CORVALLIS - Oregon State University senior John Glass hopes to pedal for charity this summer, earning cash as he bikes 3,500 miles across the nation.
Glass, a biology major from Springfield, never hit more than 20 or so miles a week on his bike before he started training this year for his ride. Now he plans to reach 100 miles per day by his starting date on June 8.
But Glass will soon find his trip derailed if he doesn't raise enough advance donations to qualify.
The 63-day trek is part of the "Journey of Hope" campaign, an annual charity event sponsored by the national men's fraternity Pi Kappa Phi.
Two teams of 30 riders each travel simultaneously from San Francisco to Washington, D.C. Since 1977, the Pi Kappa Phi effort has earned more than $3 million for PUSH America, which funds programs to aid people with physical, sensory and emotional disabilities, Glass said.
But, while Glass and his team will collect donations during the ride, bikers are expected to raise at least $4,000 before they begin the journey, Glass said. Donations can be sent to PUSH America, in care of Pi Kappa Phi, 2111 N.W. Harrison St., Corvallis, OR 97330, or, call Glass at 541-754-1493.
Riders will average 75 miles a day, but Glass says mileage will vary, especially across California's Sierra Nevada and Colorado's Rocky Mountains.
"I expect I'll have a few sore muscles the first week or so, but if I can make it through that, I should be all right," Glass said.
Glass is a member of the OSU chapter of Pi Kappa Phi, but it's more than fraternity loyalty that prompted his interest in the trip.
"I'm the only local member this year to participate," he said. "But since I'll be graduating this year and I'll soon have to get a `real job,' I see this as a great chance to go out and get involved and do something for others that can really make a difference in their lives."
Life on the road will be tough, but bearable, Glass said. Lodging will consist of nights on the floors of school and civic buildings. Evenings will be spent in pursuits such as entertaining at children's hospitals.