ZOE’s Cycling events came about when Brad and Lori Ortenzi had a desire to help fundraise for the new ZOE Home for Youth that was to open in Los Angeles in 2021.
“We were avid cyclists and living in Thailand at the time,” said Brad. “We thought, what if we planned a coast-to-coast cycling event – which became the first Road of Justice in 2018 – and invite people to come with us and raise awareness about human trafficking and empower people to be fundraisers for ZOE.”
The 2018 Road of Justice started in Virginia and finished in Santa Monica. “Over 45 cyclists biked 3,800 miles, in over 46 riding days,” said Brad. “Some rode for a day, some rode for weeks or months. We raised close to $300,000 that year. We realized then we had something that could work for ZOE.”
In 2019 ZOE entered an 8-man cycling team in Race Across America (RAAM). For 39 years, the RAAM has become a global icon, challenging ultra-cyclists from over 35 countries to push their physical and mental limits to the utmost. “We started the race in Oceanside and finished in Maryland,” said Brad. “We biked 3,000 miles in 6 days and 5 hours and came in third place. We averaged 20.3 miles an hour for 3,000 miles and climbed 100,000 feet. Together the team raised over $175,000 to help fight human trafficking.”
On June 25, 2021, eight cyclists from Lancaster County Pennsylvania, and twelve crew members, all representing ZOE International, finished first place in the non-stop, 3,000-mile transcontinental relay race from California to Maryland, Race Across America (RAAM). The ZOE cycling team completed the race in 6 days and 27 minutes with an average speed of 21.03 mph while climbing over 100,000+ feet. This year the team raised over $400,000 for ZOE International.
Eight Lancaster County Men Win the 2021 Ultra-Cycling Event, Race Across America
On June 25, 2021, eight cyclists from Lancaster County and twelve crew members, all representing ZOE International, finished first place in the non-stop, 3,000-mile transcontinental relay race from California to Maryland, Race Across America (RAAM).
The 2021 RAAM consisted of 7, 8-man cycling teams and 17 teams of 2, 4, and 8, along with 12 solo racers. The ZOE cycling team completed the race in 6 days and 27 minutes with an average speed of 21.03 mph while climbing over 100,000+ feet.
“After competing in 2019, we knew our limitations and capabilities and thought we might have a chance to win this year,” shared Brad. “We set out to do our race and not let the competitors set the race for us. We knew we couldn’t make a mistake. So we plugged all the gaps we had in 2019, and we trained a lot harder this year. Ultimately, we capitalized on the experience we had from 2019 to win the race in 2021!”
Upcoming Cycling Events
Road Of Justice – March 28-April 2, 2022
San Francisco to Santa Clarita, CA
On March 28-April 2, 2022, over 20 cyclists will gather in San Francisco, California and ride to Santa Clarita, California to raise funds for ZOE International.
Starting at the iconic Golden gate bridge cyclists will travel 460 miles and 25,700 feet – south along some of the most beautiful coastline in the world and enjoy the beauty of Big Sur and the quaintness of small towns like Cambria. We may even find time to stop and say hello to the elephant seals. As we pass through San Simeon on our way to Santa Barbara.
Road of Justice will end in Santa Clarita at Bridgeport Park at ZOE’s Rescue Walk. Enjoy the company of other cycling enthusiasts as we join together to do our part to end child trafficking.
Race Across America – 2023
Save the Date!
ZOE International will participate in RAAM 2021 as an 8-man cycling team. For more information and questions contact ZOE International Eastern USA Regional Director, Brad Ortenzi.