Sunday, March 8, 2009

Former Morris County Biker Helps Build Houses For The Needy

The final piece will be a bit more edited (I'll post the link when the article is finally published)

A common theme with some young people getting out of college is helping those less fortunate than themselves. Some choose to teach in an urban environment, while others, such as former Mendham resident, Ben Brumbaugh, choose a slightly different route—such as biking cross country for two and a half months in the intention of providing a house for a family.

“I wanted to do something [like this] that I can’t do when I’m older and have other commitments like a family,” says Brumbaugh, who just recently graduated from Springfield College.

This is all part of his work as a Trip Leader for the non-profit organization, Build & Bike, which raises money for affordable housing through cross cycling trips.

“I love traveling and always wanted to get more involved in biking,” Brumbaugh says.

Brumbaugh, who became an employee for Build & Bike in the middle of November, had to go through multiple interviews to be offered the Trip Leader position, as there are only three people who are actually on the staff.

“They run a tight ship with the budget,” Brumbaugh says.

The rest of the people involved are the 30 or so young riders themselves who sign up with the organization and individually raise $4000 for their trip, half of which goes to their own expenses, while the rest of the money goes towards the voyage itself.

“Two thousand dollars goes to expenses on the side like food,” Brumbaugh says.

And a lot of food is needed for a trip like this.

Snaking across the country on an indirect route, starting from Charleston, South Carolina and ending in Santa Cruz, California, this 4037 mile behemoth of a trek that Brumbaugh helped arranged is no joke, which is why he’s hired a personal trainer to help him get prepared for it.

“[Besides Bike & Build, I also] ref games for the YMCA,” Brumbaugh says, who gets a 50% discount as an employee there for a personal trainer, who he says he “meet(s) with once a month,” to work out a routine.

“I take spinning classes,” Brumbaugh says.

The second part of Bike & Build’s mission though is the actual building of a house itself, and along the way of their trip, Brumbaugh and company will team up with Habitat for Humanity in Colorado Springs for a Blitz Build. A Blitz Build is when Bike & Build helps to build a house for a day that another organization has already been working on prior to their arrival.

“[I’ve worked with Bike & Build in the past] but have no professional carpentry skills,” Brumbaugh says.

That’s not to say that he’s totally lost when it comes to that part of his mission.

“My dad works for Habitat for Humanity in Morris County,” Brumbaugh says, which was what first made him aware of the rewarding benefits of building affordable houses for people in need, “That’s why I’m willing to give eight months to the cause.”

Brumbaugh is currently at $2800 for his $4000 total. To sponsor him or any other rider, go to the Bike & Build website and click on the donate button at:


Improvedliving said...

This is such a good gesture and people say bikers dont have heart.

bike games,

Ben Brumbaugh said...


Thanks for getting my story in the local paper. I have reached my fundraising goal due to the help of people like you. Good luck!