CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) — Sometimes, the pain is worth the gain. Just ask three fraternity brothers from the College of Charleston who are now in their 40s.
It’s amazing what can happen once the wheels start spinning. Figuratively, and literally.
“We all had to hold each other accountable to make this thing happen.,” said James Island’s Richard Pierce.
Three guys, 20 years removed from their CofC fraternity days, but the bonds of Pi Kappa Phi, and the lifelong promise of philanthropy, got them thinking about pedaling 950 miles. From Miami to Tallahassee, raising money for those with disabilities.
“Called Michael. He said ‘Well, if you do it—I’ll do it with you.’ Called Andrew—Andrew said, ‘I’ll do it with you— as long as our spouses agree.'” said Pierce.
Michael Tecosky had no biking past. He didn’t even own a bike.
“We paid the $50 application fee so there was no backing out. Had to do it. Andrew’s experience, we leaned on,” he said.
Andrew Jaffee is not exactly Lance Armstrong, but — compared to the other two — he is close.
“The cycling piece wasn’t as intimidating because I’d done the trip three times before. It was more like leaving my wife home with the kids for two weeks. Last time I did this I was in my 20’s. I knew it would be different. Follow protocol and training regimen and it sorts itself out,” said Jaffee who lives in Mt. Pleasant.
“We went from a baseline of having to learn to ride a bicycle again to three days on the trip where we exceeded over 100 miles in a day,” Tecosky added. “Everything in between. Had to ramp up pretty quick, but had the resources to get there.”
With a non-cycling crew and plenty of motivation, they raised money. They made their way, over two weeks, from Miami to Florida’s state capital.
“This for me was where we trained our bodies for months and months- learned equipment and prepared for a bike journey,” said Tecosky. “Got down there, and realized on day one it was not about biking at all. The bikes were the means of transportation to get from point A to point B. 14 friendship visits throughout the trip.
“Each one was a memorable experience. Ride 80 miles, then have a dance party for two hours. Our legs were Jell-O, but we were having the best time with folks, who look forward to two things every year— Christmas and the day the bikers show up.”
Pierce wholeheartedly agrees: “I’m not being remotely facetious when I say this trip, the 2.5 weeks I spent on this trip are the best 2.5 weeks I’ve spent in my life.
“To make an impact on other people’s life- to see that impact up close and personal, I have to do it again.”