In 1987, one man’s dream of riding his bike across the country came true. What he did not know was the inspiration and motivation his trek across America would give to The Ability Experience. The very next year his ride inspired The Ability Experience to create the largest fraternal fundraising and awareness event of its kind, the Journey of Hope. Today the Journey of Hope covers 32 different states, cycling nearly 12,000 miles combined, it is solely comprised of members of Pi Kappa Phi and continues to spread a message of acceptance and understanding for people with disabilities.
Journey of Hope reaches out to people through newspapers, radio and television, civic groups and community leaders, reaching millions of people annually and bringing to the forefront the abilities of people with disabilities. From the inaugural team of 21 team members raising $20,000, the team has since been expanded into three different routes of 38 Pi Kappa Phis and annually raises more than $500,000. One man’s dream made it all possible.
Journey of Hope is a cross-country bicycle trek beginning in San Francisco (North), Long Beach (South) and Seattle (TransAmerica) and ending together with all teams in Washington, D.C. (view route map). The event raises funds and awareness for people with disabilities. Simply put, the Journey of Hope is a ride with a purpose. Make no mistake; this is not a simple ride. Journey of Hope is about many things. It is about challenging the norm. It is about serving our communities. It is about finding out more about ourselves than we ever imagined. It is about having a dream. It is about a mission. It is about hope.
The true impact of the Journey of Hope can be felt through its programming across the nation. After riding an average of 70 miles a day, you won't find team members napping preparing for the next day's ride. They will be dancing at a friendship visit with a local group that supports people with disabilities, participating in a game of wheelchair basketball, performing puppet shows to educate children on the abilities of people with disabilities, and learning life lessons that will impact them for the rest of their lives. This journey is service beyond self and the men of Pi Kappa Phi have been dedicated to people with disabilities since 1977.