Ride of a Lifetime
Jason Lau ’17 sets off this weekend on a cross-country bike ride that will take him over 3,700 miles and across 13 states — all for a good cause.
Along with other Pi Kappa Phi fraternity members, Lau is part of the Ability Experience’s 2021 Journey of Hope, which raises money and awareness for people with disabilities each summer. The Ability Experience is the national philanthropic initiative of the fraternity.
The San Ramon native leaves from San Francisco on Sunday (June 13) and arrives in Washington, D.C. on Aug. 14. The teams average about 75 miles a day and along the way visit with partner organizations from the disability community.
Lau said he jumped at the chance to join the trip.
“I was just feeling tired of wallowing in this negativity of the pandemic over the past year,” said Lau. “And then as part of this organization, I knew I had the opportunity to make a difference.”
He has already raised his goal of $6,500 and recently increased it to $10,000 by the end of the summer. Proceeds go to organizations that benefit the disabled.
“I’m an aspiring physical therapist and helping those in need has always been close to my heart,” Lau said.
Growing up, he was a competitive swimmer and was always active. An exercise biology major, he started biking at UC Davis.
Still, he said, he had to start training for this trip in November 2020. He said he is determined not let the physical exertion get in the way of the goal of this program — to connect with communities across the country.
“There are some days when we’ll be biking back-to-back 100-mile days,” he said. “Part of my training regimen was just to sit on the bike for five hours-plus so I can get my body prepared.”
And when Lau gets back, he will finalize his application to physical therapy school.
“I’m going to go back to work and make my application as competitive as it can be,” he said. “So this will be my vacation this summer.”