Oklahoma Group Bikes To Raise Money For Human Trafficking Victims

Saturday, June 29th 2019, 8:16 pm
By: News 9

A six-week journey along the Pacific Coast. 1,700 miles on a bike. Ten college age women are about halfway finished, and they’ve raised over $106,000.

Haley Felix, an Edmond resident, isn't a professional cyclist. Yet her heartstrings were pulled when she realized how many people are impacted by human trafficking.

So, she and nine others, packed 50-pound bags and headed west.

Felix, and some team members, FaceTimed News 9 22 days into their journey, from a host home in Eureka, California.

“It’s a 45-day trek. And we bike about 39 of those or something. But like every week-ish, we get a rest day,” Felix said.

This is the third year for Pedal the Pacific.

It started with three college students wanting to shed light on the issue of human trafficking.

Money raised helps fund a long-term rehabilitation center called “The Refuge” located in Austin, Texas. Its purpose is to serve young girls who have been victims of sex trafficking.

“We do still have a goal of $250,000 overall. And we only have three weeks left of our trip. And we want it so, so bad for the girls,” Felix added.

The ten women brand themselves as "hilariously un-athletic".

But it's the purpose behind the ride that keeps them going.

“Yeah it’s hard. But the girls are too important not to,” said team member, Christina Van Essen.

“Really the people involved in sex trafficking, like that is really what motivates me on hard days. And what motivated me to say yes to this,” added team member, Chloe Stringer.

The Pedal the Pacific team has a blog, where they post highlights of each day.

They say the best part of their journey, so far, has been the conversations and relationships made with complete strangers.

If you’d like to donate to their cause, click here.