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Two men cross the country on bikes to bring Americans together

Andre Block Sr., Jonathan Williams of Knoxville have spent five weeks crossing the country

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- There are more than 3,000 miles between Portland, Maine, and Portland, Oregon. But that daunting number didn't stop Andre Block Sr. and Jonathan Williams of Knoxville, Tennessee from cycling across the country in an attempt to unify America.

“This trip is about the building of America," Block said Wednesday in Bend. "We want to share cultural stories of people working together to build America.”

The two men met five years ago at a New Year's Eve party, and are nothing alike. Andre is a black liberal from Oklahoma, while Jonathan is a white conservative from Georgia.

“We attack problems two different ways, but we typically always want the same solution," Block Sr. said.

The two men set out on their Unity Ride journey on August 15, traveling from one Portland to another, making one of their final stops in Bend before finishing their trip on Wednesday.

“Our mission this trip was to get people to think of more than themselves when they walk into the voting booth,” Block Sr. told NewsChannel 21.

It’s not the first time the men have done a trip like this. In 2017, they traveled from California to Washington, D.C., and in 2018, they biked the sights and sounds of the underground railroad from New Orleans to Toronto.

But this year is a little different.

“I think this has been our most important year," Williams said. "People say, 'This is what we need -- we need a lot more of this.' I just hope people take that to heart and go out and do something.”

Both Block Sr. and Williams plan to make a movie about their trip.

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Jordan Williams

Jordan Williams is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Jordan here.


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