Cross-country cyclists ride through Bay Village
Twenty-eight cyclists and 10 crew members participating in the Journey of Hope cross-country bicycle trek cruised through the streets of Bay Village on Aug. 4, on their ride from San Francisco to Washington, D.C.
The ride is part of The Ability Experience, the national philanthropy of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity with the purpose of instilling lifelong service in its members and enhancing the quality of life for people with disabilities.
After riding an average of 75 miles a day, you won't find team members napping in preparation for the next day's ride. They will be dancing at a friendship visit with a local disability support group, participating in a game of wheelchair basketball, performing puppet shows to educate children on the abilities of people with disabilities, and learning life lessons that will impact them for the rest of their lives. On stops for cycling events, grants are given to local organizations that serve people with disabilities in order to provide new equipment or upgrades to their facilities.
The cycling group was part of The Journey of Hope’s North Route team, one of three teams totaling 90 cyclists crossing the U.S., all arriving in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 13.
With temperatures near 90 degrees as they came through Bay Village, the North Route cyclists were completing the 57th day of their 67-day, 3,630-mile journey. Along the way, the team crossed 14 states in all types of weather: rain in Wisconsin, blistering heat in Utah, and even snow in Colorado. On this day’s route, the riders were traveling 70 miles from Sandusky to Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.
One of the riders was local resident, Jay O’Neill, whose family owns O’Neill Healthcare Bay Village. After the cyclists took a break at the O’Neill home in Avon Lake for lunch and a refreshing jump in Lake Erie, they continued their day’s ride down Lake Road through Bay Village to CWRU, accompanied John O’Neill, Jay’s father.
"It’s quite an experience," said Jay. “At the end of our day we’ll stop at a disability facility and interact with the residents. We’ve stopped at over 80 facilities like children’s hospitals and spina bifida associations during the our trip. The impact that it’s had on other people is amazing, let alone on myself. There’s no way to comprehend all of that.”
After arriving at Case Western, the cyclists planned on spending the following day with the kids at the Cleveland Clinic Children's Rehabilitation Center. Donations to support The Ability Experience’s Journey of Hope can be made at abilityexperience.org.