Home » Industry News » Halfway Through Trip, Cyclists Continue NRHA-Sponsored Service Projects

Halfway Through Trip, Cyclists Continue NRHA-Sponsored Service Projects

Cyclists who are biking cross-country to fundraise for The Fuller Center for Housing and do service projects sponsored by the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA) are more than halfway finished with their trip.

That means the bicyclists have been on the road about six weeks and their longest day, a 107-mile ride in Kansas, is behind them. They only have a few service projects left.

NRHA Fuller Ctr grantThe bike trip from California to Maine is an annual fundraiser for The Fuller Center, which is a nonprofit organization working to eliminate poverty housing. The 4,000-mile adventure began in June and is expected to end Aug. 15.

This summer, NRHA provided a $1,000 grant for each volunteer project planned along the coast-to-coast bike route. In addition to sponsoring the bike trip, NRHA is a consistent Fuller Center partner, providing grants for housing projects throughout the U.S.

“We’re very thankful for NRHA,” says Lydia Huelskamp, trip leader for the Fuller Center Bicycle Adventure.

Doing Good Work

The NRHA bike trip grants go toward project materials, which local Fuller Center chapters buy from independent home improvement stores. The local chapters choose the service projects, and local volunteers also help the bikers with the work.

In Palm Desert, California, the bicyclists did landscaping work and built a fence in a mobile home park. In Colorado Springs, Colorado, they cleaned a yard, playground and gutters and painted at a facility that is a refuge for abused children. The bikers also scheduled projects in Kansas City, Missouri; Peoria, Illinois; Indianapolis; and Aurora, Ohio.

Twenty-three bicyclists are making the full California-to-Maine trip, and other bikers are joining them for segments of the ride. The bike trip has already reached The Fuller Center’s fundraising goal of $200,000.

Making the Trek

Fuller bikers2Each day, Huelskamp provides her group of bicyclists directions for the day’s route. Cyclists’ speeds range from 12 to 20 mph, and bikers in the lead mark the road with chalk to provide additional directions to the riders behind them. A pair of bicyclists also takes up the rear to ensure the team doesn’t lose any stragglers.

The bikers stop and rest about every 20 miles on the road. They are accompanied by two vans and a trailer carrying tools for their volunteer projects and other gear. At night, they sleep in churches, high school gyms and community centers across the country.

The bike adventure offers the opportunity “to see this community of strangers come together and be a family and do something for others and ourselves,” Huelskamp says.

To watch a video of the cyclists on the job at their Palm Desert, California, service project, click here.

To view a video of them on the road halfway through the trip, click here.

About Kate Klein

Kate is profiles editor for Hardware Retailing magazine. She reports on news and industry events and writes about retailers' unique contributions to the independent home improvement sector. She graduated from Cedarville University in her home state of Ohio, where she earned a bachelor's degree in English and minored in creative writing. She loves being an aunt, teaching writing to kids, running, reading, farm living and, as Walt Whitman says, traveling the open road, “healthy, free, the world before me.”

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