Shaw High School graduate leads cross-country Hope for Warriors bicycle ride

A group of bicyclists supporting wounded or killed combat veterans will zoom through Columbus sporting red, white and blue during the Independence Day weekend.

Ride Across USA, a band comprised of seven bikers, started their trip in Malibu Beach, Calif. on June 4, and will end their journey in Amelia Island, Fla. on July 8. They are accompanied by one support driver carrying spare tires and patches in case of accidents.

Led by Shaw High School graduate Tracy Foster Draper, the group's ride will support the Hope for Warriors organization, which supports the families of combat veterans that were wounded or killed in action. Draper will also be accompanied by sister Leigh Foster Bacher of Cullman, Ala.

Grace Foster, Tracy's mother, said she her daughter has been working on the project for years in addition to working as a personal trainer.

"I thought she was crazy when she first told me," Foster said. "But they've been doing well so far. They've only had one accident."

The group has raised $15,000 toward their goal of $30,000 during their month-long trip, during which cyclists ride more around 100 miles per day.

"People have donated along the way," Foster said. "They're well known in Florida, where their from. They've passed out shirts and cards along the way so people will know. One person asked who they are and what they're doing and gave them a $1,000 check on the spot."

The group is expected to pass through Columbus Saturday, Foster said.

Those interested in donating on behalf of the riders can do so by visiting the team's fundraising website, found here.