|Green River youth and Habitat riders work together at the bike rodeo.|
On July 18, Habitat for Humanity's Bicycle challenge passed through Green River on their way to San Francisco, Calif. The Green River Community Center hosted the group of 32 college students after seven weeks on the road.
These students are participating in the 10th annual bicycle challenge, and are one of two groups riding coast to coast. They are riding the South route while 30 other students are riding the North route to Seattle, Wash. Along the way, they have been promoting Habitat's program of raising money to end poverty housing.
After seven weeks of pedaling across the country, averaging 85 miles a day, the students have had only two days off. On those days, they worked on Habitat houses in Emporia, Kan. and Boulder, Colo.
The ride began in New Haven, Conn. where the Yale University Chapter of Habitat organized the trip. Money raised from these trips generates approximately $200,000, enough to finance the construction of three Habitat homes. These "Collegiate Build" homes are the complete responsibility of the students.
The riders left Moab at 7:30 a.m. hoping to arrive at Green River before the afternoon heat. They rode into Green River at 11:30 a.m. After showers and rest at the community center, the students were treated to dinner consisting of two kinds of pasta, green salad, cheesy bread sticks, local melons and plenty of lemonade.
Volunteers and staff from the community center prepared the meal for the bikers. Sharon Mickelson, Karen Smith, Joni Pace, Christine Monroe and Shar Upton welcomed the students and provided a much needed respite after the desert ride from Moab.
Mayor Glen Dale Johnson greeted and welcomed the riders with a brief Green River history and anecdotes from the town. He then thanked them for stopping in Green River and wished them a safe trip to San Francisco. The group is expected to arrive in San Francisco on Aug. 2.
After dinner the bike riders entertained the children in Green River with a bike rodeo. They instructed the children on bike maintenance and safety.
Most of the students have recently graduated from college with the bulk of the riders representing Yale University, although seven different schools have riders participating. On Saturday night, the group stayed at Capital Reef National Park in Wayne County and then on to Antimony to spend Sunday night.
Riders participating in the trek are: Olivia Haesloop, Yale; Jordan Heitz, University of Georgia; Molly Chirstian, Yale; Marissa Kellogg, Yale; Noah Glass, Yale; Catherine Cooper, Fort Lewis College; Miriam Seifter, Yale; Tyler Smith, University of San Diego; Vanessa Selbst, Yale; Chantal Nong, Yale; Karen Weise, Yale; Jason Lange, Yale; Coco Krumme, Yale; Brian Sherman, University of Massachusetts; Dan O'Neill, Yale; Paul Maxwell, Holy Cross; Scott Nyborg, Radford University; Tyler Mann, Yale; Mairin Burke, Yale; Sasha Waring, Yale; Adam Nyborg, Yale; Micah Block, Yale; Julie Stein, Yale; Carolyn Avery, Yale; Jeremy Jackson, McGill University; Lauren Keane, Yale; Amanda Laws, Yale; Shashi Reddy, Yale; Michael Steffer, Yale; Catey Bradford, Yale; Stacie Torres, Yale; and James Cocks, Yale.
There are four team leaders in the group, Adam Nyborg, Marissa Kellogg, Miriam Seifter and Micah Block. Also, three students are making a documentary of the trip to promote Habitat's work through a 30 second promotional spot and a 30 minute documentary to be aired at a future date. Those students are James Cocks, writer, Chantal Nong and Stacie Torres. Only six riders are returning this year from a previous year's ride. The general concensus was that all riders should ride the North route and the South route.
When asked about the most difficult part of the ride, the answers were as varied as the riders. One replied that it was the two weeks of rain through West Virginia and riding while soaking wet, while another said it was the heat of the past couple of days. The trip has been relatively accident free with a few cases of road rash and the worst was a broken elbow in Boulder, Colo.
As the bicyclists ride across the Golden Gate Bridge and into Golden Gate Park on Aug. 2, family and friends will be there to meet and congratulate the riders on nine weeks of grueling riding and a job well done to raise money for Habitat for Humanity.
Sylvia Nelson and Joanna Clawson, representing Habitat for Humanity of Castle Country were also on hand to socialize with the bikers.
Their advice to anyone who is considering a ride of this magnitude is to stay hydrated and carry gallons of sunscreen.