Courtesy photoSome 30 college students set out from the Golden Gate Bridge early Sunday on the first leg of a 4

Courtesy photoSome 30 college students set out from the Golden Gate Bridge early Sunday on the first leg of a 4

Cyclists ride for disability awareness

Some 30 college students set out from the Golden Gate Bridge early Sunday on the first leg of a 4,000-mile cross-country bicycle trip to raise awareness and money for people with disabilities.

Along the way, the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity brothers, from colleges throughout the country, will visit organizations that work with the disabled. The group, known as Push America, said it has raised about $600,000 this year, the 25th anniversary of the Journey of Hope ride.

For 24-year-old Ricky Rascon, who completed his 3,897-mile ride in 2009, the trip benefits not only the groups it supports, but also the young cyclists.

“It was an awesome trip,” Rascon said. “I learned a lot about people with disabilities, in general. It was a big eye-opener for me.”

The native of Aztec, N.M., has a father who is paraplegic and has been in a wheelchair since his 30s.

“That kind of motivated me personally to do the trip,” Rascon said. This year, Rascon is helping organize and handle public relations for the event.

After Sunday’s ride from San Francisco to Napa, the group will head to Sacramento, then across Nevada and the Rocky Mountains, averaging about 75 miles a day until they hit the finish line in Washington, D.C. Post-ride events typically include participation in sporting events such as wheelchair basketball, “friendship visits” with local disability support groups, and educational events with children.

The bicyclists plan to reach the nation’s capital in early August.

The Journey of Hope, which began with just one cross-country rider in 1987, has since expanded to three separate rides, two beginning in San Francisco and one in Seattle, all aiming to spread “a message of acceptance and understanding for people with disabilities,” according to the group’s website.

To donate, visit

Bay Area NewsbicycleLocalSan Francisco

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at

Just Posted

Dave Hodges, pastor at Zide Door, the Church of Entheogenic Plants that include marijuana and psilocybin mushrooms, holds some psychedelic mushrooms inside the Oakland church on Friday, July 22, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Psychedelic spirituality: Inside a growing Bay Area religious movement

‘They are guiding us into something ineffable’

San Francisco Police stand guard outside the Mission Police Station during a protest over the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd on Saturday, May 30, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Fired: California bill aims to decertify police for serious misconduct

By Robert Lewis CalMatters On a Wednesday afternoon in April 2018, Gardena… Continue reading

The Giants and Dodgers face each other again following a May series the Dodgers swept; Dodgers shortstop Gavin Lux caught stealing by Giants second baseman Donovan Solano at Oracle Park on May 23 is pictured. 
Chris Victorio/
Special to The Examiner
Giants vs. Dodgers: What you need to know before this week’s huge series

By Chris Haft Special to The Examiner That grinding noise you’ll hear… Continue reading

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Monday that state employees and health care workers must be vaccinated or undergo weekly testing and wear masks. (Photo by Anne Wernikoff, CalMatters)
California orders vaccine or testing for health care workers, state employees

By Ana B. Ibarra CalMatters Amid an uptick in COVID-19 cases and… Continue reading

Jeremy Kahn and Monica Ho are excellent in San Francisco Playhouse’s production of Lauren Yee’s “The Song of Summer,” being presented live and online. (Courtesy Jessica Palopoli)
Touching relationship at heart of ‘Song of Summer’

Lighthearted SF Playhouse show ‘feels right for this moment’

Most Read