Matt “Beef” Gleason was a rider on NUS’16. This past summer, he joined Bike & Build again, this time as a leader for SUS’18. Even more recently, Beef jumped onto the Lone Star Loop alumni ride in Texas over the new year.
Beef grew up in Broomfield, Colorado. In his free time he bikes, runs, climbs, camps, plays ultimate frisbee, and dreams of his next ride with Bike & Build.
After NUS’16, Beef joined AmeriCorps and began serving with the “I Have A Dream” Foundation of Boulder County. The focus is in assisting under resourced youth and their families in an effort to bring success in school, college, and a career. This is done primarily through after school programming that focuses on academics, social, and emotional development from elementary school through college. He joined the cohort of students that he has been serving half way through 5th grade and will be continuing with them in some capacity through 8th grade.
“Kids are cool, education is very important, but also incredibly fragile, and there are always things that can be improved,” says Beef.
I asked how he is committed to service post Bike & Build, but I think that his actions and realm of work really speak for themselves.
“My first trip with Bike & Build ingrained service into me, which has also led to me becoming a regular monthly volunteer with Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver and the Boulder Homeless Shelter. These past few months I have also made a push to get more involved at the city level. I have organized three city projects that range from volunteer management to boots on the ground assistance at city events and neighborhood clean-ups. I have also remained active with B&B and try to toss my hands wherever they can be of any help.”
Beef plans to grow his involvement with affordable housing for years to come, with aspirations of going back to school for urban & city planning. He says, “I plan to continue working with homeless population in an effort to be apart of the solution. One of my current ‘low key’ dreams is to start an organization similar to what Greg Boyle has done in L.A., but for the homeless…If you haven’t read Tattoos on the Heart, get ya eyes on it. Then we can talk about how to get this non-profit off the ground.”
Matt is an all star alum that we are proud to have in our community. He exemplifies the Bike & Build mission and lifestyle beyond his time out on the road with us. We can’t wait to have him ride again!
Just for fun – here is one of Matt’s favorite ride days on NUS’16:
“Riding into Glacier 2016. Growing up with the Rockies in my backyard, I took those things for granted. It certainly took time away from them to realize that. Do you know how neat they are? Pretty darn. It was also the first quality time I had spent in a National Park…what I was doing before, who really knows? I will forever remember the descent into the visitors center- feeling so free and at ease bombing down the mountain at 45 mph with uncontrollable tears of pure joy. So good. That day was the real deal baby.”