Ride along with Russ Oliver, from San Francisco To Salt Lake City
Published 7:39 pm Friday, June 24, 2022
On June 8, 2022, Trojan Russ Oliver boarded a plane for San Francisco. He was traveling light, except for the boxed bike that would be his mode of transportation from “the Golden City” to the Nation’s capital. A journey of 3,735 miles – A Journey of Hope 2022.
Russ, a Pi Kappa Phi at Troy University, is riding in support of the national Pi Kappa Phi’s non-profit organization, The Ability Experience. Along the long way, the bikers will stop at different disability organizations where they will have opportunities to interact and build friendships with people with disabilities.
On Friday, Russ and his accompanying band of bikers complete 940 miles, Having competed 13 days on the road, the bikers had only two days off the road and on each of three days they logged more than 100 miles — 115, 115 and 125. But not a discouraging word from the young man from Troy.
On Thursday, Russ Oliver wrote: We started in San Francisco with two beautiful training days where we biked around the hills on the bay. The weather was perfect and residents told us that it is usually foggy in San Francisco. Finally, on the first official day of the trip we got the San Francisco fog, except it was more than usual.
We started the trip biking across the Golden Gate Bridge and could not see water or anything at all beside or under the bridge because of how thick the fog was. It was cold and brisk but a very memorable experience. Finally, the fog cleared into a beautiful sunny day as we got out of San Francisco and headed towards Napa.
We then went to Sacramento, then Jackson, and then to Lake Tahoe where we had the infamous 63 mile/10,000 feet climb. I am proud to say that the whole team finished the ride strong. After that we had an off day in Tahoe and then crossed into Nevada.
We have been in Nevada for almost a week and for the most part have been on Highway 50 which was voted the loneliest road in America in Time magazine. We quickly discovered that Nevada is the most mountainous state in the country and that most people pronounce the name Nevada wrong!
I find western and especially eastern Nevada very beautiful, but when we were in central Nevada going down the same road through the high desert for hundreds of miles, we all felt like we were losing our sanity just a little bit. The rides were still absolutely beautiful though and we wouldn’t change it for anything.
The friendship visits have also been incredible. We had our first big one in Jackson, California at the arc of Amador and Calaveras counties. We had a great time meeting and hanging out with all the people with disabilities. That day I had the privilege to spend most of my time playing guitar with a man named John who loved Johnny Cash.
We also had another great friendship visit in Fallon, Nevada with people with disabilities from all over that part of the state. We spent most of our time dancing with all the participants to YMCA and Gangnam Style, to name a few songs. We are crossing into Utah tomorrow and will be heading toward Delta, then the next day we will be heading toward Salt Lake City. I can’t Delta, then the next day we will be heading towards Salt Lake City. I can’t wait to see Utah and then Colorado and experience all of the friendship visits in these states!
Can’t wait to see Utah and then Colorado and experience all of the friendship visits in these states!