Fraternity brothers bike across Florida for charity
VENICE - Dozens of cyclists take a break in Venice on their 800 mile biking journey through Florida. These brothers are not letting weather, fatigue or love bugs stop them on their mission.
Through their fraternity’s The Ability Experience initiative, Pi Kappa Phi take to the open roads on two wheels spreading their message of acceptance and understanding for those with disabilities. Annual cycling event 'Gear Up Florida' starts in Miami and ends at the State Capitol in Tallahassee.
“It’s been awesome so far, meeting guys from all around the country, coming together with one mission to help serve people with disabilities. It’s awesome to see the funds that we raise go to these organizations," said cyclist William Meier.
According to AbilityExperience.org, the chapters raise more than $750,000 annually for the cause. Many of the Pi Kappa Phi brothers say meeting with the people they help is the best part of the ride.
“Some of the days on the bike are a little long, but once we get to the “friendship visits” and we actually get to work with the people with the disabilities and see where all of the money we raised and the hard work goes, it’s all worth it in that moment," said cyclist Campbell Boston.
It takes the team almost two weeks to complete the state-wide ride. “So I started training for this trip in about November, and we actually have some really great team coaches," said Meier.
Members say staying hydrated is one of the most important elements to a successful ride in the Florida heat. The team averages 75 miles a day pedaling from city to city.
“We’ve done almost 200 miles in the past three days so it’s just a lot to get used to real quick," said Boston.
With Venice being roughly the halfway mark for this group, the cyclists say this challenging bike ride has been a memorable and rewarding one so far.