CN to host send-off for ‘Remember the Removal’ cyclists
Cherokee Nation “Remember the Removal” cyclists, from front, Dale Eagle, Amari McCoy, Sky Wildcat and Emilee Chavez train on the hills of Adair County. COURTESY
TAHLEQUAH – The Cherokee Nation will host a send-off ceremony for its cyclists who leave Tahlequah on Tuesday for the annual “Remember the Removal” Bike Ride.
This year’s cyclists range in age from 18 to 24. They will meet eight cyclists from the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians in North Carolina for a ride that begins in New Echota, Georgia, on June 3, and concludes around 950 miles later on June 21 in Tahlequah.
Cyclists follow the Northern Route of the Trail of Tears - spanning Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma – to retrace the path of their ancestors. Of the estimated 16,000 Cherokees forced to march to Indian Territory in the late 1830s, 4,000 died from exposure, starvation and disease, giving credence to the name Trail of Tears.
During the ceremony, tribal leaders will wish the cyclists a successful trip and safe return.
The CN riders are Daulton Cochran, Emilee Chavez, Lily Drywater, Dale Eagle, Parker Weavel, Sky Wildcat, Courtney Cowan, Autumn Lawless and Amari McCoy. Jennifer Johnson, a CN citizen and Oklahoma City lawyer, was chosen as this year’s mentor rider.
Cherokee Nation Businesses Executive Vice President Chuck Garrett, an avid cyclist, is also expected to join the cyclists during the journey’s first week.
Follow the riders at www.facebook.com/removal.ride
and on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtags #RTR2018 and #WeRemember.