It’s not about the bike


    Sophomore Blaine Kauk was out for a bike ride one day when he overlooked a stop sign.

    A police car driving down the road pulled him over. The officer said he nearly hit Kauk and then wrote him a ticket.

    “I almost laughed at him as he jotted down trek for the make of my vehicle and then asked why I did not have my driver’s license while I was biking,” said Kauk, a finance and management major.

    Kauk went to court over the issue and paid nearly $100 in fines, but has managed to erase the violation from his driving record.

    That afternoon is just one of the many that Kauk and his friends Cole Bryan, a senior political science major; Ryan Motola, a senior accounting and finance major; and Andrew Hepworth, a sophomore political science major, have devoted to training for Journey of Hope.

    Journey of Hope is a cross-country bike ride that begins in San Francisco and ends in Washington D.C., covering about4,000 miles over 64 days.

    Push America, the non-profit organization of Pi Kappa Phi, sponsors the event in order to raise funds and help people with disabilities.

    The House of Student Representatives passed a bill last week that allocated $4,000 for the riders. Each participant has committed himself to raising a minimum of $5,000, but the quartet has set a goal of $7,000 apiece.

    “The SGA grant of $1,000 went a long way in helping me meet my goal,” Bryan said.
    SGA also provided funds to last summer’s riders.

    “We are very appreciative of what SGA has done to help us,” Motola said.

    “During the ride our main focus is spreading our mission statement: Building ethical leaders of tomorrow by serving people with disabilities today,” Hepworth said.

    Push America selects 70 applicants from Pi Kap chapters across the country. The participants are divided into two groups, both depart June 13 and arrive Aug. 15, Motola said.

    One group rides the north route and the other rides the south route, which passes through the Fort Worth-Dallas area, Kauk said.Although participation is restricted to members of the Pi Kap fraternity, the quartet stressed that the Journey of Hope should not be considered just another fraternity event.

    “When I am riding, I am representing the TCU campus as a college student serving people with disabilities,” Hepworth said.

    Each day the riders get up around 6 a.m., ride an average of 70 miles, take a shower, meet with the media and then participate in the real purpose of the trip: friendship visits, Bryan said.

    Friendship visits give the riders time to interact with volunteers and people with disabilities, Hepworth said.

    Visit activities range anywhere from wheelchair basketball to helping in schools for children with special needs, Bryan said.

    Each of this summer’s participants has his own method of training, but fund raising takes up a lot of their time.

    Last year, Journey of Hope raised a record amount of more than $400,000, which was donated to different facilities across the country, fraternity members said. Before the race, the riders turn in their total amount raised to Push America, which then takes the money and disperses it to organizations throughout the country through grants and projects, Motola said.

    The quartet also hopes to hold a bike-a-thon at the end of March in the Student Center. They plan to set up a stationary bike and a table, taking turns riding, answering questions and accepting donations in an effort to raise funds and awareness, Motola said.