Bike and Build comes to Belhaven

Published 6:11 pm Friday, May 16, 2014

BELHAVEN — Participants of the nonprofit organization Bike and Build have made a stop in Belhaven as part of their route from Nags Head to San Diego, California.

Every summer, applicants of the program are chosen to bike across the country, making stops along the way and partnering with other nonprofits to help build houses for people, said Anthony Allen, of Granby, Conn.

The bikers, ranging from 18 to 25 in age, partner with organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Rebuilding Together and other nonprofits to offer help in constructing homes. The group helps with aspects of the construction, including framing, dry wall, painting and landscaping.

“With construction, it’s kind of tough to keep a schedule,” Allen said. “We are just there to help them out with anything they need.”

The bikers participate in a 70-day excursion, riding 60 to 70 miles a day. This particular group of bikers will make two stops in eastern North Carolina — Belhaven and Greenville — before heading west to Chapel Hill.

“This cause is such a worthy one,” Allen said. “Affordable housing is going to be our way of life this summer. For some of us, this is kind of an escape and all of us are giving back to such a great cause. Everyone deserves a house, everyone deserves a home. We are honored to be a part of making that happen.”

The bikers arrived in Belhaven on Friday and settled in for fellowship with members of Trinity Methodist Church. Friday evening, the group met at the church with members to have a meal and to show a presentation of what it is they do. The church provided the meal.

The group will stay in Belhaven until Saturday morning when they get back on the route to Greenville, Chapel Hill, Charlotte and then to Hendersonville before heading into Tennessee. Before leaving, the church will provide breakfast for the group at Georgie’s Oyster Bar in Belhaven.

Bike and Build members are given lodging by local residents.

Jean Hardison, a resident who is housing a portion of the group, housed participants last year and spoke about the experience of being a part of the program.

“It is the most wonderful experience that anyone could ever have,” Hardison said. “They are a group of young people that are outstanding. They are very polite and just wonderful.”