Biette is biking for housing

MIDDLEBURY — Ryan Biette of Middlebury has had more than the typical challenges of being a first-year student at Tufts University. Three major surgeries in the last year have made him travel a different path than he had planned — in what one might say was an unexpected “gap year.”
That’s behind him now and he isn’t sitting still. This summer, before he heads back to school, Ryan will bicycle over 1,400 miles as a part of the Drift West trip led by the nonprofit Bike & Build — 950 miles of which will occur over the course of three weeks this August. He will take on this cycling journey with about 30 other young adults starting in Portland, Ore., and ending in Bellingham, Wash. Along the way, Biette and his group will stop to make presentations to communities and groups. And on the days they are not on the road, they will trade their bike helmets for hard hats helping to build affordable homes.
When asked why he decided to take on such a journey, Biette said, “A home is such a central part to our lives and almost 10.3 million individuals or families spend over 50 percent of their income on housing. So many people across our country need assistance in order to afford their own affordable and durable homes. I wanted to make a tangible difference in improving the quality of people’s lives and this experience seemed like the perfect way to do so.”
Before Biette sets out in August, he must first volunteer with affordable housing groups like Habitat for Humanity and complete the Bike & Build curriculum. To take part in the program, he must raise a minimum of $2,250 that will be donated to affordable housing charities across the nation. To learn more about his trip program, visit bikeandbuild.org. To support Ryan in reaching his fundraising goal, donate at http://classic.bikeandbuild.org/rider/9072.

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