Throughout the country, and here on the East End, Juneteenth, a holiday that marks the end of slavery, will be marked with protests against police brutality and racial inequality.
While large-scale events are planned in New York City and Washington, D.C., on Friday, a small bicycle club on the North Fork will do its part to bring awareness to social injustices and remember George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and others who have lost their lives at the hands of the police.
On Friday night, a 25-mile bicycle ride will take place on the North Fork from 5 to 8 PM. Estefany Molina of Greenport, who is coordinating the ride, said the group behind it is loosely calling itself the Motley Crew Bicycle Club.
The ride was inspired, Molina said, by the Arizona-based State Bicycle Co.’s #25MilesforJustice initiative, held in remembrance of George Floyd, in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. Floyd died at 9:25 PM on May 25.
“As a cyclist and person of color, this initiative resonated with me and I was inspired to use it locally with my community because, for me, biking does not know race, gender, or orientation. If you are human, you can bike,” Molina said in an email Wednesday.
The North Fork group held its first ride on June 10, bicycling from North Fork Roasting Company in Southold, through Orient State Park, and ending at 67 Steps in Greenport.
Friday’s ride will start at the Jamesport bus stop at 5 PM, head down Route 25, then to Route 48 to Latham’s Farm, and then to American Beech in Greenport. Anyone can join in by meeting them at the start or joining in along the route. Signs are encouraged.
“Everyone of all levels are welcome; this is not a rigorous competition. It is about doing something difficult in recognition of the bigger challenges ahead,” Molina said. “It is about keeping up the momentum, and keeping #BlackLivesMatter in the forefront of our consciousness. Like the alternator in a car, the idea is to keep the engine going even after the initial spark in the ignition. The symbolism lies in the visual as we do the physical work along the road.”