᏛᏅᎢᏍᏗᏍᎬᎢ ᎯᎠ ᏧᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗ ᏥᏛᏁᏏ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ 60 ᏄᏓᎨᏒᎢ ᎤᏲᏎᎴᎢ. ᎢᎧᏃᎮᏍᎬᎢ ᏄᏓᎨᏒᎢ ᎤᏲᏎᎴᎢ 216 ᏂᏛᏓᎴᏂᏍᎩ 155 Ꮓ ᏄᏓᎦ ᏃᏊ.
“ᎦᏁᏟᏗᏍᎬᏃ ᎦᏛᏅᎢᏍᏗᏍᎬᎢ ᎯᎠ ᏗᏥᏅᏍᎨᏂ ᏕᎦᎵᏂᎪᎯᏍᏗᏍᎬᎢ, ᎠᎴ ᏗᏥᏃᎨᏂ ᎾᏍᏊ, ᎠᎴ ᎾᏍᏊ ᎦᎵᏏᎾᎯᏍᏗᏍᎬᎢ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ. “ᎾᎯᏳᏃ ᎠᎩᏁᏌ ᎪᏪᎵᎧᏃᎮᏍᎩ ᎬᎩᏑᏒᎢ ᎢᎦᏃ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎠᎩᏰᎸᏅᎢ. ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏥᎩ ᎠᎩᎸᏉᏛ ᎢᏯᏆᏛᏁᏗᎢ.”
ᎢᎧᏃᎮᏍᎬᎢ ᎤᏛᏅᎢᏍᏓ ᎤᎪᏩᏛᏗᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎢᎦᏛ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᎤᎾᏕᏂᏙᎸᎢ ᎥᎿ ᏣᎳᎩ ᎤᏘᎢ ᎠᎴ “ᏓᏤᏝ ᎤᏬᏟᏥᏓᏍᏗᎢ” ᏣᎳᎩ ᎭᏪᏘ ᎧᏃᎮᏢᏅᎢ ᎠᎴ ᏧᎾᏛᏁᎸᏍᏔᏅᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎾᏍᏊ ᎠᏅᏓᏗᏍᏙᏗ ᏗᎩᏚᏓ ᎾᏍᎩ “ᏗᎨᏥᎢᎸᏍᏔᏅᎢ.”
ᎾᏍᎩᏃ 10 Z ᎾᏂᎠ ᎨᎦᏑᏰᏒᎢ ᎯᎠ ᏧᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗ ᏧᎾᎩᎸᏙᏗᎢ, ᎾᎯᏳᏃ ᏕᎭᎷᏱ ᎧᎸᎢ, ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎪᏪᎵ ᏧᏂᎧᎵᏏᏌᏅᎢ ᎤᏁᏅᏍᏗᎢ, ᏚᏃᏪᎳᏅᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎧᏃᎮᏍᎩ ᎢᏳᏰᏟᏗ ᎤᎾᏚᎵᏍᎬᎢ ᎤᏁᎳᏗᏍᏗᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎾᏍᎩᏊ ᎠᏂᎧᎻᏗ ᎨᎦᏛᏛᎮᏢᏅᎢ ᎾᎯᏳᎢ ᎤᎵᎪᎲᏍᏗ ᏥᎨᏒᎢ ᎠᏏ ᏂᎨᎦᏑᏰᏛ .
ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎦᎵᏉᎩ ᎠᏂᎨᏯ ᎠᎴ ᏦᎢ ᎠᏂᏍᎦᏯ ᏓᏅᏠᏍᎬᎢ ᎥᎿ ᏓᎵᏆ ᎤᏃᎸᏔᏂ ᏥᎧᎸᎢ ᏂᏗᎬᏓᎴᏂᏍᎩ ᎪᎯᎩ ᏥᎨᏒᎢ ᏄᎵᏍᏔᏅᏅᎢ ᎠᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᎬᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎠᎾᎵᎩᏐᏗᏃᎲᎢ ᎠᏅᏛᏅᎢᏍᏗᏍᎬᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ Ꮎ 1,000-ᎢᏳᏓᎶᏓ ᎤᎾᏂᎩᏍᏗᎢ ᏣᏥᎢ ᏂᏛᏓᎴᏂᏍᎩ ᎣᎦᎳᎰᎹ ᎢᏳᏓᏅᎯᏓ.
