Two students gear up for 1500 mile bike trip

U of L juniors Stephanie Dooper and David Exe are about to set out on the longest bike ride of their lives. On May 5 they will start a 1,500 mile journey from Seattle to Los Angeles, building homes for Habitat for Humanity along the way.

“The goal is to help others, get others involved in volunteering for Habitat for Humanity, and to raise $5,000 to help support the Habitat for Humanity campus chapter to complete a home,” said Dooper, U of L’s Habitat for Humanity chapter president. Dooper has volunteered with the organization for six years.

Dooper and Exe have been training for this trip and have already mapped their route. They will bike 20 miles per hour a day. It will take about five weeks for them to make it from Seattle to L.A. Though they have never done anything like this before, they wanted to draw attention to others about Habitat for Humanity.

A store called Old Bikes Belong helped Dooper and Exe prepare for their trip. They will be packing everything they need to survive, such as camping gear, a small stove, clothes, water bottles, power bars and back-up tools. Their bikes, sponsored by Old Bikes Belong, will carry everything the cyclists need.

“I am more excited than nervous. This will be a great adventure for us, and we will be doing something that is purposeful, and that makes me excited,” said Dooper.

Dooper and Exe say they do not know what to expect on the trip, since this is their first cross-country bike trip. Their biggest concern is the possibility of injury or being hit by a car.  Dooper stated they will take the necessary safety precautions. The goal of their trip is to bike to L.A., but if they feel unsafe they plan to take a bus or stay at a hotel.

Habitat for Humanity is a non-profit organization that provides affordable and decent housing for those in need of a home. Volunteers renovate or construct new homes to provide a safe and stable living environment for those in need. The new homeowners have 20 years to repay the loan through an affordable payment plan.

Habitat for Humanity has more than 1,400 local affiliates in the United States and more than 70 national organizations around the world. It also takes 400 volunteers hours of group effort to build a community through this organization.

To follow Dooper and Exe’s journey or donate to their cause, check out their blog and Instagram @roadsandroofs.

Dooper's Blog

Photos courtesy of Stephanie Dooper

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