Why I Ride
In Nepal a caste system exists and girls as young as 10 that are members of the lowest caste are often sold permanently into brothels to provide money for their families. The group we support in Nepal provides a place for girls and women that are removed from the brothels, or in some cases, they take in at-risk girls before they end up in the brothel, to be cared for, restored, and gain skills to enter college or the workforce. One of our non-profit’s board members is actually in Nepal right now helping the people that the ride supports.
In Des Moines, Iowa, we support Dorothy’s House, which is a shelter that is less than two years old for girls and women that have been trafficked and are undergoing restoration and coaching. In America its more common for teens that run away from home that are in need of money or shelter that end up getting trafficked. There are also break-downs in the foster care system and tough home situations that lead to it as well.
There are a lot of ways that you can help in the fight against human trafficking but the OK200 is my response to this injustice, using the tools that I have been given – strong lungs, strong legs, rugged determination, a sense of justice and the value of human life informed by my faith, an aim to make a difference in the world, and a desire to act.
Please join me in my efforts.
About Andy and the OK200:
Andy McCoy co-founded OK200 with Rocky Vest in 2011 and has been on every OK200 campaign. Andy is a cycling enthusiast who first experienced bike riding as a mode of transportation from his home in the country to the local municipal pool in Adel, Iowa, as a ten year old. Graduate school in Iowa City, Iowa afforded Andy the chance to ride year round in all different conditions. It wasn’t until he moved to Des Moines, Iowa in 2006 that he started riding further and faster as a way to keep fit as well as spend time with friends. It was during many early morning rides (and maybe a few late night rides) that the first 200 mile ride to Okoboji was conceived and then achieved.
Since that first ride, the OK200 has been used to bring focus, awareness, and funds for the sake of the most vulnerable and oppressed. The 200 mile ride is for the direct benefit of the human trafficked, among them the teen girl that has been sold into prostitution, especially revolting to me as I have two young daughters.
Andy is married to Sarah and has two daughters, Charlotte, and Gemma. Being a father has been the most rewarding and challenging chapter of life so far.
Andy is a Senior Water Resources Engineer with HDR, a consulting engineering company. Most days he can be found performing flood studies and computer modeling to support municipalities, energy utilities, railroads, and state and federal government projects.
Andy says, “The knowledge that human slavery still exists on this planet in any form is an anathema to me and to our group of riders. This is a fight that we can impact by raising awareness and money. The gospel doesn’t have to be complicated. We can reflect the love of Christ through what we do to serve others.”