Hi everybody! This is Moriah writing from Southern Washington in our lovely host home (shoutout April & Kalani!) As this is my first blog post, I wanted to introduce myself a little :) I'm the youngest of our team, a professional at lying on the floor, hardcore overthinker, and novice cyclist with an affinity for the stars. I was born and raised in California and although we aren't quite there yet, the ride takes place in my backyard, so to speak. I can't help but make the connection to the reason we're riding—and how sex trafficking happens in each of our backyards, in our very own communities.
The team launched from Seattle five days ago and it has been a wild ride (pun intended :) We'll be in Oregon before we know it! Family, friends, friends of friends, and strangers all have shown up with support and encouragement as we've embarked on this journey of purposeful action.
Already, we've experienced the privilege of meeting people along the coast and engaging in powerful conversations about the realities of sex trafficking—like how it isn't some distant crime that only affects developing countries, but is heart-breakingly pervasive, affecting lives in the communities we ride through as well as our hometowns.
On day 2, we met a survivor who saw the SAG van at a lunch break and pulled over to talk with us and donate to Pedal the Pacific. That evening we arrived at where we were staying the night to homemade cookies. On day 3, Joyride Bikes serviced several bikes for free and a local church welcomed us into their facility to rest (thanks Joanne & Tom!) Day 4 included friendly dialogue outside a market in the afternoon and chatting with inquisitive campsite neighbors in the evening. From donated meals, to passing cyclists helping fix mechanical issues, the communities in Washington have demonstrated the utmost generosity.
Additionally, each of our home communities are rooting for us in the endeavor to bike 1,700 miles in 50 days. My teammates and I have this opportunity to fundraise and bring awareness to the issue of trafficking, which is in great part, due to them. But what about those without strong support systems (like foster youth) or those who don't see themselves represented in the media as mattering (like disabled folks)? Will we fight just for our own stories or do we choose to fight for others, too? Because they matter and they deserve to know their stories are worth fighting for.
Thank you to the PTP leadership team, alums, and broader network of communities that embody this fight and empower others to do the same.
With gratitude and hope,