5 bicyclists riding from Africatown, AL to Washington D.C. in so-called ‘Underground Railroad Ride’

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MOBILE, AL (WALA) – A man from New York City and four of his friends are in Mobile, preparing for a roughly 15-day bike ride to our nation’s capital.

It’s called the Underground Railroad Ride and their goal is to use the story behind it to create more diversity in the cycling community.

They hope to inspire the kids downtown to cycle one mile at a time.

“Bicycling is a predominantly white sport, it’s very exclusive and we’re trying to make it inclusive for everyone,” said John “Bobby” Shackleford.

Shackleford believes that a bicycle can bring freedom.

The Underground Railroad Ride raises money to get children in underrepresented groups a bike so they can travel safely outside of their neighborhood.

“The bicycle industry lacked variety and color in video and photos, as well as companies supporting lower-income areas,” Shackleford said.

The team arrived at Mobile Regional Airport on Friday morning and assembled their bikes to prepare for the days ahead.

They expect a long drive that will cover about 70 miles each day.

You will also have a film crew telling your story.

“We’re not really concerned about mileage, let’s say we’re more concerned about the weather, missing bike parts, missing bags and the wrong part,” Shackleford said.

The journey begins on Saturday morning in Africatown.

If you would like information about your trip or would like to donate, click on gofundme.com/f/23y1t71tuo

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