The Journey of Hope South Team make their way to Hook Park in Victorville on Saturday. The team is riding across the country to bring awareness and raise funds for people with disabilities. The Journey of Hope South Team make their way to Hook Park in Victorville on Saturday. The team is riding across the country to bring awareness and raise funds for people with disabilities. David Pardo, Press Dispatch
With a group of 90 men split up in three teams of 30 men from Pi Kappa Phi chapters across the country, the Journey of Hope South team rode into the High Desert for the 29th annual Journey of Hope Bicycle Fundraiser in order to raise awareness and funds for those with disabilities.
“We’ve been doing this for years and it’s a great way to get the community involved for a good cause,” said Algernon Dean, public relations coordinator. “Each year we’ve come close to raising $70,000 dollars and we’re hoping to break that.”
Each year, the cross-country bicycle trek covers 32 states and more than 12,000 miles. The three teams split the nation with one traveling the north, one the south and the other pedals through the country’s heartland. The origination is solely comprised of members of Pi Kappa Phi and continues to spread a message of acceptance and understanding for people with disabilities.
The South team began their journey in Long Beach on Friday morning, having stopped in Ontario. From there, the team’s second stop was in Victorville as the group will continue to make their way toward Barstow the next day, followed by Nevada, Arizona, Texas and other states until they reach their final destination in Washington D.C. by Aug. 13.
Eric Weiss, 20, of Boston, said he was introduced to the group by the crew chief last year who encouraged him to take part in this year’s journey. Weiss said the journey so far has been challenging, but also rewarding as he is thrilled to be on a team with dedicated and hard working cyclists.
“This is super new to me seeing as I’ve only been cycling for a couple of months, but I like a challenge,” Weiss said. “We have some amazing guys on the team and we work really hard for a good cause.”
The group began their route at N Haven Avenue in Ontario early in the morning and made their way up to the High Desert and ended their route at the Hook Community Center on Joshua Street later that same afternoon. Dean said all the men who cycled are members of the organization ranging between the ages of 18 to 25. Some of the members come out as far New York and Virginia to participate in the event.