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Thursday, May 22, 2008

In a nutshell, this is what I'm doing

I'm biking from Providence to Seattle this summer with a non-profit called Bike & Build. I'm riding with 30 other people, 2 of whom I know, the rest I've never met. Each of us has raised $4,000 to ride, and nearly all proceeds go towards funding an affordable house in Rhode Island, built by the Providence Habitat for Humanity. The rest of the money is donated in small grants to affordable housing groups throughout the country.

Aside from raising a ton of money, we also spend about once a week volunteering on pre-arranged build sites along our route. This was my favorite aspect of the trip when I did it last year (I rode from Virginia to Oregon with Bike & Build in the summer of 07'); there's nothing like rolling up to a bare-framed house in the morning and leaving it wrapped in sheeting and a new roof that afternoon.

Additionally, our group also spends alot of time learning about and interacting with the communities we stay with throughout our route- we eat alot of community diners, meet with many affordable housing organizations along the route, and generally attract alot of attention in small towns. These three components- in our roles as fundraisers, volunteers, and representatives of our generation- make Bike & Build an incredibly multifaceted program.

© Jake Stangel
Riding through Colorado, July 2007

Last summer, I learned that riding a bike across the country is an amazing educational tool, one which offers a deep understanding of American culture, civilization, and landscape, on both macro and microcosmic levels. This (along with reports from the road) is the intended purpose of this blog, so bookmark me, stick around this summer, and I'll git'r done.

1 comment:

Jess said...

i'm starting to read.... just an fyi since you asked me to comment on every post ;)
miss you buddy!