Kylar Turmbla, 23, ᏓᎪᎲᏂᎢ ᏤᎬᎢ, ᏗᎾᏓᏅᏟ Tristan’s ᎤᏪᏙᎸᎢ ᎣᏂ ᎠᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏥᎩ. Tristan Ꮓ ᏦᎢ- ᏳᎾᏙᏓᏆᏍᏗ ᏧᎶᏎᎢ ᎾᎯᏳᎢ ᏥᎨᏒᎢ 2015.
Kylar Ꮓ ᎢᎧᏃᎮᏍᎬᎢ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏗᎾᏓᏅᏟ ᎤᎪᏓ ᎤᏕᎶᏆᎥᎢ ᎠᎴ Tristan Ꮓ ᎤᏃᎯᏎᎲᎢ “ᎢᎦᏃ ᎣᏍᏓ ᏱᎩ ᏱᏄᏛᏁᎳ” ᎢᏳᏃ ᏯᎦᏑᏰᏌ.
“ᎥᏍᎩᏃ ᏙᏳᎢ ᎠᏆᏚᎵᏍᎬᎢ ᎢᏯᏆᏛᏁᏗᎢ ᎠᏆᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗᎢ ᎤᎪᏗ ᎢᎦᏤᎵᎢ ᏱᎦᏛᏁᎵᏓᏍᏗᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎢᎩᏬᏂᎯᏍᏗᎢ ᏂᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗᎭ ᎥᏝ ᏯᏆᏛᏌ ᎥᏍᎩ ᏄᏍᏛᎢ, ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎣᏍᏓ ᎠᏆᎵᏅᏓᏁᎭ,” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ.
ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎠᏆᏛᏅᎢᏍᏗᎢ ᎠᏇᏅᏍᏗᎢ, Trumbla ᎢᎧᏃᎮᏍᎬᎢ ᎠᎩᎸᏗᏍᎬᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏔᎵ ᏗᎦᏆᏘ 15 ᎢᏳᏟᎶᏓ, ᏦᎢ ᎢᎦ. ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎠᏁᎳᏗᏙᎯ ᏂᎦᏓ ᎠᎾᎵᎩᏐᏗᎰᎢ ᎥᎿᎿᏂ Male Seminary Recreation Center ᎥᎿᎾᏂ ᏓᎵᏆ.
“ᏙᎩᎸᏫᏍᏓᏁᏃ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎢᎦᏲᎦᏛᏁᏗ, ᎠᏎᏃ ᎤᏓᏅᎯᏗᎢ ᎠᏏ ᎣᎦᏂᎩᏍᏗ.” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ.
Trumbla Ꮓ ᎢᎧᏃᎮᏍᎬᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏗᎾᎩᎸᏗᏍᎩ “ᎣᏍᏓᎤᏂᏰᎸᏒᎢ” ᎾᏍᎩ ᏚᏂᎩᏒᎢ ᏧᎾᎩᎸᏙᏗ ᎠᎴ Ꮓ ᎤᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗ ᏄᏍᏗᏓᏅᎢ.
ᎾᎯᏳᏃ ᎧᎦᎵ. 27, ᏥᎧᎸᎢ ᏗᎾᎩᎸᏗᏍᎩ ᏚᏂᎩᏒᎢ ᏧᎾᎩᎸᏙᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎤᏅᏔᏂᏓᏍᏗ ᎪᎱᏍᏗ ᎥᎿ Tribal Complex. ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎤᏂᎦᏛᏂᏙᎸᎢ ᏂᏚᏍᏛᎢ ᏧᎾᎩᎸᏙᏗ, ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏚᎾᎩᎸᏔᏅᎢ ᎥᎿᎾᏂ ᏙᏆᎴᎷ ᏧᏂᏗᎢ ᎢᎬᏱᏱᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎤᎾᎵᎩᏐᏔᏅᎢ ᎢᏳᎾᏛᏁᏗᎢ ᏄᏍᏗᏓᏅᎢ ᏅᏃᎯ.
