Bike & Build: Young cyclists roll through Tri-State, volunteer with Habitat

Riding for affordable housing

CINCINNATI -- Try to imagine riding your bicycle almost 4,000 miles across the country. It's a trip that can take as long as 10 weeks, sometimes longer, depending on your pace and experience.

I'm a cyclist, and just thinking about it makes me feel fatigued.

It's the kind of feat that requires a number of rest days throughout the trip, to be sure.

Now, imagine embarking on this trip, knowing that 10 of the days you'll get to spend out of the saddle will not actually be spent resting. 

You'll be building a house instead.

Phew.

That's exactly the kind of excursion upon which 32 young adults from all over the country recently embarked, and on Monday, they landed in the Tri-State.

The group is called Bike & Build, a Habitat for Humanity partner program that gives 18 to 25-year-old cyclists the chance to see and experience Habitat's efforts to address the country's continued need for affordable housing.

RELATED: Springdale senior cycling for good cause

The group of cyclists arrived in the Tri-State on Monday, staying at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Fort Thomas, to work on a Habitat for Humanity build on Mulberry St. in Lockland.

They'll roll out for two more days of riding tomorrow, just one day after spending eight hours building.

So far, these cyclists have ridden 776 miles in 18 days. They've stopped for three of those days, but only to build. So far, the cyclists have had no rest days. Their route stretches across the central region of the country, from Virginia Beach, Virginia to Cannon Beach, Oregon, just west of Portland. It will take them 75 days to span the route.

Bookmark this page to check back in on the cyclists' progress later!

In addition to Cincinnati's Mulberry St. build site, the group will stop in nine other cities to build, including St. Louis, Denver, Idaho Falls, and Portland. The group has already stopped in Charlottesville, Virginia.

DONATE: Contribute to their cause here

"We are deeply proud that Bike & Build has 265 riders this year who are so committed to the affordable housing cause that they are willing to raise much-need funds and spend two months of their summer biking across the country," said Justin Villere, Bike & Build's director of operations and outreach.

"Bike & Build provides the opportunity; it's the riders who make the impact," he said.

In order to participate in the trip, which on this route lasts 75 days, each rider raised at least $4,500 to help fund costs and donations toward affordable housing. That equates to at least $1.2 million this year alone.

Follow Pat LaFleur on Twitter (@pat_laFleur) for the latest in all things bicycling and alternative transportation in the Tri-State.

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