Pedal For Life was born one decade ago when the brothers of the SigEp California Alpha chapter at UC Berkeley were seeking a way to continuously and meaningfully give back to the community. In doing this they began a tradition that has persisted since: a 500 mile philanthropic bike ride designed to raise awareness and funds for causes that impact our community and beyond, while challenging the riders’ physical and mental strength and bringing them closer throughout the ride. On May 17th, 2016, we will begin this adventure yet again at the iconic Sather Gate at UC Berkeley, and over the course of the proceeding five days bike 500 miles to the Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles, arriving certainly exhausted but fulfilled and amazed by the experience nonetheless. We invite you to follow us on our journey via social media, and greatly appreciate any and all donations, 100% of which will go straight to our charity this year, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).
This year, our cause, JDRF, is of particular importance to us since one of our brothers lives with Type 1 diabetes. JDRF works every day to change the reality of this disease for millions of people—and to prevent anyone else from ever knowing it—by funding research, advocating for government support of research and new therapies, ensuring new therapies come to market and connecting and engaging the T1D community. JDRF has funded more than $2 billion in research to date and made significant progress in understanding and fighting the disease.
Please join us on our journey by following us on social media and consider donating to JDRF. In the past 3 years, through PFL, SigEp Cal Alpha has raised nearly $20,000 for our causes, with just under $9,500 raised last year alone. Every penny donated will go directly to JDRF and help fund the next generation of research focused on ending Type 1 diabetes.
This cause lies especially close to our hearts at Cal SigEp, as our current president (who will embark on this trip) suffers from type 1 diabetes. We ask for your support in raising funds and awareness to support our brothers as well as the many others who suffer from these diseases. Over the past three years, Pedal For Life has raised $20,000 for CCFA, the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation. This year we hope to raise $10,000 for JDRF, bringing our collective impact to $30,000 towards our respective charities' missions. Click the donate link to make a contribution today; your part is invaluable, and we are excited to carry ourselves 500 miles to earn your support. Thank you!
Pushing through the ride alongside some of my closest friends and spending each night in the presence of my fellow brothers served to reinforce the bonds I had built throughout the school year.
PFL is an adventurous tradition for post-finals destressing, a 500 mile testosterone fueled hammerfest/ race, and a charitable cause that directly impacts one of my closest friends at Berkeley.
Day 1: We rise bright and early at the SigEp house, unite under Sather Gate for the first of many photos, and embark on an ~105 mile day to Sunset State Beach in Watsonville. We wind through backstreets to escape the urban sprawl before finally emerging onto the beautiful (but hilly) open roads that take us down to Santa Cruz.
Day 2: After packing up the tents and eating an energy-filled breakfast we depart for our next campsite: Pfeiffer Campgrounds in Big Sur State Park. A quick stop for lunch in Monterey is proceeded by a journey into the beautiful hills that characterize Big Sur. A dip in the river is a refreshing and fun end to a good day.
Day 3: Saying goodbye to beautiful Big Sur takes us through more hills and scenery along the coast as we make our way down to Morro Bay, stopping at the popular Ragged Point along the way for a break and some food. As the legs grow weary from multiple days in the saddle, the first of two days entirely on the Pacific Coast Highway can be a real challenge, and we are left to push through and motivate each other to keep going!
Day 4: The trip from Morro Bay to Santa Barbara poses the most miles for the riders at 125. With fingers crossed for tailwind we make our way down the coast and through the grapevine, emerging alongside the beautiful southern California beaches. Last year for a fun twist we spent the night with our fellows at UCSB SigEp, pitching our tents on their sand volleyball court. That was certainly a night to remember!
Day 5: The final morning sees the riders physically exhausted but mentally excited for the final push towards our destination at Santa Monica. The beautiful oceanside scenery and (hopefully) warm weather beckon us southward, and as the carnival outline of the pier comes into view around a turn, joyful and excited shouts erupt from the group. The beachside bike path leads us into our destination, where friends and family are cheering us in, many photos are taken, and we celebrate our accomplishment.
Support JDRF and Pedal For Life 2017 with a monetary or in-kind donation and your company logo could appear here, on our jerseys, and on our Facebook page!
2014 marked the first year in which Pedal For Life supported the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America. Led by brother Spencer Pace (now a senior), who suffers from Crohn’s Disease, the ride raised over $6,000 towards finding a cure for the Inflammatory Bowel diseases which CCFA hopes to cure. See above for more information about CCFA and what they are trying to accomplish.
In 2012 Pedal For Life supported the Histio CURE Foundation, an organization founded by the parents of chapter president Nolan McPeek-Bechtold that funds research towards finding the cure for Histiocytosis, a blood disease that affects many youth, including Nolan’s younger brother.