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Cyclists take over Atlanta's streets to honor the late Congressman John Lewis

The John R. Lewis Legacy Institute hosted the ride with other organizations in memory of the Civil Rights hero.

ATLANTA — One day before the anniversary of the passing of Congressman John Lewis, his family was joined by dozens of cyclists from across the country to honor him with a special ride.

The John R. Lewis Legacy Institute partnered with an organization called the Dope Pedalers to put on the third annual memorial ride to honor the late Civil Rights activist.

"I'm from Alabama. So, you know, I don't have a whole lot of connections with the Atlanta cycling community. So when I met this guy, he introduced me to so many riders and we just all put our minds together and, you know, came to this and here we are," Jerrick Lewis told 11Alive. 

Jerrick Lewis is the nephew of the late congressman. He explained that the first ride took place right after Congressman John Lewis' passing in 2020. Since then, the ride has been a way for him to preserve his uncle's legacy and bring people together. 

"That's what we're here to do, is spread love through our...through the actions of cycling," he said. 

One of the organizations that helped organize the ride is Dope Pedalers. The cycling club used it as an opportunity to raise awareness for voting equality, one of the things Congressman Lewis championed during his lifetime. 

"For us, we just want to use our platform of whatever visibility that we have to get out the positive message that voting matters," Jay Reid said.

The ride started on Pryor street with a brief stop at South-View Cemetary, where riders placed blue carnations on the grave of the late congressman. The ride finished on Auburn Avenue under the now-famous mural of John Lewis. 

The riders were given blue balloons, to symbolize pancreatic cancer, which was released after a brief statement from Congressman Lewis' successor Congresswoman Nikema Williams. 

When asked how his uncle would feel about the number of people who showed up to honor him, Jerrick said: "I think the ride was a huge success. I mean, just to see everyone united as one, means the world to us. And that's something that he stood for."

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