Sandy Springs Police Officer Jansenn Redcay ended a 1,000-mile bicycle ride on Dec. 10 that has raised more than $6,300 so far to fight against human trafficking.
His ride was part of his commitment to ZOE International’s upcoming 2023 Race Across America. The nonprofit has been rescuing and caring for trafficked children and orphans since 2003.
Redcay rode his bicycle from Austin, Texas to Sandy Springs, starting on Dec. 1 and arriving at City Springs on Saturday.
Five years ago he began these ultra-long rides, cycling from Pennsylvania down to Atlanta and he said he was hooked.
“Every year since then I’ve done a separate ride in another area of the country,” Redcay said.
His connection to fighting human trafficking came two years after finishing a tough ride when he was having dinner with friends. One of his friends, a police detective, recounted that he had just returned from Asia where he helped rescue children from prostitution, Redcay said.
“Obviously, I’m the father of a young daughter and that struck me right in the heart,” he said.
He kept track of Zoe International, which rescues children, educates them, and puts them in homes.
“That restores these kids so they can move on with whatever they choose to do in life,” he said.
The best thing about his rides that keeps him going is seeing what goes on in small towns and rural America along the way. They don’t see tourists, so when they spot him at convenience stores they’ll ask him what he’s doing.
Last year his ride went very wrong.
“And I ended up being rescued by a local guy when I was in the middle of backwoods Vermont,” Redcay recalled. “I had a hole through my tire that I could not fix. The closest bike shop was 31 miles away.”
The local resident drove him to a ski shop where they were able to fix his tire. As the man was leaving, he gave Redcay the code to the front door of his house. But he wasn’t going home.
“He said there’s food in the pantry, here’s my code to stay there the night if you want to,” Redcay said.
Moments like these – and he said there were many more of them – keep him going on these long rides.
He was blown away from the third day of his ride this month when he realized people were following his ride on social media and then he heard about media interest.
“This all started just trying to raise $2,000. Well, we raised $2,000 before I even got on the bike in Austin,” Redcay said.