Pi Kappa Phi student bikes across US, raises awareness

Nicholas Colegrove, sophomore in LAS, stands in front of the bike he will be riding across the country this summer. Colegrove will be raising awareness for people with disabilities who face isolation in partnership with the The Ability Experience’s Journey Of Hope.

Photo Courtesy of Nicholas Colegrove

Nicholas Colegrove, sophomore in LAS, stands in front of the bike he will be riding across the country this summer. Colegrove will be raising awareness for people with disabilities who face isolation in partnership with the The Ability Experience’s Journey Of Hope.

By Gwyn Skiles, Features Editor

Feet lifting up and down, a national band of brothers in the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity pedal across mountains and push through the heat of arid lands, only stopping to eat, sleep and visit people with disabilities.

This is The Ability Experience’s Journey Of Hope — an expedition where Pi Kappa Phi fraternity brothers bike across the country raising awareness toward the social isolation that many people with disabilities face. 

Sporting a neon green T-shirt, Nicholas Colegrove, sophomore in LAS, will represent the University and embark on the bike ride of his lifetime.

“This is a very new experience for me,” Colegrove said. “I’m excited to live differently.”

The group started in San Francisco, California and will end in Washington, D.C. on August 14, biking a total of about 3,725 miles. Most days, Colegrove will bike an average of 60 miles per day. However, some days he will bike 125 miles.

Colegrove began training for his trip across the country by running bike deliveries for the Jimmy Johns on campus. 

“I biked about 20 miles a day,” Colegrove said.

Since quitting his job and returning to his hometown in Edgebrook, Illinois, Colegrove bikes trails and builds endurance by sprinting as long as he can.

To get an idea of what he’s in for, Colegrove has talked to brothers that went on the trip during past summers. He has also researched various hacks and packing tips.

Colegrove shared ways he planned on packing food. 

“If you crush four cans of pringles, they all fit in one can,” Colegrove said. “It makes for a good bike snack that you can easily pack.”

Colegrove said he has heard horror stories about cyclers fainting and needing to be picked up. However, he said he feels safe because a van filled with supplies follows them in case of an emergency. 

While bracing himself for harsh conditions and physical fatigue, Colegrove said he mostly feels excited. Colegrove said he hasn’t been to most of the cities they will visit, and is thrilled to get the opportunity to explore. 

He said he’s most excited about the volunteering aspect of the trip. 

“I have relatives with disabilities and they’re just the nicest people,” Colegrove said. “I love spending time with them.”

 

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