Our overnight hosts shape the Bike & Build experience just as much as build partners, mountain roads, and the individuals who ride on our trips, and we’re wholeheartedly grateful for their help.
Today we are sharing stories from Tim in Avon Lake, OH. They have watched Bike & Build grow since 2003 (!!!!) and have even had some church kiddos join B&B over the years.
How long have you been hosting Bike & Build teams?
It started before I was at this church, but I have been told that the first year may have been 2003 and we have hosted every year since.
Why have you agreed to host B&B year after year?
Our church’s Mission Statement is “Growing People to Serve God and Others” – we believe strongly in mission work. We strive to help where help is needed, we serve those that serve and we raise our children to be in service. We have a strong youth program and Bike & Build is an example to our kids of something they can do (and two have participated recently – Rachel Gates and Emily Young). Other have helped build homes and served on medical missions.
Hosting is a simple thing we can do and it also has become one of church’s social activities. We have a large pot luck dinner and many people pitch in to bring food, to help the riders when they arrive, and people host the riders overnight in their homes. It is not a lot of work and we enjoy meeting the riders and hearing their stories. Proud to offer beds and showers – they certainly seem appreciated!
What are some of your favorite memories with the teams you’ve hosted?
I know many of our parishioners get a kick out of watching the riders go through the food line and how much they try to load on to one plate! In some years, we have also enjoyed picking a winner for best tan-lines!
Tell us about the most unique Bike & Builder you have ever met
I don’t know if I have a favorite rider (other than our own alumni), but I do know there are always a few characters in the bunch and it only takes about 30 minutes to figure out who that may be. Personally, I like checking out the support van and trailer – inside and out those tell a story just by looking at them.
Has anything surprised you about your experience hosting Bike & Build?
I do remember feeding a large breakfast to two riders about 3 years ago, and then they texted me a photo of them eating another breakfast at a restaurant about two hours later.
Our hosts are an invaluable part of what makes our summer programming happen, and Bike & Build alumni carry their experiences with you all for years. The impact on us is clear; have you noticed any impact that Bike & Build has had on your community?
We work with Habitat for Humanity of Lorain County and our church members and home hosts have enjoyed the conversations about affordable housing. I just wish that there would be a two day stop in our area sometime.