Before You Ride
Bike & Build is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but it requires a significant commitment. We’ve put together some resources that will help you prepare for the trip, from learning about the affordable housing cause to choosing the right cycling gear.
All Bike & Build participants are required to raise the fundraising minimum of $5,000 for cross-country trips or $2,400 ($3000 with a Bike & Build provided bike) 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 gathered the best fundraising ideas that have worked for our alumni to help you hit your mark.
If you have not raised the money by the first day of orientation, you will not be able to ride. No exceptions.
Prior to reporting to orientation, all cross-country and Drift riders pledge to ride at least:
one 65+ mile ride
one group ride
one rain ride
Motivation, desire, and enthusiasm will take you a long way; but if you’re planning on biking 4,000 miles on a cross-country bike trip, you’ll need strength, stamina, and killer quads. The good news is that riders of all skill levels are capable of completing a trip of this magnitude. In fact, people who have barely ridden before have successfully completed the pre-ride training expectations and trip.
The training expectations are designed to not only prepare riders for the physical challenge but also to improve their awareness and instincts on a bike and increase their comfort level on the road. Riders should spend the vast majority of their training miles on roads interacting with vehicles instead of bike paths.
Affordable Housing Curriculum
Before the trip, each rider is expected to spend at least 15 hours volunteering on a build site with a local affordable housing organization. Riders must also participate in our Affordable Housing Curriculum in addition to the required build hours.
Before you spend your summer biking across the country for affordable housing, we want you to become a knowledgeable advocate for the cause! Prior to your ride, you will engage in discussions with teammates about affordable housing issues and you’ll also meet one-on-one with a local affordable housing beneficiary.
Getting Your Bike
Bike & Build provides each cross-country rider with a new bicycle. 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. Drift West riders must fundraise an additional $600 to receive a bike through Bike & Build.
You must reach at least $1,000 in your fundraising campaign.
You must achieve passing scores on both safety quizzes
Your bike is shipped to you!
Riders that drop out before the end of the trip must return their bike to Bike & Build or purchase it from us.
Pre-Ride Safety Requirements
Bike & Build is dedicated to rider and leader safety above all. Before receiving their bike, riders must pass our extensive online safety quiz. Once enrolled, riders will receive a participant manual that includes study materials for the safety quiz.
In addition to the quiz, Bike & Build conducts an extensive training session with all leaders and riders prior to the trip.
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, snag gear from our alumni gear swap, or borrow items from friends. Gear costs vary and depend on each participant’s interest and budget.
Getting To And Leaving Bike & Build
Riders arrive at Orientation with their gear and bike on the morning of the first date indicated on the trip itinerary. Each individual is responsible for personal travel plans and costs. From there, we take care of your meals and shelter for the trip.
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 personal travel plans. We’ll help with logistics for boxing and shipping your bike.