MOBILE, Ala (WALA) -- A New York City man and four of his friends are in Mobile getting ready to start a roughly 15-day bicycle ride to our nation’s capital.

It is called the Underground Railroad Ride and their goal is to use the backdrop of history to get more diversity in the cycling community.

They hope to inspire inner-city kids, one mile at a time, to take up biking.

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

Shackleford believes a bicycle can bring freedom.

The Underground Railroad Ride is raising money to get kids in underrepresented groups a bicycle, giving them the ability to travel outside of their neighborhood safely.

“Cycling industry has lacked diversity and color in terms of videos and photos and companies supporting more lower income areas,” Shackleford said.

The team arrived at Mobile Regional Airport Friday morning, assembling their bikes to get ready for the days ahead.

They expect the ride to be a long one, each day biking about 70 miles.

They will also have a film crew following along telling their story.

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

The ride will start in Africatown Saturday morning.

If you want information on their ride or to donate, click here.

All content © 2020, WALA; Mobile, AL. (A Meredith Corporation Station). All Rights Reserved.  

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