If you’re following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (which we certainly hope you are – wink wink), you may have seen our recent posts about the Path to Freedom Tour; or in the Gullah dialect, Da Paat ta Freedum Tour.
Last weekend, a team of Georgia and North Carolina cyclists between the ages of 12 and 77, rolled on to the ECG in Durham, NC, launching a two-week bicycle ride that includes a tour of the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor, a national heritage area that passes through North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.
The Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor traverses a region once famous for rice farmed by enslaved Africans, who were largely left on their own because of malarial conditions, and thus, were able to retain much of their native language and folkways.
The “Da Paat ta Freedum Tour,” or “Path to Freedom Tour,” is a collaboration between the BRAG (Bike Ride Across Georgia) Dream Team and Triangle Bikeworks’ Spoke’n Revolutions Youth Cycling.
A total of 32 cyclists, including 23 students and 9 adult coaches are riding the 700 miles from Durham, NC, to St. Augustine, FL. 550 miles of the route include the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor, which stretches from Wilmington, NC, to Jacksonville, FL.
In August of 2014 the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor Commission and National Park Service formed a unique partnership with the ECGA, by allowing the ECG spine route to overlap with the Corridor through coastal North and South Carolina, Georgia and Florida.
The partnership uniquely combines placemaking, health advocacy, youth, conservation, green mobility and tourism with cultural retention and economic development. – Herb Hiller, ECGA Southeast Program Consultant
The tour will reach Charleston on Thursday, July 16th, where riders will pay their respects at Mother Emanuel AME Church, participate in a service project with Wings for Kids, and dine with mayoral candidate, Ginny Deerin.
We’ll catch up with the team in Part 2 of this blog series. In the meantime, follow the tour’s photos and highlights on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #freedumtour.