By Sarah Eustis

ADVENTURE

CYCLING ASSOCIATION, in partnership with the Center for Minority Health, developed the 2,008-mile Underground Railroad Bicycle Route to encourage people from all backgrounds to explore the landscapes and history of America by bicycle while combat- ing our health crisis.

The route commemorates the network of secret corridors and safe houses by which freedom-seekers attempted to escape slavery before and during the Civil War. It passes points of interest and historic sites from Mobile, AL north to Owen Sound, Ontario. Last summer, eight stu-

MS AL

dents of the Bronx Lab School spent eight days cycling 200 miles of the Mobile Underground Railroad. The students were able to discover a significant period of our nation?s history while experiencing the joy and physical activity of bicycling. Traveling through Ohio, they often encountered people who were inspired by the trip. Bike enthusiasts met the group outside of their towns to proudly escort the students to their homes. Cycle shops offered mechanical support and discounted supplies. Families came together to provide home cooked meals. Due to the success of the trip, a new team of Bronx Lab Underground Railroad Riders will undertake the journey through Ohio in 2009. Again, in preparation, these students have been fund raising, studying, training, and eating well in preparation for the epic journey. But the journey does so much more than benefit a handful of students and adults from the Bronx and its continued success ensures that these positive ripple effects will continue. See the full story of the Bronx Lab Underground Railroad Riders at www.AmericanTrails.org/resources/long. 28 SUMMER 2009

American Trails

Long-distance trails

HiStoric Pat

H to

Freedom

Underground Railroad route

Students plan a 200-mile ride along the Underground Railroad Bicycle Route

IL IN TN

Owen Sound

OH KY ON

Pittsburgh PA Bronx Lab School riders on the 2008 journey

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