Starting in the summer of 1838, Cherokees were rounded up and forced from their homes in Georgia, Tennessee and other southeastern states to the tribe’s current capital in Tahlequah, Oklahoma, as part of the federal Indian Removal Act. Of the estimated 16,000 Cherokees forced to make the journey, commonly referred to as the Trail of Tears, an estimated 4,000 died due to exposure, starvation and disease. Remember the Removal bike riders will travel on the Northern Route, one of six removal routes, in honor of their ancestors. They start in New Echota, Georgia, and cycle across seven states before ending their 950-mile journey in Tahlequah.