ᎠᏏᏃ ᏂᏚᏂᎩᏓ ᏧᎾᎩᎸᏙᏗ, ᏧᎾᎳᏑᎶ, ᏧᎾᎵᏍᏇᏚᏬ ᎠᎴ ᏧᏓᎴᏅᏓ ᎤᏅᏔᏂᏓᏍᏗ, ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏗᎾᎩᎸᏗᏍᎩ ᏚᏂᏁᏒᏃ ᎢᏳᎾᏛᏁᎵᏓᏍᏗᎢ ᏗᎪᏪᎵ ᎧᏃᎮᏍᎩ ᏂᏚᏍᏛᎢ ᎳᎵ ᏗᎦᏆᏘ David Rodgers Z ᏚᏂᏅᏁᎸᎢ, ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎤᏬᏢᎯ Paceline Cyclery ᎥᎿ ᏓᎵᏆ. ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎬᏂᎨᏒᎢ ᏂᏚᏮᏁᎸᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏂᏕᎦᎵᏍᏗᏍᎬᎢ ᏧᎾᎩᎸᏙᏗ ᏂᏕᎦᎵᏍᏗᏍᎬᎢ ᎠᎴ ᏂᏕᎦᎵᏍᏗᏍᎩᏍᎬᎢ ᏗᎦᏅᏠᏍᏗ, ᏱᎬᎿᏂᏃ ᏂᏚᏳᎪᏛᎢ ᎢᏳᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᎤᏃᎴᎢ ᏓᏯᎥᎢ ᏓᏝᎥᎢ, ᎠᎴ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎢᏯᏛᏁᏗᎢ ᏂᏚᏳᎪᏛᎢ ᎤᎾᎵᏍᏛᏡᏂᏓᏍᏗ.
ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏗᎾᎩᎸᏗᏍᎩ ᎠᏎᎢ ᎤᎾᏤᏟᏓᎭ ᎤᎾᎵᎩᏐᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎤᎾᏙᏓᏈᏕᎾ ᏓᎾᎩᎸᏗᏍᎪᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎤᎾᏙᏓᏆᏍᎬᎢ.
ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏗᎫᎪᏔᏅᎢ ᏙᎢ ᎦᏰᏅᏗ ᎤᏁᏉᎢᏍᏗ ᎢᏂᏴᎢ ᎠᎾᏂᎩᏍᎬᎢ ᎬᏂᏃ ᏱᏭᏂᎷᏥ 80-ᎢᏳᏟᎶᏓ ᏏᎦ ᎨᏒᎢ.
Nikki Lewis, 23, ᏓᎵᏆ ᎡᎯ, ᎢᎧᏃᎮᏍᎬᎢ ᏏᏅᏓ ᏥᏛᎦᎶᎯ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏗᎾᎩᎸᏗᏍᎩ ᎠᎾᎵᎩᏐᏗᎲᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᏧᏓᎨᏛ ᏗᎫᏖᏍᏗ ᎬᏗ, ᏗᎦᏚᏆᎸᏕᎯ ᎠᎴᏱᎩ ᏗᎦᏍᎩᎳᏊ ᏗᎩᎸᏙᏗ ᎠᎴ ᎠᎾᏨᏏᏰᏍᎬᎢ.
ᎢᎧᏃᎮᏍᎬᎢ ᎾᏍᎩ ᎤᏚᎵᏍᎬᎢ ᎤᏪᎳᏗᏓᏍᏗᎢ “Remember the Removal” ᏓᏅᎩᎸᏗᏍᎬᎢ ᏄᏚᎵᏍᎪᎢ ᏥᏓᏕᎶᎪᏍᎬᎢ ᎢᏴᎢ ᎠᏎᏃ ᎥᏝ ᎢᎸᎯᏳᎢ ᏳᏟᏅᏓᏕᎴᎢ ᎢᏳᏛᏁᏗᎢ ᏂᏗᎦᎵᏍᏙᏗᎭ ᎠᏁᏦᎠᏍᎬᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏓᏅᏖᏍᎬᎢ ᎤᏍᏆᏗᏍᏗᎢ ᎦᎸᎳᏗ ᏧᎾᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗᎢ ᏓᏕᎶᏆᏍᎬᎢ.
