TKE News

08/12/14
#TekeTuesday - Coast-to-Coast with Frater Chris Rupp

INDIANAPOLIS - Today's #TekeTuesday features Frater Chris Rupp and his coast-to-coast journey from Seattle to Miami for Make-A-Wish Foundation. Tau Kappa Epsilon's Milwaukee Alumni Association reported Frater Rupp's story in their Alumni Newsletter Summer Issue.

As summer approaches, many students begin looking for summer jobs, plan vacations, study abroad or simply become a beach bum. That isn't the case for recently initiated member Chris Rupp (Zeta-Zeta, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee). Frater Rupp has taken on the task of biking from Seattle to Miami to help raise funds and awareness for Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Chris started this journey on May 28, 2014 and has made his way south along the Pacific Coast, continuing to make his way through Missouri. Each day consists of 60-120 miles depending on predetermined stops he arranged before leaving. Spending time as a volunteer firefighter back in Wisconsin, Chris has been welcomed by fire stations along his journey – each allowing him to get a good nights rest. In addition to providing a bed and warm meal, each station along the way has helped contribute towards his fundraising goal of $100,000.

TKE's Milwaukee Alumni Association had the opportunity to sit down with Frater Chris Rupp midway through his coast-to-coast bike ride.

How far have you travelled?
I am currently in Leesburg, VA. I've traveled about 4,700 miles, about 1,700 to go.

What has been the worst segment of the trip?
Whew… that's tough. Biking across the county is 90% mental. It's a battle in yourself to complete each leg. So for me, the hardest was actually Kansas. There was a hard wind from the east that really slowed my progress. From Seattle to the border of Kansas and Colorado, I averaged just shy of 18 mph; across Kansas, I averaged barely 12. It was mentally defeating, the worst elements I faced were in Arizona however, where it was about 112 with the heat index. I thought I was going to die.

Most interesting person you've met?
I would have to say the most interesting person I met was the personal security guard for the Harrison Family – the family that owns and runs the TV show "Pawn Stars". He is a former police officer from the East Coast and he was just huge, intense and funny.

What keeps you going everyday?
It's fun! Beyond the fact it's all for a great cause, it's an adventure. I have no idea what the next five miles have in store and it's just fun. I think sometimes in life we spend too much time trying to plan every detail, and with a ride like this across the country, you just have to roll with it and take things as they come. Also, I receive between 100-200 texts, phone calls, Facebook messages and emails a day offering support. That's huge! I may physically be alone, but I'm never really alone.

How many flats have you gotten?
Shh, we don't talk about this. 14.

Fastest Speed?
53 mph. I climbed Wolf Creek Pass, which puts you up and over the Continental Divide. Coming down is about 15 miles long with parts reaching a 9% decline.

Donations raised so far?
Between $10,000 and $15,000.

At the end of your day/ride, what do you seek out first?
Mountain Dew. When I ride, I eat Skittles, Kit Kats, and M&M's. I crave anything high in sugar and Mountain Dew is the perfect thing.

What are you planning to do next?
It's a secret, but I have plans. I spent 7-9 hours a day on my bike with me and my thoughts. It's going to be awesome. The only hint… it's global.

As of August 11, 2014, Frater Rupp reached Orlando and should be nearing his destination shortly. You can view photos of his trip by visiting his Facebook page HERE. You can visit his Make-A-Wish page HERE.

For more information, or to share your own story, please contact:

Daniel Klopfenstein
Communications Specialist
317.872.6533 Ext. 252
Dklopfenstein@tke.org