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Updates for our community

Last Updated on October 13, 2023

What. A. Ride.

From the bottom of our hearts, a giant THANK YOU to the entire B&B community these past two decades. Thank you for your commitment to the cause of affordable housing & educating young leaders. Thank you for your positive attitudes (especially on the days with one too many flats), your sense of humor, your passion for adventure, the miles you rode, the food you shared, the homes you built, the early morning wake ups and the long-lasting sunsets, the dance parties, the proms, the wheel dips, the roadside naps, the inside jokes, the summer flings & life partnerships, the uphills & the downhills, the big moments of awe & the quiet moments of gratitude. Thank you for saying yes, for giving it your all, for finding out something about yourself, and for helping others do the same. You helped make Bike & Build what it was these past 20 years.

While our doors may be closing, our cause has never been more important. Affordable housing as a priority has entered the public dialogue but that is because the affordability crisis has only deepened. In 2023, the average American household now pays >30% of their income to rent. We are short millions of affordable homes, which means millions of cutbacks on other life essentials, millions of families facing the daily stress of making ends meet, millions of dreams deferred. We need bold action & commitments now more than ever and we hope you, the B&B community, continue this fight at a local, regional, and national level for as long as it takes.

Speaking of finding ways to continue B&B’s mission, when the decision was made to sunset the organization, one of the top priorities was to find a way to best ensure the longevity of B&B’s legacy long after the organization had closed. After exploring multiple options and opportunities, we believe we have found a partner that aligns with the essence of what made B&B tick. So while this message serves as our official “goodbye” it is also a first “hello!”

The Field Academy is a traveling school committed to examining the nation through social justice. They seek to connect, engage, empower, and educate young people by exploring the United States. They learn from what surrounds them,and they believe that the world, and not a single building, is their school. Their programs for high school students are committed to rigorous academics, immersive interdisciplinary experiences, the transformative power of travel, and the significance of returning home.

Their Executive Director Anna Graves reached out to us shortly after our Sunset announcement with a dream to build on Bike & Build’s 20 years of legacy and history, to keep our mission alive for generations to come. Not only were we impressed by Anna’s passion for keeping the legacy alive and finding a way to connect it to the work of Field Academy, we were excited to see the alignment in Field Academy’s values to B&B’s: adventure, complexity, young adults, diversity, access, understanding power, challenge, risk, passion, partnership, integrity, humor, resourcefulness. Words that we believe many of us relate to our experiences with B&B.

On the technical side of things, this is part of the normal dissolution process for nonprofits, where they endow whatever remaining assets to similar 501(c)3’s (in B&B’s case this is primarily our wealth of programmatic content). We have taken this task of finding an organization we feel strongly about and have trust to carry on our mission very much to heart, and we do believe this is the best choice for our organization moving forward. 

This does not necessarily mean we will see another summer of cross-country trips in the future. This will likely not look very similar to our current iteration of Bike & Build, as we have learned over the years that our model is not sustainable in today’s world. But we want to invite in the creativity and commitment of our community with a brainstorming & planning process led by Field Academy. 

There are several ways to stay involved and see a continuation of Bike & Build’s legacy in future values-aligned work. If you want to stay involved in whatever happens next, Field Academy is looking for:

  • New Board Reps: Field Academy is looking to add 2 representatives from the Bike & Build community to serve on Field Academy’s Board and lead the planning effort with Anna
  • Alum Participants: B&B’s greatest resource has always been the creativity and passion of its alumni – Field Academy would love to invite you into the brainstorming sessions and hear your ideas
  • Donors: Field Academy is seeking funders who are heartfully invested in the mission & vision of our organizations

Bike & Build was started in 2003 by Marc Bush, inspired by the Sunset of another program, the Habitat Bicycle Challenge. Rebirth is in our history, and we see this opportunity as yet another opportunity for rebirth, to keep our values and work going as soil for Bike & Build’s next life. Bike & Build has the best chance of living on with investment and participation across its community – we hope you’ll take on a role.


And with that, it’s time to head out. We’ve tightened our chinstrap, clipped in our shoes, checked the cue sheet one last time, and are now looking west. To our riders, our hosts, our families, our build partners – thanks for making it the ride of a lifetime. We’ll see you out on the road.