MSU student prepares for Bike & Build trip to help affordable housing efforts
Cross-country biking across the U.S. might seem to be a daunting task, but it doesn’t scare one MSU student.
Kinesiology senior Emily Guy, who plans to become a physician assistant after graduate school, is gearing up for her trip this summer for the cause of affordable housing.
“Bike & Build is an organization, and there’s about three routes this year, but they’re going to be taking me and about 31 other people from across the country,” she said. “We’re going to go from Yorktown, Virginia and then we’re biking across to Cannon Beach in Portland.”
The main goal of the trip is to benefit efforts for affordable housing and spreading awareness to people the group meets during the trip.
Guy’s group will also take several days off from biking to work with local organizations such as Rebuilding Together and Habitat for Humanity to help construct affordable homes.
“We’ll either be transforming homes that are already built, trying to make the houses more livable and when we talk to some of the community members, we’ll be able to learn more about the different struggles each community is facing themselves,” Guy said.
As a member of the Outdoors Club on campus, Guy sought this challenge out.
“I’ve always wanted to be able to challenge myself and I love the outdoors, I love physical activity, biking across the country is a very crazy thing that not a lot of people get the opportunity to do,” she said. “Mostly it’s a challenge for myself. I’ll be able to see the country and also help others while doing it, which is great.”
Although Guy doesn’t have any long distance biking experience, the organization trains everyone prior to the trip andencourages those with no experience to participate.
According to the Bike & Build FAQs, a majority of riders are not long distance cyclists and have never biked more than 15 miles before they start training.
“It’s actually really common for people to not have very much experience in cycling,” she said.
Prior to the trip, Guy has to log 500 miles on her bike and take online classes on bike safety, so when they go on the road she will be comfortable.
Guy said she hopes to use the challenge as a stepping stone to apply the lessons she learns to graduate school and life.
“It just kind of shows that if I just put a lot of effort into something, if I really, really try, I’m capable of doing things that I may not (have) even imagined I’d be capable of,” she said.
To participate with Bike & Build, each cyclist has to raise the minimum amount of $4,800. All of the proceeds will go towards making young-adult affordable housing projects possible.
Supporters can donate to Guy’s fundraising efforts through the website or her personal fundraising page.