Next month, NYC bicycle messenger John Shackleford will ride the 1,114-mile Underground Railroad Route as part of his mission to share the freedom of cycling with Black youth in the US. Watch the powerful teaser for the film he’ll be creating about his trip here, along with information on how you can support the project…

This September, 25-year-old John Shackleford, a New York City-based bicycle messenger, will ride 1,114 miles along an on- and off-road route known as the Underground Railroad. His mission is to empower, inspire, and promote positivity through activism and adventure. He’ll also be using this journey as a means of processing his struggle with what it means to be Black in the United States.

Watch the teaser below for an introduction to John, his upcoming ride, and its significance:

  • Underground Railroad Ride Film
  • Underground Railroad Ride Film
  • Underground Railroad Ride Film
“Where black people have come from—freedom from slavery—to where black people are today… is there a difference? Are we free?”

How You Can Help

John and his team still have a lot of needs to realize this project. In addition to donations and sponsors to come on board to support production and ride funding, they’re also looking for crew members. Specifically, they’re seeking: sag wagon, driver mechanic, POC female riders, POC writer/historian, POC director, POC executive producer, POC project manager, POC designer, POC strategy. Please help spread the word, and if you or someone you know is interested in getting involved, all inquiries can be sent to

Learn more or make a donation to support the film at



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