By Lora Scripps
The 20th annual Trail of Tears Commemorative Motorcycle Ride is Saturday, and riders will make their way through Athens on U.S. 72 around 11: 30 a.m. or noon.
Depending on the number of riders participating, the ride could take 20 to 45 minutes.
Athens Police Chief Floyd Johnson said access to U.S. 72 westbound would be blocked while the motorcycles are in the city limits. This includes blocking Interstate 65 and U.S. 31 exits at U.S. 72 for westbound traffic as well as any other access points.
Drivers should use alternate routes.
According to Johnson, the only way to travel between north and south Athens will be on U.S. 31. Drivers should expect heavier traffic on U.S. 31 during the ride.
“We also ask motorists to use caution and watch for motorcycles on the roadways," Johnson said. "Some riders may stop in Athens or join the ride in Athens. We urge motorists to be prepared to share the road. We may also have spectators along the route, so motorists need to watch for heavier pedestrian traffic.”