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Five Black men decided to pay homage to the tenacity of their ancestors by biking more than 1,100 miles along the Underground Railroad.
John Shackelford, a Brooklyn-native, organized the trip from Washington, DC to Alabama.
The 26-year-old who has biked all over the world, including Niagara Falls, Helsinki, and Riga, said he was inspired to bike with a purpose following protests that unfolded in 2020.
“That was my big message,” Shackelford told Bicycling. “To inspire more people like me to do what I love.”
Shackelford quickly learned that there were no prescribed routes in those times. That’s when he took matters in his own hands and decided to let his ancestors lead the way.

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