A group of bike riders from Raleigh and a Peace Corps volunteer from Durham will join the throng cheering the new president Jan. 20.

Matt Huffman worked to help elect Obama, and after the euphoria of Election Night, he went for a bike ride to clear his head. “There was all this positive energy, all these people who never cared about politics before, who got involved and got excited, and I was trying to think of some way to harness all that,” Huffman, 26, said.

He looked at his bike, and a mission was born. Huffman and two fellow bicyclists are riding four days and 262 miles from Raleigh to Washington, D.C., for the inauguration. They are planning to spend Jan. 19 doing volunteer work in the city, in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. and to heed Obama’s call for community service.

Follow their mission at ncinaugbikeride.blogspot.com.

When the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps called for their alumni to march in the inaugural parade, the response was so enthusiastic they held a lottery to choose the participants. Durham resident Allison Pranger was selected from more than 1,200 volunteers.

“This is an incredibly historic event for so many reasons,” said Pranger, who served in the Peace Corps as an ESL teacher Mokhotlong, Lesotho. “I hope our participation in the parade highlights the importance of our service to both the incoming administration and to the general public.”

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