Crew member Patrick Lynch explained the men are members of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity, and the trip is one leg of the Journey of Hope, which is put on by the fraternity’s national philanthropy, The Ability Experience.
“The whole cause that we work for is the differently abled and kind of bringing awareness and funds for people with disabilities, both intellectual disabilities and developmental,” he said. “The Journey of Hope is a cross-country cycling ride, so we’re the south route.” Lynch said the crew of the south route left Long Beach, Calif., June 12, and they will meet the central and north route crews in Washington, D.C. Aug. 8.
“This is for the common cause of raising awareness for people with disabilities,” he said. “We’ve raised more than $570,000 so far between the three routes.” At each stop the team makes a “friendship visit” with a local organization, Lynch said.
“We go down to those different friendship visits and hang out with the participants and hang out with the staff, and the money that we raise goes toward grants for those different organizations,” he said. “It’s nice to see where the money is going.” Cyclist Grant Uselman, a student at the University of Washington, said it’s been an amazing adventure so far.
“It’s been a lot greater than I originally thought,” he said. “I was originally looking for something to do this summer, and I found this opportunity through my fraternity.” Uselman said he had never really seen the south before starting the cross-country trip.