The cross-country bicycle voyage came about in 1987 when a Pi Kappa Phi alumnus, Bruce Rogers, cycled across the country to shed light on the efforts of the organization. In 1988, The Ability Experience formed a team of 21 Pi Kappa Phi brothers to complete the challenge.
This summer, more than 70 brothers from universities across the nation participated in the expedition. Supporters raised over $600,000 in donations for the organization in the last three months. According to The Ability Experience website the purpose of Journey of Hope 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.”
The fraternity brothers have the option to begin their ride in Seattle through the Transamerica route; San Francisco through the North route; and Los Angeles, through the South route. All of the routes end at the ultimate finish line: the nation’s capitol, Washington, D.C.
Three of ASU’s Pi Kappa Phi brothers, Miguel Lopez, Timothy Earl and Zachary Bryant, rode the South route together. When asked how they prepared for the challenge, Lopez stated that they began training a year in advance. “Tim and I would spend our weekends cycling around Scottsdale or cycling down Maricopa just to prepare,” Lopez said. Lopez said he biked around 60 miles most days before the journey, and the training paid off. Most of his days during Journey of Hope consisted of biking more than 100 miles.
Another brother of Pi Kappa Phi, Benjamin Hook, rode the Transamerica route and said the different routes provided different experiences. “It’s not necessarily the route that differentiates the experience as it is the personal connections we all made and the people who inspired us to ride,” Hook said.