Cycling team visits Horizons, Boys & Girls Club in Craig | CraigDailyPress.com

Cycling team visits Horizons, Boys & Girls Club in Craig

Nate Waggenspack

At the end of a 90-mile bike ride, most would be ready to kick back and relax after a lengthy workout, but the group of fraternity brothers who rode into Craig on Thursday were far from done.

After completing another leg on their cross-country cycling trip, a part of Push America's Journey for Hope, the team of 24 riders from Pi Kappa Phi fraternity met with local children at the Boys & Girls Club of Northwest Colorado and put on a puppet show for disability awareness. The Journey for Hope raises money and awareness for people with disabilities.

After that, they had dinner and visited with the people at Horizons in Craig, giving them company for an evening.

The bike ride is what catches people's attention, but the riders said it's the events after each day's ride matter most.

"The bike riding is kind of like our obstacle for each day," said Ryan Alkire, a Virginia Tech student from Richmond, Virginia. "This is the stuff that makes it worthwhile."

The team rode to Craig from Dinosaur on Thursday and are about 1,200 miles into their ride from San Franciso, California, to Washington, D.C. Along with a central and southern route that they will meet in D.C., about 100 riders are completing the Journey for Hope this year and have raised more than $550,000 for their cause.

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Their first full ride in Colorado, the trip from Dinosaur to Craig was one the team enjoyed.

"Today was a nice day," said Ethan Murray, a Texas Christian University student from Newport Beach, California. "We had some conversation lanes. Anytime the shoulder is wide enough for you to go two wide and you can talk, that makes for a fun ride."

"It was beautiful and we had a lot more of the rollers (hills) today, which was actually nice to have something a little different," Alkire added.

The rides will get much steeper in the coming days, as the team bikes to Steamboat Springs Friday and then heads toward Denver after that. But most riders spent some time on bikes training for the trip and now a few weeks into their trip, they are adjusted to the high daily work level.

"I've ridden on track bicycles mostly, so working with gears was a new concept for me," Murray said. "I think we're all novice cyclists of different levels. But you get used to it. I think we all feel comfortable now."

"It's been incredible so far. It's been a great experience. Getting to know the other riders and meeting people on these stops every day, it's what we look forward to."

Contact Nate Waggenspack at 970-875-1795 or nwaggenspack@craigdailypress.com. Follow him on Twitter at @CDP_Sports .