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Ride for freedom bike ride

Ride for freedom bike ride

Lauren Dunham ’22 June 24, 2019

The first moments of warm weather are often accompanied by cookouts, festivals and family gatherings. For Peter Titlebaum of UD’s School of Education and Health Sciences and his four teammates, summertime began with a celebration of civil rights.

With a bike route of over 600 miles, the Ride 4 Freedom Legacy Tour began at the Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati June 1 and ended at the Freedom Rides Museum in Montgomery, Alabama, June 7. Titlebaum, along with former University staff member Dwight Matlock and Moshe Bargil and Daniel Iroh, biked while undergraduate student Abby Almanrode ’21 promoted the journey on social media. The team followed the path of the Underground Railroad, allowing the messages of historical figures to speak through their cycling.

“There are a lot of unsung heroes that were a part of both movements, and they need to go on for perpetuity. We can’t forget our history. We need to learn from it and look at how people persevered through it,” Titlebaum said.

As a professor, Titlebaum urges his students to take their own risks and embrace discomfort. His work as a fellow with the University’s Institute of Applied Creativity for Transformation inspired him to take on a challenge of his own.

“With my students, my goal is to make them uncomfortable. That’s when learning takes place. Well, I practice what I preach. Trust me, I was uncomfortable,” said Titlebaum, referencing the difficulty of the trip. The cyclists averaged a speed of 18 miles per hour and climbed a total of 40,000 feet.

Bargil and Iroh are from Israel and Nigeria, respectively, while Matlock is African American and Titlebaum is Jewish American. The diverse team let the concept of individuality guide their mission, and an important dialogue resulted.

“We had an international team, which when we really began talking about it with people, they found that fascinating that an international team from Dayton rode 600 miles to share some ideas with them,” said Matlock.

The riders shared their thoughts about creating legacies with several organizations along the way including the YMCA, Boy Scouts and the Boys & Girls Club of America.

Titlebaum elaborated, “You ask young kids all the time, ‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’ Change the question. Who do you want to be?”

For more information, visit https://ride4freedomtour.com/