Boise State senior rides bike across U.S. for people with disabilities

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The Pocatello High School grad,  Boise State senior and Pi Kappa Phi Iota Psi Chapter founding father joined 101 other cyclists in a trek from the West Coast to Washington D.C. this summer to raise money for people with disabilities. The ride, called Journey of Hope, has been held every summer since 1987 and is sponsored by The Ability Experience, the philanthropic arm of the Pi Kappa Phi collegiate fraternity.

As one of the founding members of Pi Kappa Phi’s chapter at BSU, Heggenberger is the first person from an Idaho chapter to participate in the cross country bike ride. “At first when I started college, I wanted nothing to do with Greek life,” he said. “But Pi Kappa Phi appealed to me because it had its own nonprofit philanthropic organization (The Ability Experience). I figured if I helped start it at Boise State, I can help guide it.”

The 72-day trek began on June 3 when Heggenberger and 19 other cyclists from across the country departed from Seattle. At the same time, other participating groups of bikers started in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Though each group took a different route across the United States, their final destination was the same Ñ the lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington D.C.

As an exercise science major and former wrestler at Pocatello High School, Heggenberger spent months in advance training for the arduous bike ride. But he said nothing could prepare him for what he encountered on the second day of the trek. “On Day 2, we rode for 130 miles and had to go through two mountain passes on Mount Rainer,” he said. “It was wild. We climbed a total of 9,500 feet at a 6 percent grade.”

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