Gear Up Florida

Since 1997, over 500 Pi Kappa Phi men have participated in Gear Up Florida. Each year, the team raises over $80,000 to benefit people with disabilities. Gear Up Florida was created with one mission in mind: to reach out to as many people as possible across the state of Florida, spreading a message of acceptance and understanding on behalf of people with disabilities. Gear Up Florida has served that mission well by creating an event that is touted as "The best two weeks of programming The Ability Experience has to offer."

Join the Adventure

Are you interested in an experience you'll never forget, but need a little more information? Check out our important dates and details page to see what you'd be missing out on!

Meet the 2022 Team

Meet the guys who are representing The Ability Experience in 2022 on their journey across Florida!

2022 Itinerary

Check out the event dates and the cities the team will visit along their journey. Please note that the first date of Orientation is tentative.


For many people with disabilities, isolation can have a substantial impact on one’s sense of self and well-being. After riding an average of 75 miles a day, our teams are dancing, playing games, or leading campfire songs at a friendship visit with a local group that supports people with disabilities. For many of our partner organizations, our team’s arrival each year is something folks anticipate like a holiday. Gear Up Florida is a unique program that also has the ability to draw the attention of local media in markets across the county. This platform enables us to spread a message of awareness and inclusion everywhere we go and help showcase our partner organizations to broader audiences then they could on their own. Our team also provides additional support to organizations through grants each year.



One state, countless memories. This 950-mile cycling event kicks off on the shores of Miami, travels through the Florida orange fields, reaches the Gulf Coast, passes through Orlando, comes back to the Atlantic coast in Jacksonville and culminates at the State Capitol in Tallahassee. The team spreads a message of acceptance and understanding to communities in Florida through newspapers, radio and television, civic groups and community leaders, reaching millions of people annually.

It’s More than Just a Ride…

“Now I have purpose. This experience has opened my eyes to what it really means to be a servant leader. Thank you for your support and for allowing me to really see for the first time why I chose to join Pi Kappa Phi in the first place and be a part of The Ability Experience mission on the road. This trip is much more than a 2-week journey. Gear Up Florida has provided a start to a lifetime of service to others and will allow me to carry what I have learned over the past two weeks into every endeavor I take on in the future.” – Kyle Casey, Delta Alpha (Virginia Tech)


Lead the leaders. Gear Up Florida crew positions enable you to and gain professional skills and make your resume stand out. In addition to supporting the team on the road, you'll lead roles in photography, videography, public relations, social media, health services, finance, community relations, or operations.


In Their Own Words

Listen to a Shared Experience podcast featuring Chael Williams, Theta Alpha (Southern Miss), who overcame challenges to complete Journey of Hope in 2018. He shares his experience and how he was able to make it work.


Want to see more of what summer events look like? Check out our video archive to see the incredible experiences Pi Kapps like you have had over the years!

How do I prepare?

“Raising money is all about sales. Whether you want to go into business or nonprofit, the experience of raising money is invaluable. An interviewer is much more interested in talking about Gear Up Florida/Journey of Hope than an internship. Everyone has internships but very few people have an experience like Gear Up Florida and Journey of Hope. It will make you stand out amidst all the resumes.”
Howard Goldsmith | Psi (Cornell)

Here you’ll find a few resources that may answer questions like: “How do I get a bike?”, “How can I plan out my fundraising”, or “Is it possible to study, work, and train at once?”

Doing a summer event is no small feat, so it may seem like a daunting task. Fear not, most Pi Alphas that have completed these events came in with little to no past fundraising or cycling experience, and 90% end up surpassing their goals! Everyone should have their own Ability Experience, and we give you all of the tools and support to make it possible.

For all of our team members, you’ll receive access to a library of resources that will tell you everything you’ll need to know about fundraising, preparation, training, and safety on the road. You’ll also have monthly coaching calls to walk you through whatever you need. Cyclists have professional cycling coaches hand-tailoring them just the right workouts they need to get in shape, and crew members receive position-specific training from our staff to set them up for success.

Fundraising Plan TemplateAdvice from Top Fundraisers
Fundraising Contact ListGetting Started Fundraising
Getting a Bike GuideWeekly Training Plan
Gear ListCoaches


One-on-one support from our dedicated staff, a professionAL training program from our amazing cycling coaches, and Mentorship from our network of accomplished Pi Alphas is just the beginning.

Did you know most cyclists come in with no road-biking experience? Or that fundraising is daunting for everyone, but we work with you step by step to help you reach your goal. You can even earn useful incentives like a free flight to orientation to cut down on your own expenses for the trip! We’ve helped students and alumni from all over the country participate. If you’re willing to put in the time and effort, we’ll give you tools and resources to make it happen. Contact Patrick Carlson with any questions.

So, what are you waiting for? Apply today!


Apply now