Bike & Build Basics

Bike & Build is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but it requires a significant commitment. This page is your first resource to help you complete the trip.

Fundraising Basics

All Bike & Build participants are required to raise the fundraising minimum ($5,000 for cross-country trips; $2,400 for Drifts). It’s a challenge – we’ve been there! But you’ll have your own fundraising page to send to your friends, family, social media network, and many others. We’ve also aggregated the best fundraising ideas that have worked for our alumni to help you hit your mark.

We also have cash incentives to reward those who blow past the minimum. After all, the more you raise, the more you grant to the cause.

* If a rider has not raised the money by the first day of orientation, he or she will not be able to ride. No exceptions.

Training Expectations

Motivation, desire, and enthusiasm will take you a long way, but if you’re planning on biking 4,000 miles, you’ll need strength, stamina, and killer quads. The good news is that everyone is capable of completing a trip of this magnitude – people who barely ride before enrolling have successfully completed B&B. It’s just going to require some work beforehand: at least 500 miles, to be exact.37 - Glimpse of the Ocean - Amy Zhou

All XC riders pledge to ride at least 500 outdoor miles (spin classes not included) prior to reporting to orientation, including at least one ride over 65 miles. Drift riders need to ride 500 miles with a 65+ mile ride to prepare for their three weeks on the road.

Affordable Housing Curriculum

Pre-trip, each rider is expected to spend at least ten hours volunteering on the build site with a local affordable housing organization. You will also participate in our Affordable Housing Curriculum. Before the summer, you will engage in discussions with teammates about affordable housing issues. You’ll also meet one-on-one with a local affordable housing beneficiary. We want you to be a knowledgeable advocate for the cause!MEATeamTurner

Getting Your Bike

Bike & Build provides our riders with a new bicycle, a Giant Defy (men) or Avail (women). At the end of the trip, you keep your bike. You may also request to use your own bike; if approved, you will receive a fundraising credit.

Bicycles will be ordered and shipped when riders have raised $1,000 and pass our safety quiz. Shipping costs B&B $65 – riders cover this through extra fundraising (i.e. you ultimately fundraise $4,565).

Riders that drop out before the end of the trip must return their bike to Bike & Build or purchase it from us.

* The $2,400 fundraising minimum for Drift participants does not include a bike. Riders may choose to raise additional funds to get a bike through Bike & Build, bringing the total fundraising to $3,165 for a full Drift trip. If a Drift participant chooses to fundraise for a bike, the minimum they must raise is $1,000 before they are eligible to receive it.


Cycling does require specialized gear. Once enrolled, you will receive a Gear Guide to show you what you need. Rain jacket? Yup. Hydration backpack? Definitely. Spare tubes? Without a doubt. That shiny specialty item on sale at the local bike store? You’re probably okay without it.

Bike & Builders report spending an average of $650 on gear pre-trip. However, you can minimize costs by connecting with your local bike shop to score a deal. There are discount supply websites galore. Costs vary for each person, depending on your personal budget.

Getting to and Leaving Bike & Build

Riders arrive at Orientation with your gear and bike in the afternoon of the first date indicated on your trip itinerary. You are responsible for your own travel plans and costs. From there, we take care of your meals and shelter for the trip. IMG_1700

At the end of the trip, Bike & Build will hold a celebration after you ride into your destination city. (Invite friends, families, and supporters to join us!) After saying your goodbyes, riders are again responsible for your own travel plans. We’ll help with logistics for boxing and shipping your bike.

Ready to Join Us Next Year?

Give us your email deets and we’ll let you know when the next application period comes around and other B&B updates.

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