Group bikes from coast to coast to promote affordable housing

Bike & Build riders enjoy a donated lunch from Pieroguys.

Bike & Build riders enjoy a donated lunch from Pieroguys. by Lindsey Slater

Can you imagine paying thousands of dollars to bike from coast to coast and build houses along the way? That's exactly what about 30 young cyclists are doing this summer and they've pedaled their way into Lawrence.

The team has already traveled over 1, 770 miles on their trek from Providence, R.I., to Half Moon Bay, Calif. Lawrence is about the halfway point. What's great this year is that a recent KU grad, Josh Burdett, happens to be a member of this BIke & Build group. He's already been showing his teammates around town and so far, they seem to be very impressed.

We've had Bike & Build groups come to town through the years and the reviews about Lawrence are nothing short of amazing. They've been sleeping on floors of churches and YMCAs for most of their trip. But thanks to Spring Hill Suites here in Lawrence, the group is spending their time in town with beds and showers in the same room! The hotel also donated Gatorade, waters and snacks for the riders.

I was there to greet the riders -- I think I managed to meet every single one of them -- and they immediately said they heard Lawrence had an amazing bike shop. They needed directions immediately. The staff at Sunflower Outdoor and Bike Shop stunned all the riders that spent time there. One of the riders says it's the best bike shop they've been to in their cross-country trip.

Last night, the Habitat staff spent time with the group at Johnny's North since the restaurant generously donated pizzas and fresh corn on the cob. The group is full of great kids that really believe in their mission to bring awareness to affordable housing. They're from all over the country and are excited to be able to spend three nights in the same town. One of the girls said staying in Lawrence was like a vacation!

Today, they were treated to lunch by Pieroguys and tomorrow they'll be treated to delicious fare from Local Burger.

They started building this morning. You can see pictures on our Facebook page.

You can read all about Bike & Build here. This group of 20-somethings is stellar. They are so excited to build for a few days and see Lawrence. Our construction manager, Mark Brooks, told me this morning that this group is one of the hardest working they've had.

Believe it or not, I covered Bike & Build when I worked at the Lawrence Journal-World. You can check out the video here.

Tagged: Lawrence, cycling, Habitat for Humanity, building, Bike and Build, bicycles, housing

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