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The UCF chapter of Global Zero looped Gemini Boulevard Sunday to raise awareness of the need to eliminate nuclear weapons. Video by Caroline Glenn, Central Florida Future

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Bikers rode along Gemini Boulevard for Global Zero’s Annual Bike Around the Bomb event Sunday morning, traveling the approximate circumference of the potential impact of a nuclear bomb.

The event, hosted by UCF’s Global Zero chapter, aimed to eliminate nuclear weapons by 2030. The bike ride also commemorated the 70th year since the 1945 Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings in Japan.

“It’s a really big school and there are so many people who go here,” said UCF Global Zero Action Corps Leader Veronica Rios.  “That’s why I think it is important because the more people who realize the effect that it can have and can imagine this being completely demolished, it becomes real to them. It becomes something that they can feel.”

Although a few decades from its 2030 goal, the chapter’s immediate goals consist of removing nuclear bombs from hair trigger alert so they’ll no longer be able to release within 10 minutes. Rios wants to do what it takes to make this change.

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“If I see something that’s wrong, I want to be able to fix it,” the sophomore political science major said.

The event kicked off at 11:30 a.m. with a speech from the director of Awakening Art and Culture, Nelson Betancourt. He discussed the impact that nuclear weapons have on the world and how important it is to continue to have events like this to promote awareness for the cause.

“To me, it’s getting to the point where we need to realize that we need another way. The 21st century is calling us to deal with these issues in a different way,” said Betancourt, whose father died of nuclear contamination while working at a test site in Alaska. “It’s no longer about competition, it’s about cooperation.”

Following his speech, eight bikers sped off on the 2.6-mile trek around the school. After returning to the meeting spot, Velo Creek Bike & Brew owner Kristina Daugherty said she found what she learned Sunday to be interesting and disheartening.

“Every small, little step helps,” said Daugherty, who added she felt the purpose of the event had been fulfilled. “It may not happen in our lifetime but taking those small steps will help make a difference.”

For more information about upcoming events or to join Global Zero at UCF, visit the group’s Facebook, Twitter or Tumblr.

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Tachianna Mitchell is a Contributing Writer for the Central Florida Future.

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