“ᎠᏆᏚᎵᏍᎬᏃ ᎡᏚᏓ ᏱᏥᏛᏁᏗᎢ. ᎡᏚᏓᏃ ᎤᎪᏗ ᎠᎩᏃᎯᏎᎳ ᏄᏍᏛᎢ ᏛᎨᏥᎢᎸᏍᏔᎾᎢ, ᎠᏎᏃ ᎥᏝ ᎢᎸᎯᏳᎢ ᏯᏆᏕᎶᏆᎥᎢ ᎧᎵᎢ Ꮩ ᏄᎵᏍᏔᏂᏙᎸᎢ. ᎾᏊᏃ ᎠᏆᏚᎸᎲᎢ ᎠᏇᎳᏗᏓᏍᏗᎢ (ᏓᎾᎩᎸᏗᏍᎬᎢ),” ᎠᏗᏍᎬᎢ. “ᏂᎨᎵᏍᎬᏃ ᎤᎪᏗ ᎠᏆᏕᎶᏆᏍᏗᎢ ᏗᎩᏚᏓ ᎡᏘ ᏣᏁᎮᎢ ᏧᎾᏓᎴᏅᎲᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎠᏆᏂᏘ ᎢᏳᎵᏍᏙᏗ ᏄᏍᏛᎢ ᏯᏆᏛᏁᎵᏓᏍᏗᎢ.”
ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᎠᏛᏅᎢᏍᏕᏍᏗ ᎠᏂᏍᎬᏘ 31 ᎧᎸᎢ ᎥᎿ ᏓᎵᏆ ᎤᎾᏂᎩᏍᏗᎢ ᎤᎾᏓᏡᎬᎢ. ᏣᎳᎩ ᎤᏪᏘ ᎢᏴᎢ ᏫᏛᏂᎷᏥ, ᎥᎿᏃ ᏫᏙᏛᏅᏁᎳᏕᎳ ᎦᎵᏉᎩ ᎢᏯᏂᎢ ᏗᎾᎩᎸᏗᏍᎩ Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians ᎠᏁᎯ. ᎾᎯᏳᎢ ᏕᎭᎷᏱ 5, ᏥᎨᏎᏍᏗ ᎢᏤᎢ ᎢᏦᏛ, ᏣᏥᎢ, ᏗᎾᏂᎩᏍᎨᏍᏗ ᎠᎴ ᏛᏂᏍᏓᏩᏛᏍᏔᏂ ᎤᏴᏢᎢ ᏗᏜ ᏫᎦᎶᏍᎩ ᏥᎨᎦᏂᎩᏍᏔᏅᎢ. ᎯᎠᏃ ᎦᏙᎯ ᎡᎳᏗ ᏧᎾᏂᎩᏒᎢ ᎠᏂᏣᎳᎩ ᏕᎨᎦᏘᏂᏒᎢ ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏥᎩ ᎤᎦᏅᏮᎢ ᏔᎾᏏ ᏧᎾᏂᎩᏒᎢ ᎾᎯᏳᎢ 1838 ᏥᎨᏒᎢ Kentucky ᏗᏜ ᏧᏂᎶᏎᎢ, ᎠᏥᏍᎬᎿᎨᏍᏛᎢ, ᏨᎫᎵ, ᎠᎴ ᏙᏧᏯᏓᏛᎢ ᎠᏏᏃ ᏭᏂᎷᏤᎢ ᏴᏫᏯᏍᏛᎢ ᎾᎯᏳᎢ ᎪᎳ ᏥᎨᏒᎢ ᎠᎴ ᎩᎳ ᎪᎨᏱ 1839 ᏥᎨᏒᎢ. ᎠᏛᏅᎢᏍᏔᏅᏃ ᎢᏴᎢ ᎢᎤᏂᎷᎯᏍᏗᎢ ᏓᎵᏆ ᏕᎭᎷᏱ 23 ᎧᎴᏍᏗ.
ᎾᏍᎩᏃ ᏂᎦᎵᏍᏗᎲᏊ ᎩᎶ ᏱᏓᏂᏍᎬᏩᏚᎦ ᎯᎠ ᏧᏕᏘᏴᏌᏗ ᎥᎿᎾᏂ www.facebook.com/Remember the Removal Bike Ride.