June 15, 2017 – 60 Miles – Long Beach, CA to Ontario, CA 
Today, the south route of the 2017 Journey of Hope kicked off from Long Beach, California. For the past week, the team which is composed of Pi Kapps from across the country, woke up at 6am and spent the days and nights getting to know and trust one another. I was very nervous about the day’s ride as my training consisted of the flat roads of Florida and today’s route included multiple steep climbs.
We arrived at the Pine Avenue Pier on the shore of the Las Angeles river at 7am, welcomed by friends and family of some of the team members and a nutritious breakfast of muffins, croissants and bananas among others. Finally after a quick circle up and a team prayer our pacelines took off on day one of our journey. Cruising through the city, I was feeling excited to begin this life changing summer.
The first day was great, but it was not easy and there were times when I felt I could not pedal uphill anymore but my paceline teammates helped me out and made sure that I was always alright. They talked me through the mountains and I never stopped pedaling, never stopped and never gave up. During one of those climbs all of the emotions; excitement, anxiety, fear of the future finally all hit me. The thing is, 60 Miles later seeing the hotel, knowing that I climbed more elevation than any place in Florida I realized that my fears and anxiety do not matter because I will continue to push myself and bike every mile for those who can’t. I am excited for the rest of this trip and know it will not be easy but if I never give up I will only become a better rider, man and human being. 
Best Regards,
David H. Hittner
Pi Kappa Phi | KΔ Chapter
Florida Atlantic University