MCRAE, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – A group of 25 people are raising money by riding cross country on their bikes! The Fuller Center for Housing is backing these riders every pedal of the way.
Day after day they spent this summer pedaling the parkways and freeways of America only to be days away from their final destination in Savannah.
“We just kind of become one big funky family,” said rider Meredith Fitzpatrick.
For Fuller Center bike riders, the dirty laundry is piling up.
“I’m sharing quarters with people from all ages and all different parts of the country and we’re in a room that’s like the size of a dining room,” Fitzpatrick continued.
They’re counting down the days until their cross country trip comes to a close starting with some much needed rest before they bike to the finish at Tybee Island.
“We’ve been on the road for going on nine weeks now..we’ve had heat, we’ve had rain, snow,” said ride coordinator Henry Downes.
They started in San Francisco back in June with 15 ‘whole way’ riders and added on as the trip continued.
“People are faster people are slower but we all get it done we’ve all done the mileage you know it’s your pace,” Fitzpatrick said. “You’re on your bike day after day doing 70 plus mile most days,” Downes added.
If biking more than 70 miles a day wasn’t hard enough labor, they made stops to six different build sights along the way–including two in Georgia.
“The riders will show up to a build sight we’ll get some instructions and we’ll be volunteers for the day and we’ll get our hands dirty,” Downes said.
Fitzpatrick says it hasn’t been easy.
“We just did two back to back build days in Americus and Albany, and then today we did 91 miles from Americus so yeah I’m tired,” she said with a smile.
But the meaning behind that mission across the country is what keeps them going.
“We’re here for the mission of the Fuller Center, so whenever you feel like it’s getting difficult you can kind of zoom out and think about the ‘why’,” Downes added.
For every mile each rider bikes, they earn a dollar–and that dollar goes toward helping end poverty housing.
“Over time the group has really come together we’ve raised over $300,000 toward our affordable housing ministry so it’s been a good trip.”
If you’re interested in learning more about a ride, signing up for a ride of even donating to a specific rider you can log on to their website here. You can also find out how to get involved by helping out a local partner