Ten members from the Purdue chapter have started a ride of their lives this summer.
In June, the fraternity brothers embarked on a cross-country cycling ride that will take them from the West Coast to Washington, DC on Aug. 8.
Three teams made up of 76 riders, 20 crew and three project managers will cross the country on the annual Journey of Hope trip that raises money and awareness for people with disabilities. The event is sponsored by The Ability Experience (abilityexperience.org), the national outreach project of Pi Kappa Phi national fraternity.
Purdue’s 10 team members tie for the most ever from a single chapter. In 2008, the Colorado chapter had 10 members participate, too. Pi Kappa Phi has nearly 200 chapters nationwide.
Led by project manager Kyle Marpe , a former JOH rider himself, four other Boilermakers will join him on the north team. They include Patrick Hobbins, Mike McBride, Dillon Pike and Jarrod Wagner.
Chapter members on the south team include: Billy Cooke, Mark Fanelli, Dan Heinenkamp, Matt McKee and James Wooldrige.
There is also a trans-America team, but no Purdue chapter members are on it this summer.
The riders and crew will make stops along the way known as Friendship Visits to interact with people with disabilities along the way.
“We had a lot of fun (at the first such visit) and got a glimpse of what the Friendship Visits are like created a lot of excitement for the many more to come,” Pike wrote on June 4.
Pike is one of many recounting his ride through blog entries:
Fellow North teammate McBride is also writing a blog:
“I have thought about the Journey of Hope every single day for the last year,” he wrote on June 7. “There are 27 riders and nine crew from universities all over the country (on the north team), but we share one common goal that instantly bonded us together. I’m just now beginning to get a grasp on the magnitude of this adventure.”
McBride spent the spring in China during a Study Abroad semester.