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Biking coast to coast to build homes

Tom Jackson • Jan 12, 2014 at 3:41 PM

Nicole Reikowski plans to ride her bike a very long way this summer to aid what she says is a very good cause.


Reikowski, 21, a Norwalk native and senior at Ohio University, is raising money to ride from Providence, R.I., on the East Coast, all the way to Seattle, Wash. The trip to benefit Bike and Build will begin in June and will cover 3,914 miles in 70 days.


That’s a lot of pedaling, but the 2010 Norwalk St. Paul High School graduate welcomes the challenge. 


She said she wants to aid affordable housing.


“Bike and Build encourages young adults to raise awareness about affordable housing by biking across the country, building houses with affordable housing organizations, and giving presentation on affordable housing in several communities,” she said.


On its website, Bike and Build says it has raised more than $4 million over 10 years to assist affordable housing projects organized by young adults. 


Reikowski is trying to raise $4,500 for her trip. 


She has a personal website — bikeandbuild.org/rider/7181 — where donors can chip in to help. She has promised to post photos and stories from her adventure at her blog, nicolesbikeblog.wordpress.com/.


She’s on Twitter, @NicoleReikowski.


Reikowski is a music therapy major who hopes to work with children with developmental disabilities. She expects to graduate in May. 


She’s never ridden 4,000 miles before, but twice she’s participated in “Pedal to the Point,” riding for two days from Brunswick to Sandusky and back again to raise money to fight multiple sclerosis. She rides a Trek bicycle but expects to get a new bike from Bike and Build’s sponsor if she meets her fundraising goal.


Aside from cycling, one of Reikowski’s main passions is music. She plays in Ohio University’s marching band, the Marching 110. Her main instrument is the flute, but she also plays alto saxophone.


She had hoped to ride on Bike and Build last year, but the ride conflicted with her tryout for a final season with the band. The band director said she could not try out using Skype and had to show up in person.


While the flute will stay behind in Ohio when Reikowski rides this summer, she hopes to bring along her guitar.



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