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Welcome to the Official Web Site of the Trail of Tears Commemorative Motorcycle Ride®

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2017 Ride Sept. 16th

It's more than just a ride, it's an experience....

No Registration & No Fees to Ride


** The 24th Annual Trail of Tears Commemorative Motorcycle Ride® will be held on Sept 16, 2017 **

- Always the Third Saturday of September




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The Experience

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Largest Organized Motorcycle Ride in History
2005 Ride

The Numbers

Ride Attendance was huge, over 150,000 Motorcycles with approximately 200,000, or more in the town of Waterloo. The best method of determining the size of this ride is to take part in the ride, because it is BIG. When you are in the middle of the festivities you can see why it is "the largest organized motorcycle ride in the world." 
The scholarships were increased to $30,000 for Alabama students and $30,000 for the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
U.S. Space & Rocket Center Space Camp donated a scholarship to their program for a Native American student.
"Ride to Remember" Trail of Tears riders recall the past by providing for the future. For Chelsea Chamblee, it’s an experience she’ll never forget. Chelsea spent the final hours of 2005 undergoing astronaut training and was chosen to be a Mission Commander. Her mother, Kasey Chamblee, was selected to be the pilot of their shuttle mission, and flew sitting next to her daughter. Together they built and launched model rockets, studied the history of the manned space flight program, and successfully carried out a simulated shuttle mission into Earth orbit. Chelsea won the 2005 Alabama-Tennessee Trail of Tears Corridor Association’s Space Camp® essay contest. Her prize: an all expenses paid trip for her and her mother to attend the Parent/Child Space Camp® program at the U.S. Space & Rocket Center® in Huntsville, Alabama. It all began a dozen years ago with 8 motorcycle riders and an idea. They would make the trip across North Alabama to retrace the approximate route by which many thousands of Native Americans were brutally forced from their homes, stripped of their belongings, and herded westward to reservations. More than 4,000 died of starvation, disease and exposure along the way. History remembers it as the Trail of Tears. From its earnest beginnings in 1994 to becoming the largest and most important motorcycle ride in the nation, the annual Trail of Tears Commemorative Motorcycle ride seeks to not only exalt the memory of those lost, but to improve the future for Native American children by raising money for scholarships and other educational opportunities. Last year, more than 120,000 bikers took part in the ride, creating a chain of motorcycles two-wide stretching almost 60 miles in length. Their 230-mile route was lined with supporters waving them on, while thousands more awaited the arrival of the bikers in Waterloo, Alabama, for an evening of music and festivities. Among them was eight-year-old Chelsea, a proud Cherokee Indian and member of the United Cherokee Ani-Yun-Wiya Nation. At Space Camp, Chelsea and her Mom not only took part in a simulated shuttle mission. They experienced NASA-designed astronaut trainers including the Multi-Axis Trainer; created to demonstrate how it would feel if a space capsule began to tumble out of control during re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere. They also experienced the 1/6th Gravity Trainer, designed to show astronauts what it would feel like to walk on the moon. In addition to earning their Space Camp Astronaut Wings upon graduation, their Gemini team also won the Most Outstanding Team Award, the Outstanding Mission Award and the Best Team Patch Award. We’re quite proud of our alliance with the Alabama-Tennessee Trail of Tears Corridor Association, says U.S. Space & Rocket Center CEO Larry Capps. Their efforts will make a tremendous difference in the lives and careers of many Native American children. We want this to last a very long time, he added. The U.S. Space & Rocket Center congratulates Chelsea for her winning essay, and we encourage her to continue to set high goals for herself. We also offer our heart-felt appreciation to the Alabama-Tennessee Trail of Tears Corridor Association for their remarkable efforts to help a nation remember the injustices suffered by Native Americans by providing for the future of their young. Proudly, we are already working with the Association in their efforts to secure additional educational opportunities to a deserving young Native American as part of the Trail of Tears Commemorate Motorcycle Ride.

Click here For Scholarship information

(NOTE: The contact for this release is Al Whitaker, Media Relations Manager, U.S. Space & Rocket Center, Huntsville Alabama. 256-721-7160. Email: media@spacecamp.com)

Donations

The CIRCL a non-profit Native American preservation group in Chattanooga; The American Indian Museum in Huntsville; and The Mowa Choctaw Cultural Center in Mt. Vernon, AL.
A historic marker was placed in Okmulgee, Oklahoma.
The first phase of the Trail of Tears River Walk Project was completed. The River Walk includes engraved brick surrounding the historic marker at the end of Main Street overlooking the Tennessee River.

Ride At Your Own Risk

2017 Ride September 16th - always the 3rd Saturday of September

Brought to you by the AL-TN Trail of Tears Corridor Association, Inc.

If you have questions or need more information, Call our Hotline # (678) RIDE-TOT or (678) 743-3868

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