TURNERS FALLS — Two local men, Nur Tiven and David Detmold, stopped in Turners Falls for a potluck after the first leg of a six-week bike tour that will bring them to Standing Rock, N.D.
The potluck and the ride are sponsored by the Nolumbeka Project.
The duo started in Mashpee on July 2. They traveled 60 miles, with fellow rider John Ward joining about 30 miles in.
This isn’t Detmold’s first time using his bicycle for activism. He used to be a part of the Solar Rollers, a group that rode bikes to increase awareness and advocate against nuclear power and nuclear weapons.
Detmold said he’s passionate about protecting indigenous treaty rights, and he is handing out flyers at his stops along his way. His goal is to raise awareness of the issues facing Native Americans at Standing Rock, but also across the country where tribes face similar issues.
“It’s not just Standing Rock,” Detmold said. “Treaties have been violated from coast to coast.”
Detmold said he hopes people understand the history of the land and the treaties with Native Americans that the United States government broke.
“I want people to become more aware of the native past and the native present and take some action to rectify the great wrong that we’ve done to native people across the country,” he said.
David Brule, president of the Nolumbeka project, said the idea to bike across the country was mostly Detmold’s and his organization was able to help coordinate places for Detmold to stay along the way. The trip will be roughly six weeks, with Detmold planning to ride about 50 miles per day.
Since much of what Standing Rock focuses on is environmental issues, Detmold said it aligned nicely that bicycles are an energy neutral way to get across the country. He is carrying small gifts and prayer offerings for those at Standing Rock, and hopes to get there in time to help with major activism and write about what is happening on the scene.
Follow the riders’ progress online at bikeforstandingrock.org.
Reach Miranda Davis
at 413-772-0261, ext. 280