The ride, called the Journey of Hope is hosted by The Ability Experience and aims to raise money and awareness for people with disabilities and those individuals and groups that work to support them. On Monday afternoon, the Journey of Hope riders made their annual stop in Park City, where they visited the National Ability Center to learn about what the NAC does and help with various projects around the site. For many of the cyclists, it was their first time seeing Park City.
“Park City is awesome,” James O’Neill, a 21-year-old student from Ohio State University, said. “I kind of grew up skiing. I came out west six years ago, but my family usually sticks to the Breckenridge/Vail area, so being in Salt Lake and Park City for the first time has been cool. It’s good to see mountains again.”
For others, like 19-year-old Michael Dailey of Northwestern State University in Louisiana, riding through the western U.S. has been a drastically new experience.
“It’s my first time seeing mountains or ski slopes,” Dailey said. “It’s really pretty here.”
Both Dailey and O’Neill got involved with the Journey of Hope to expand their horizons and support groups of people they knew little about.
“What better way to spend a summer than travelling across the country for a good cause?” Dailey said.
“Before this, I really hadn’t worked with people with disabilities very often, so I didn’t really understand anything about them. This trip has been super eye-opening and I have a new understanding and a new view on it.”
O’Neill said he’d worked with disabled children at a YMCA camp near his home in Ohio, so he was immediately drawn to his fraternity’s Journey of Hope cause.