the history of the ride

2023 -2024


we expected our 30th anniversary to be a bumper year... and it would have been if mother nature had not decided to pour out the tears of our ancestors the morning of the ride. we made it to Redstone HD and were mostly wet. But we ride rain or shine. We remember those that walked, rain or shine or snow, with heavy burdens. So really, we don't have it so bad. The Sunday, monday and tuesday rides from spring park to tahlequah were beautiful.

This year, for the first time, we had escorts all the way from cherokee to tahlequah.

we were greeted by some of the leaders of the western cherokee nation who provided us with a quite beautiful and tasty snack! They also provided some nice token coins (see on the left) until the supply ran out. It was a good, warm welcome.

being the 30th anniversary the shirt design was special. Here's what inspired our artist arissa wheeler.

"Remembering three decades,

The 30th Anniversary Trail of Tears Commemorative Motorcycle Ride T-shirt Design

The central theme of the design is remembering and honoring the past while looking toward the future. The biker rides forward out of the '30' and represents every rider that has been and will be on the commemorative motorcycle ride.

On the left, the great bald eagle circles, blessing the ride from above. The osprey hunt along the river, protecting the route. The bear and wolf guide the journey.

On the right, the black hawk helicopters from the ride in 2001 fly above. The departed Chief Gina Williamson of the UCAN tribe enters the Waterloo Pow Wow circle dancing in rhythm with the drum as she did for many years.

The Cherokee Rose grows on the roadside next to the biker, which sprung up from where the women's tears had fallen along the trail. On top of the rose bush sits the woodpecker symbolizing the everyday warriors of the past, present, and future.

The five feathers at the bottom represent the five southeastern tribes we commemorate each year on the motorcycle ride: Cherokee, Creek, Chickasaw, Choctaw, and Seminole.

Thank you to all of those that support the ride each year!


we shall see eh?

Next: pow wow at Waterloo