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Cycling event raises awareness of sex trafficking

University of Florida student Caroline Murray is gearing up to bike 1,700 miles this summer to create awareness of sex trafficking. She will be biking along the Pacific coast.

Her journey begins in Seattle, and the finish line is in San Diego. She is part of a team of 10 college-aged women who will be biking on behalf of a nonprofit called Pedal the Pacific.

The organization was created in 2017 by three women who wanted to create an impact after graduating college. They were all passionate about spreading awareness of sex trafficking and wanted to create a unique platform that would allow them to openly communicate their purpose.

People were left wondering why they made a decision that was so far from their comfort zone. They advertised themselves as "hilariously unathletic girls" and stated their intention to pedal 1,700 kilometers along the Pacific coast. This caught everyone's attention right away and made them think more carefully about why the women were riding.

That year, the three friends exceeded their initial goal and raised almost $60,000 as they reached the finish line in San Diego.

They witnessed firsthand how something as basic as a bicycle could ignite change and realized they had to maintain the momentum.

Fast forward six years later, the organization has raised over $500,000 and has increased awareness of sex trafficking.

Murray said she is determined to continue Pedal the Pacific's success and use this unique platform to educate others.

Cristina is a reporter for WUFT News who can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.