Eighty-two college students are seeing America from the slow lane this year, bicycling cross-country to raise money on behalf of people with disabilities.
The Journey of Hope members left from Seattle and San Francisco in three separate bike tours to ride northern, southern and central routes to Washington DC. They're expecting to raise about $500,000.
No sleeping in late for these guys. They hit the road early, cover an average 75 miles, then do some activities with people with disabilities in a host town or work on a volunteer project. It should be quite an interesting tale for “How I Spent My Summer Vacation” essays.
It's a supported ride, so they don't have to carry their gear on the bike or worry about shopping for food, cooking dinner and finding a place to camp.
The ride is a fund-raiser for PushAmerica, and it has been happening every year since 1988. All the cyclists are members of Pi Kappa Phi fraternities from colleges across the US.
There's a Journey of Hope website with journals, maps and links to photos taken along the route. There's a journal for each route, and cyclists from the different colleges take turns writing about their experiences for the day.
What I like about this tour, besides the cross-country bicycling aspect, is the interaction between these college students and people with disabilities. I hope they remember their bike tour experiences in latter life when they have an opportunity to include people with disabilities in employment or social situations.