This week, I was very excited to get to catch up with our second edition of “6 Questions With_____.” This company is one I was personally very excited to talk to about the Freedom Ride Project: JL Velo.
I have long worn their kits and gear for over 10 years of rowing, cycling, and triathlon (That’s me modeling their kits on their website!), and the quality and service is pretty darn killer. Not only do they have awesome designs of their own, but they customize anything and truly care about the athletes they outfit. Without further ado, I’d love to introduce Kate Mills, who works at JL and is our gear girl that was SO generous to support our event.
Whitney: What is JL Velo?
Kate: JLVelo is pure, unadulterated, race inspired cycling and triathlon wear. We produce only the highest quality garments for endurance athletes that are 100% made in our family owned factory in Santa Ana, California. We use solar energy, eco fabrics, and sustainable practices to produce all of our garments.
Whitney: What was your initial impression about being approached to help support a ride bringing awareness to Human Trafficking?
Kate: When approached about this project, I was immediately interested in learning more. Most events we are approached about are supporting a foundation with focuses on health issues. This is quite a unique problem to be introduced into the cycling world, and one that deserves much greater attention from the general population. This subject is not talked about in the US like it is around the world, and that needs to change.
Kate: After learning how prevalent Human Trafficking is in the US and Southern California in particular, I was in tears. It sickens me to think that Orange County has such a high rate of it and that with just a little bit of knowledge, a good amount of it could be prevented. This isn’t just a ride. They will be visiting high schools and bringing awareness to tens of thousands of high school students. The ride is one thing, but the community involvement is equally as important. We are very happy to be involved with an organization that is going beyond the extra step to truly make a difference. That is what it is all about.
Whitney: How are you supporting the cause and riders?
Kate: We will be providing the riders with their training and riding gear up to and for the ride. We will also be supporting at the finish line in Newport Beach and promoting the ride and cause as best we can through our network. A team store will be up shortly to preorder the Freedom Ride cycling kits and accessories! All orders will benefit the cause!
Whitney: What is something you think we can do on the Freedom Ride to help bring awareness to this issue?
Kate: After speaking with Beth, you have so many bases covered already! Personally, I would like more info on how to recognize the signs, or what to do when I see them. I think most people wouldn’t know what to do, or who to call other than the police.
Whitney: What statistic or fact surprises you most about human trafficking in the U.S.?
Kate: The prevalence in Orange County truly shocked me. Sickened me! I grew up here, went through high school here, run a business here with nearly 100 employees with small children, and it never crossed my mind that so much of it would be happening right under our nose. It has to change.
JL will playing a crucial role in our success, comfort, and how devilishly stylish we will all look cruising down to Newport, and we are SO excited to have them on board!