Several times a year the good people at Bike & Build put together a multi-state bike trip that stops at Habitat build sites and does other volunteer work. This summer, Habitat AmeriCorps alumni Greta Tjeltveit started her trip in Jacksonville Beach Florida and biked all the way to Santa Cruz, CA.

When asked how she had the energy to work on construction sites during such an intense trip, Greta laughed and explained. “After a few weeks of biking your body gets so used to the exercise that you can’t even sleep without it. On days I wasn’t biking I would actually have to go out and run for a while just so I could get to sleep.”

While Greta and her team were biking through the panhandle of Florida they stopped for a Habitat build in a small town called Greenwood. While the team had been told the town was hit hard by Hurricane Michael, they still weren’t prepared for the devastation they encountered. As they biked into the town they were riding around wrecked cars, and passing houses with broken walls and smashed roofs.

You could feel that the community was grappling with what it is like to rebuild after a disaster. They way they rallied the community to give resources was so inspiring. People were living in destroyed houses with no drinkable water and it was amazing to be a part of a group solidifying in the face of such adversity. I was proud to have been able to go there and help them rebuild.”

During her 3,500 mile trek across the country, Greta and her team of 18 volunteers stopped at a total of 9 different Habitat builds. We can’t thank Greta and Bike & Build enough for all their hard work.