Bike journey passes through Portales

Bryant Million

The Journey of Hope’s annual fund-raising bike ride across the nation stopped Monday in Portales.

The journey is held by Push America, an organization founded by the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity in 1977 in order to commit themselves to enhancing the lives of people with disabilities.

Nineteen cyclists arrived at City Hall to visit and hang out with people with disabilities from the Eastern New Mexico Rehabilitative Services for Handicapped of Clovis.

This is the fourth year the Journey of Hope cyclists have stopped in Portales and the third year that the ENMRSH have come out.

“It gives (the cyclists) a chance to socialize with the people they are fund raising for,” said Veda Urioste, a deputy clerk at City Hall. “And it provides (the ENMRSH) with a new environment and a chance to get away. It’s great.”

The cyclists also had dinner that evening at the Southside Church of Christ where they put on a puppet show called “Kids on the Block.” The puppet show is meant to show the abilities of people with disabilities and to raise awareness that they aren’t all that different, said Byron Irving, the public relations coordinator for the Journey of Hope South team.The team started their journey on June 7 in San Francisco, Calif., and will arrive in Washington, D.C., on Aug, 12 along with the two other teams.

Before the start of the trek across the country, each cyclist is required to raise $5,000 for people with disabilities.

“If I can inspire, educated or change the point of view on the abilities of people with disabilities then this entire summer will be well worth the effort,” said Steve Platte, a cyclist from Colorado State University.
The team traveled 95 miles from Roswell on Monday, stayed overnight in a dormitory at Eastern New Mexico University, and will start their journey again Tuesday by traveling 50 miles to Muleshoe, Texas.
The team will visit 63 cities and ride 4,000 miles before they reach their destination at the nation’s capital. They will travel an average of 75 miles per day.