Katie is one of the newest members of Bearded Women Racing and a recent University of North Texas graduate. She has a passion for riding bikes and helping people. This summer, Katie will have the opportunity to combine both her passions and take on an epic adventure when she journeys across the United States with the Bike & Build program.
Tell us who you are, where you come from, and why you’re here.
Greetings! My name is Katie Shaw and I hail from Denton, TX. I’m a recent college grad of the University of North Texas with a degree in English Literature, and I’m here to chat a little bit about my upcoming summer, which I’m super stoked about.
In your own words, can you tell us about the Bike & Build program?
Bike & Build is a non-profit organization that focuses on raising awareness and funds for affordable housing projects in America through cross-country cycling trips. The organization also aims to instill service and leadership in its participants. Beginning in June, I’ll be cycling across the country with 34 other young adults from Portsmouth, NH to Vancouver, Canada. Along the way we’ll be stopping to build homes with Habitat for Humanity and other similar non-profits. Some days we’ll bike and other days we’ll build. Each rider participating is required to raise $4,500 for the trip, which goes to food, fuel for the support van, and to non-profits that are dedicated to ending the affordable housing crisis in America.
What made you decide to take on this grand adventure?
A few of my friends did this trip last summer, and I was so inspired after hearing the stories of their life-changing summer, so I knew right away that I had to cycle across the US and build houses. They told me stories of all the neat people they met and the connections they made—(WARNING: sappy sentence approaching) the kind of stories that make you tear up because your body is so full of those feel good emotions.
How have you been preparing or training for the long days in the saddle?
I’ve been getting in as many miles as I can on the road. I just got my brand spankin’ new Giant Avail road bike shipped to me about two weeks ago from Bike & Build, so I’ve been familiarizing myself with my steed that will take me across the US this summer. And yoga. Yoga is part of my training to keep me limber.
What can we (readers) do to help this worthy cause?
As I stated earlier in the interview, each participant is responsible for raising $4,500 for the trip. This is where you, the readers, and anyone interested in the affordable housing cause come in. Donations to make this trip possible would be greatly (I mean GREATLY) appreciated and are also 100% tax-deductible. If you’d like to read a little bit more about me or donate to the cause, follow this link: http://bikeandbuild.org/rider/7240. To read more about Bike & Build, check out www.bikeandbuild.org or visit their Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/BikeAndBuild.