Pi Kappa Phi Brothers Bike Cross Country For People with Disabilities

By: Kim Cung - Email
By: Kim Cung - Email

Twenty-four cyclists from universities around the country are riding eight hours a day to promote acceptance for people with disabilities.

The brothers of Pi Kappa Phi have biked more than two thousand miles so far. Monday they arrived in Grand Island to open arms for the very people they were riding for.

A crowd cheers loudly as 24 cyclists ride into the Midtown Holiday Inn, one of the stops on the Journey Of Hope. The cycling event pushes to spread a message of acceptance and understanding for people with disabilities.

"This has been the biggest crowd we've ever had for an arrival and the feeling's just incredible. A sense of pride just grows inside, and you just look forward to the next day each and every time with all these friendship visits. It definitely is rewarding," said Derek Torres, a student from New Jersey Institute of Technology.

For Torres, the ride is more than just spreading awareness - it's a personal statement.

"I was diagnosed with autism as a kid and was told I'd never have a normal life, and I just wanted to prove those people wrong and do the impossible basically," said Torres.

The brothers ride for an average of 75 miles a day, but some days that number goes up to 120.

"This trip has definitely given an eye out to not just me, but a lot of the fellow cyclists on just anything in life, that we can achieve almost anything we put our mind to," said Michael Potts, a student from California State University in Long Beach.

Here in Grand Island, the brothers are able to spend time with people of all ages with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

"It's inspiring to just see them get on the bike every single morning and finish a day and still have the energy to come to a visit like this with The Arc and just keep that energy up," said Francis Ahrens, the PR Coordinator for the North Route.

Tomorrow, the group will be eating a friendship lunch with the local chapter of The Arc, which promotes human rights for people with disabilities.


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