Last Updated on February 3, 2023
Dear Bike & Build Community,
As the saying goes: There are no bad days on Bike & Build, some days are just better than others. Today, sadly, is not one of those better days as it is with heavy hearts we are announcing the plan to sunset Bike & Build after this summer’s programming – our 20th year pedaling for affordable housing.
Over the years, rider recruitment for our summer programming has been dwindling. Our past and current staff & board members have chased down every idea, lead, and partnership to keep our organization, and therefore our mission, afloat. The COVID-19 pandemic made this challenge more difficult as we canceled trips two years in a row and lost our #1 source of recruitment – recent alumni. The dip in rider enrollment combined with rising costs (gear, vehicles, fuel, etc.) has put Bike & Build in survival mode for too long. Our mission may be more relevant than ever, but our model is no longer sustainable.
We’re telling you now because we owe it to you, our community, to be up front about the status of the organization. We are still working through the nitty gritty details (sunsetting is no simple task) and will continue to communicate as openly as possible throughout the process.
To that end, B&B is committed to spending the coming months meeting these goals:
- Run safe summer programming
- Throw a B&B-worthy 20th birthday party in NYC this May
- Determine the best way we can still uphold our mission
- Support our dedicated, talented staff
- Give B&B the exuberant, communal, celebratory sendoff it deserves
While today may not be one of the better days, there are still many that lie ahead – and we want you to play a part. Consider this an invitation to join us in our ‘Sunset Era.’ We would love to see as many familiar faces as possible for one final hurrah, however you can be a part of it. See below for some of the ways you can participate with us this year.
Bike & Build has been and always will be the sum of the collective love and support this community has provided over the years. We owe each of you a deep debt of thanks and gratitude for all of the laughs, the miles, the DMs, the Sweepstakes, the cooler lunches, and the unbreakable spirit of optimism. We hope you join us in the celebration as we get ready for this last ride.
Much love and, as always, in spandex,
B&B Board and Staff
Our 20th birthday party is May 5-7th in New York City.
The event is open to the whole B&B community (alumni, hosts, build partners, etc.) – we’d love to see you all there.
Ride on the official B&B team in the Five Boro Bike Tour (part of our birthday weekend celebrations)
Explore all the heart of the country has to offer on our Central US route (May 29-August 14)
Join us for the final B&B ride, Drift West (July 28-August 21)
NOTE: For Drift West we are lifting the age cap for B&B alumni and offering ½ and ⅔ trip options to ensure as many people can participate as possible
Donate to a route or rider
Sponsor a meal (donation or meet the teams along the route!)
Skillsets we could use as we work through sunsetting:
Party-planning (help us throw one heck of a B&B party)
NY-based attorneys (help us work through the legal stuff)
CPAs (help us prep for final audits)
Got a skillset that might be helpful but isn’t listed or just have a question / idea? Reach out to us at [email protected]
Did we really try everything?
Truly, yes, we have tried everything in our power. We’ve cut costs as much as possible, explored funding options outside rider fundraising, sought out foundation support, sought out sponsorships, applied to numerous grants, held fundraisers, sold our van fleet, tried out new recruitment events, pushed hard with social media, engaged recent alumni, applied for PPP loans during the pandemic, to name a few.
And yet, we are open to any connections that our network might bring to us to consider the possibilities for a different model or different future for B&B.
Why should I donate if B&B is sunsetting?
Bike & Build has impacted thousands of alumni and friends over the past 20 years. We want to make sure our 2023 participants have that same opportunity at a life changing summer so many experienced. In order to do that safely, the organization needs to be fully staffed through the end of programming, and summer riders should have everything they need to engage all our hosts and build partners along the way.
Any donation you make from this point forward is supporting our last crew of riders and making sure that we honor the Bike & Build legacy with a summer of celebration.
How can we make sure the B&B legacy lives on?
Our board members are currently exploring any options that might become available to make sure the Bike & Build legacy prevails. While it is clear that our current model is no longer sustainable, the mission, work, and history of B&B are invaluable. If any connections or ideas come up for you, please send us an email at [email protected].