Bicyclists raise awareness for disabilities

By Marc Schoder: PNT Staff Writer

The Journey of Hope bicycle tour made its annual stop in Portales on Monday on its way from San Francisco to Washington, D.C.
“The Journey of Hope is a cross-country cycling event that raises funds and awareness for people with disabilities,” said John James, Project Manager for the South Team.
The journey for the south team started on June 12 and will end on Aug. 13 in Washington.
Members from the team wearing blue, red and white cycling attire took time out to pose for pictures with people with disabilities from the Portales area.
The cycling team was scheduled to continue its journey on Monday in Muleshoe, then on to Lubbock today, according to the team’s project manager.
Push America, a cause started by the Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity in 1977, was started to support people with disabilities. “Each of the cyclists in order to ride had to raise $5,000. One of the cyclists was able to raise $50,000,” James said.
James said the goal for the campaign is to raise $450,000. The first ride for the Journey of Hope was done by Bruce Rodgers, from Oregon to Virginia in 1987.
Push America encourages four core values — abilities, teamwork, empathy and integrity. In each of these areas, Push America strives to exemplify those values through events like Journey of Hope.
“I wanted to do this ride because I wanted to help people with disabilities,” said Vladimir Korshin, a cyclist from the University of Washington at Seattle.
Korshin said many people have misconceptions about people with disabilities. “I am doing this to improve my own character,” said the 19-year-old.
Across the nation, members of the fraternity host different fund-raising and awareness events each summer, including the Journey of Hope, which have raised $10 million on behalf of people with disabilities since 1977, organizers said.