Having a hard time picturing what daily life on Bike & Build is like? Lots of pedaling, of course, and lots of hammering. Sleeping and eating fit in the schedule too… but when? What else goes on?
We’re up early. Pack your bag (maximum space: 4500 cubic inches, 50 lbs.) and get it to the support van. Eat a heaping breakfast, usually provided by incredibly generous community hosts. Leave the host site cleaner than we found it.
Pump your tires, do a safety check on your bike. The day’s van driver leads our daily route meeting: an important safety debrief, places to see, people to meet, and the affordable housing landscape in our next host town.
B&B is not a race. You’ll take your time each day, riding with different people in small groups (generally no more than 3-4). Enjoy farmland, prairie, and more than a few mountains.
On the road, you may stop for coffee and chat with local community members about the AH cause. Grab a photo at the next state line sign. Take the obligatory B&B hay bale picture.
The van finds a lunch spot about halfway along the route. Leftovers, cheap generic carbs, and the occasional donated sugar rush. Know it, love it.
There are plenty more places to see, whether it’s rural America, the cradle of innovation, or incredible natural phenomena.
Regardless of where we are, ice cream, impromptu swims, and taking in gorgeous scenery are invaluable.
Bike & Build wouldn’t be possible without the generosity of our community hosts. To reduce costs, we stay with churches, community centers, schools… any organization that gives us a floor to sleep on. We’ll unpack the trailer and shower (it’s a special, albeit rare, privilege to wash via the hose).
That host generosity? It extends to dinner as well. You won’t go hungry on B&B. Riders also give a presentation to the community on the affordable housing cause.
At the start of the trip, riders divide into five teams, or chore groups. (1) Breakfast/Host presentation; (2) Food and water coolers; (3) Groceries/Host Cleanup; (4) Dinner; (5) Laundry/Trailer. You will do all five at some point during the summer.
Some hosts request a bike clinic for their “future B&Bers.” We’ll also do occasional meetings to discuss parts of the affordable housing curriculum that all riders complete. When that’s done, some riders hit the town. Every community has unique offerings for riders who want to experience all that America has to offer.
Every fourth or fifth day, we volunteer with a local affordable housing affiliate, including Habitat for Humanity, Rebuilding Together, YouthBuild, or other small community nonprofits. These might be days off from the bike, but for the full day we’re working on siding, drywall, painting, roofing, landscaping, or any other project we can help with to bring a family that much closer to an affordable home.
Each team will also get three off days during the summer.
Towards the end of the trip, each trip will receive grant applications from AH organizations from across the country, each requesting up to $10,000 for a project engaging youth and young adults in the affordable housing cause in their community. Learn more about our competitive grant program. Our riders review all applications as a team and decide how much to grant each organization.
Curfew is 11 PM before ride days, 1 AM before builds. Get ready, a new day awaits.
Our riders pedal 4,000 miles and stop to build with about 15 different affordable housing organizations, all to glimpse the Pacific Ocean with 30 new lifelong friends. Until you experience it yourself, it’s impossible to understand that feeling.