Thursday, June 9, 2016

Pedaling Their Mission

Bike & Build cyclists cheered by greeters upon
arrival at First Congregational Church of Granby, CT,
June 7, 2016




"I see them! They're here! Bike & Build just arrived!"

Every June for more than ten years the Bike & Build Providence to Seattle Tour has overnighted at First Congregational Church of Granby, CT on it annual Providence to Seattle trip, one of its eight yearly cross-country cycling tours raising awareness for, and money to fund, critically needed affordable housing. It's a celebration the church looks forward to hosting every year.

Bike & Build, founded in 2002, has been pedaling its message for affordable housing ever since 2003. In its first 13 years Bike & Build’s cross-country tours have engaged 3,000 young adults in service who have delivered the affordable housing message, and have donated more than $4.5 million for the cause in the process. In 2015 alone, riders rode 1,021,000 combined miles, worked 25,700 hours building affordable homes en route, and awarded $637,311 in grants to organizations such as Habitat for Humanity,  Rebuilding Together, and many other affordable housing groups.

As its mission and vision state, "Through service-oriented cycling trips, Bike & Build benefits affordable housing and empowers young adults for a lifetime of service and civic engagement," and it "envisions future generations who are committed to a lifetime of civic engagement and who inspire individuals and communities to create fair, decent housing for all Americans."

The following photographs tell the story of Bike & Build's Providence to Seattle (P2S) 2016 tour stop at First Congregational Church, June 7-8, 2016. Check out the Bike & Build website for lots more details.

Enjoy the Ride!




Thrilled to get off the saddle!
Cooling off in the shade and resting weary legs.

Parking the van and trailer carrying clothes, equipment, and food.
The caption on the trailer says it all.
Riders showing off pictures from today's ride while munching on calorie replenishing snacks.
Off to the showers courtesy of the Farmington Valley YMCA,
and the Marquis of Granby Junior Ancient Fyfe & Drum Corps bus.
Chowing down on First Congregational Church's legendary annual B&B feast.
Brian Liss, executive director of the Farmington Valley YMCA, being congratulated by Rev. Dr. Ginny McDaniel of First Congregational Church, and Don Shaw, church member and member of Hartford Area Habitat for Humanity board, in recognition of the YMCA's many years of generously offering its showers to the cyclists.
After a good night's rest, up and at 'em early to get the bikes ready to roll June 8, 2016.
The pressure to get going.
Last minute treatment.
Mandatory morning briefing on the ride ahead. Today's destination: Kent, CT.
The reason they ride!
Group photo before mounting up.
Ready to lead cyclists to the Granby Habitat house under construction.

Bike & Build cyclists at the Granby Habitat house construction site,
which is right along the start of their route to Kent, CT.

Underway! Leaving the Granby Habitat house site. Onward to Kent. Enjoy the hills!!

Don Shaw, Jr.
Writer and Editor
RedTruckStonecatcher.com

Photographs by Don Shaw, Jr.
Tour map and Bike & Build information from its website.

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