Reliving the Bike & Build Dream (momentarily)

Reliving the Bike & Build DreamHello, everyone! Sorry I have been MIA lately– I have been working 12 hour days for summer conference and blogging has not quite made it into the limited time I do have for myself. However, the first two weeks are done, and I have a break from students for the next two weeks :).

While I have definitely been catching up on rest this weekend, I did not do that last weekend. Last weekend, the Bike & Build route that I did was in Tupelo, MS, which is not that far away from Memphis. Two of my friends from my Coastal Drift trip last summer are on SC2SC15, so I decided to drive down to visit them for the weekend!

I decided to sleep in a little on Saturday morning, but my excitement did not let me sleep in as long as I wanted. I headed down to Tupelo, and I arrived at their build site at around 1 PM with cupcakes (courtesy of the boyfriend) in hand. I got there right after they finished eating lunch, so the cupcakes were quickly devoured as a delicious dessert. Their build site for the day was through Habitat for Humanity, but it wasn’t a typical Habitat build– it was more of a restoration. Although I was only there for half of the build day, I certainly felt the heat and drank 2 ½ bottles of water. We were on the roof nailing felt down. The black felt certainly doesn’t cool one off. My hammering skills were lacking considering I haven’t used a hammer since last summer, but I enjoyed helping the team as much as I could! It was sort of fun introducing myself to them– a lot of them had heard of me because of what happened in Davis, CA (my bike was stolen, I finished the trip on a cruiser, the city got a new bike donated to me and donated money to B&B. They also made me an honorary citizen of Davis).


Alex nailing down some felt on the roof!


The roof looked great!


After the build, I drove several riders back to the host and then to Jennifer’s to shower. Jennifer helped host my route when we were in Tupelo back in 2012. Her husband was out of town this year so she wasn’t helping host this year, but she kindly offered to let me stay at her house that night. The shower was lovely, and I am sure the riders especially appreciated it. She also had an adorable dog!

After we went back to the host, I spent some time talking to Alex (my friend), Rob (a friend of two people from my trip), and another leader. Rob is from Michigan, and he appreciates the excellence that is Meijer. Wow, I miss Meijer. Anyways– we had dinner, which was provided by the local Habitat. They provided Lenny’s, and another alumni had left behind some fresh veggies (broccoli, peppers, snap peas, carrots, avocado, dip, etc.). It was so good. I remember how much vegetables were appreciated on my trip, so I’m glad the riders got some healthy food! We also had lemonade, sweet tea, potato chips, and Lenny’s cookies (which are amazing). One of the best parts of Bike and Build is the food. The food is stellar to begin with, but I truly believe that food tastes a million times better after a long day of riding or building.

After I chilled during the leader meeting, I went out with Alex and Rob on a Walmart grocery run. They picked up some bananas and cereal for the team, as well as some miscellaneous items. I got some nighttime Emergen-c, which is crucial this summer given the amount of time I spend around students (and probably germs). Once we got back to the host, we hung out for awhile. The riders prepared their bins/bags for the morning. It is crazy how much of an explosion happens when riders get to stay at a host for more than one night (just wait until Colorado Springs…). Someone set up the projector and was able to play the first episode of season 3 of Orange is the New Black. I had never seen the show, but I hung around to watch it– and I am hooked (now halfway through season 1). It was a little after 11 when the show ended, so I headed back to Jennifer’s. She was asleep because she had to leave early for a work trip, but she left me a nice note, as well as a mint on my pillow and a water bottle! It was so kind and hospitable.


I woke up the next morning and headed back to the host to join the riders for part of the ride. I found some riders doing their ABCs (air, brakes, chain), and I shared my bike pump. They had their route meeting– today would be about 60 miles of rolling hills into Oxford, MS. They did their cheer and invited me to join in with them. Soon, we were on the road! I rode with Alex and Paul from Coastal Drift. We all wore our Coastal Drift jerseys for the reunion. The ride was pretty chill. Rolling hills with some flat roads. We attempted to find coffee, and Alex & Paul finally found some at our 3rd (or 4th) gas station stop. We were certainly taking our time that morning, and I appreciated it. It was cloudy and starting to sprinkle rain, and I DMed some ziplock bags from the gas station to protect our phones. I was intended to buy the box, but the cashier said that she would pay for them. The kindness of people consistently grounds me on Bike & Build. During the ride, I saw some familiar sites– including a few goats attached to a fence in front of someone’s yard. Hard to believe those goats are still there! The only real problem during the ride were dogs that chased us. I took those moments cautiously, and we had no problems. After about 25 miles, we took a break, and I decided it was time for me to head back to my car in Tupelo. It was sad to say goodbye, and I was tempted to just join them for the rest of the trip! :p


Cue sheet & hydration. 


Alex, Paul, and me! Coastal Drift reunion. 

The solitary ride back went well. Most of the ride was on a single road, which was helpful because I currently don’t have a bike computer. The dogs were gone (I guess it had gotten too hot for them to be outside), and I stopped to take pictures of the goats. I also stopped to get some lunch at a gas station– a pickle, a snickers bar, and a gatorade. Nutrition. I only missed one turn on the way back, adding about 2 miles to the trip which wasn’t a big deal. The solitary ride was a nice way to reflect on my weekend and my current experiences this summer with my other BB life (Bridge Builders). Overall, I had a wonderful weekend with Bike & Build! I definitely paid for the lack of rest this past week, but it was very much worth it. I love Bike & Build.


Chillin’ goat. 


“What do you want from me?”


Davis (my bike) and me! 

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