Judging from the number of advance registrations so far, the growing event could be on track to land as many as 500 cyclists, according to Tammy Johnson, resource development director for the local Habitat affiliate who is serving as event coordinator.
Last year’s initial Bike to Build included some 250 cyclists whose fundraising netted about $20,000.
“We have a phenomenal lead committee,” Johnson said. “They are going wide open.”
Committee members include Eddie Triplett, representing Toyota of Cleveland which is the event’s main sponsor; Ben Armstrong, representing Whirlpool Cleveland Division; Cameron Fisher, Church of God International Offices; Stan Pegram, business owner, At Your Service; David Coulter, owner, Scott’s Bikes; and several Habitat staff members like Annie Kinworthy, coordinator of Volunteer Services; Matt Carlson, executive director; and Johnson.
The deadline has passed for discount-priced early registation; however, open registration will be held through March 29. Entry price in the open registration period is $55. Late registration will be accepted April 1-2, but the price will jump to $75.
On the Saturday of the event, registration will get under way at 7 a.m. Bike to Build will feature four distances, each kicking off with staggered starting times, Johnson explained. Distances will include 20K (12.4 miles), which is recommended for new or inexperienced riders; 50K (31.07 miles), recommended for those with some road-riding experience; 100K (62 miles), recommended for seasoned riders; and 100 miles, recommended for advanced riders.
Participating riders are encouraged not to wait for the 7 a.m. registration on the morning of the event; rather, they are asked to pre-register the night before on Friday, April 1 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Toyota of Cleveland. Those who pre-register at this time will have their names included in a drawing for a bicycle donated by Scott’s Bikes; the bike has a $450 value.
“We are encouraging all riders to come and pre-register early on the evening of April 1 at Toyota of Cleveland,” Johnson said. Pre-registration means riders will be checked in and this will assist with check-in flow on the morning of the event.
Another event drawing will be for a $150 green bike donated by Regions Bank, a sponsor that is donating the goodie bags. Along the course, the routes will include cheerleaders and coaches from all three high schools — Bradley Central High School, Cleveland High School and Walker Valley High School, Johnson explained.
The event’s primary food sponsors are Deli Boys and Shane’s Rib Shack. The Lee University Canteen will feed all event volunteers.
“We are getting a lot of support for this year’s Bike To Build,” Johnson said. “A lot of groups, schools, businesses and individuals are stepping up because they believe in the mission of Habitat for Humanity of Cleveland.”
One need the Habitat fundraiser still faces is volunteers. More are needed for several different functions, one of which is “turn directors” which is a role in which workers make certain bikers are following the route properly and safely.
This year’s Bike to Build goal is to raise at least $40,000 which is enough to build an entire Habitat house on the Cleveland price market.
“This is a fully supported ride,” Johnson explained. “Each registered rider will receive directions, rest stops, snacks, lunch, SAG service and a t-shirt based on availability. The Bike to Build is a rain or shine event. We will be starting and ending at Bradley Central High School. Youth under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.”
Additional information about the event may be obtained by visiting www.habitatofcleveland.org or calling 423-476-6947. Those wishing to sign up as volunteers may also send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Course maps are available on the organization’s website.
“We welcome riders of all levels!” Johnson declared.