MADISON, Alabama — On Saturday, bikers hit the pedal to the medal by trekking their way across North Alabama for the 27th annual 'Trail of Tears' motorcycle ride.
Thousands of bikers rode out from Bridgeport and made a stop at the Redstone Harley-Davidson in Madison to honor Native Americans who were forced to relocate from the 1830's to the 1850's.
"People all across Indian country want to share our story. We want to show that we're here because sometimes we are the invisible nation," says 'Brothers in the Winds' biker Brandon Stephens, from Cherokee, North Carolina.
Stephens joins bikers riding both near and far along the 'Trail of Tears'.
"If history's not remembered, it can repeat itself. So we want everybody to know that we do this every year to bring awareness to that dark part of history," says Kevan Hutto, with the 'Trail of Tears' Board of Directors.
For Hutto, this ride is also personal. "As I ride that trail personally, my grandfather was Cherokee, so part of the 'Removal Act'. So for me it's remembering that and the pain and the agony of them being taken away from their homes and moved out to the Oklahoma nations," he says.
The ride also bringing awareness to the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek, and Seminole nations. Folks at Redstone Harley-Davidson were excited to be a part of the journey.
"For the biker community to be able to rise up and make it aware that this is happening every year, it's pretty awesome!," says Redstone Harley-Davidson Marketing Manager, Jonathan 'JW' Walsh.
"It's something where you can feel medicine of those ancestors and retracing some of the historic places where they landed, where they traveled. So for us it's taking our foot and putting it back into their footsteps," added Stephens.
In the state of Alabama, The Trail of Tears will end in Waterloo. The main ride will end in Oklahoma.