Men cycling cross-country for poverty, human trafficking victims


INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Two men on a cross-country bike ride will continue their journey from downtown Indianapolis on Thursday, all to bring awareness about a serious issue.

From start to finish, the ride is 3,000 miles. The two cyclists, Mike Rutter and George Cook, started back in Santa Monica California on May 24. Fast forward a month later and they’ve made it here to Indianapolis on their journey. When it gets tough, Cook says they think about why they are riding.

“The more uncomfortable the day, the more we realize about the discomfort of the girls being human trafficked and sexually exploited,” said Cook. “So when we’re suffering, we think about them and that helps gives us more passion about our cause.”

It’s part of Bright Hope’s “Break the Chains Cycling Tour.” They want to bring attention to the more than 1 billion people who are living in extreme poverty, as well as the nearly 36 million victims of human trafficking worldwide.

Mike and George plan on doing the whole trip in 40 days. Any money raised will go towards a Bright Hope project that provides safe houses for young girls rescued out of brothels and helps gets their lives back on track.

The rain Thursday in Indianapolis put a little bit of a damper on the start of the bike ride.

“We are already slow, but it makes us a little bit slower, a little bit more cautious,” said Rutter. “It’s like a mission. I feel like a Navy Seal today. We are going on a mission. We got 110 miles to get to Dayton and we’re going to get it done. The girls we are trying to do this for, they don’t have a choice what’s happening to them that day so we’re going to plow ahead.”

Battling the elements is hard but they say the hardest part is the day to day wear and tear on their bodies. Later Thursday, they will take off from Monument Circle and continue on their journey towards Churchton, Maryland, hopefully finishing on or before July 2.

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