The Ability Experience is a charitable outreach of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity, which organizes the Journey of Hope cross-country bicycle challenge every year. Since 1977, they have raised over $15,000,000 to support people with disabilities by bicycle trekking from San Francisco (North), Los Angeles (South) and Seattle (TransAmerica) and ending together with all teams in Washington, D.C. “Simply put, the Journey of Hope is a ride with a purpose. Make no mistake; this is not a simple ride. Journey of Hope is about many things. It is about challenging the norm. It is about serving our communities. It is about finding out more about ourselves than we ever imagined. It is about having a dream. It is about a mission. It is about hope.”
This year’s annual North itinerary of the Journey of Hope, the 28th since this philanthropic movement began, peddled its way through the Gold Country, stopping, as it has for the last 26 years, at the St. Sava Mission in Jackson on Tuesday, June 10, where the 27 bicyclists and nine support staff enjoyed a celebratory lunch with members and staff of the Arc of Amador and Calaveras Counties. This would be one of 197 donated, sponsored lunches across the breadth of the U.S.A. where Journey of Hope members get to meet and greet those who benefit from their challenging ride in a series Friendship Visits. In Jackson, Hot dogs, watermelon and homemade chili replenished the riders, who lunched and chatted with the people of the Arc. Later that afternoon, the fraternity men biked over the hill to the Amador High gym where they would bed down for the night after meeting and dining with local Lion’s Club members at Mel and Faye’s Diner in Jackson.