Bicyclists finish cross-country trek for affordable housing, remember rider killed in Oklahoma

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SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – A group of cyclists just finished a cross-country trek that most people wold never even attempt.

On Monday afternoon, the group ended their journey in Santa Barbara, 4,000 miles away from their starting point in Maine.

Riders on the trip biked from Portland, Maine to Santa Barbara, stopping more than a dozen times along the way to help provide housing for those in need.

“We are working on a group of muscles when we are biking, and then we are working the other group of muscles when we are building,” said Ben Colman, a cyclist from Los Altos.

“We start a build day, you have a lot of energy and you lost it pretty quickly. And by the end of it, you feel exhausted in a way that you don’t feel biking, so I would say building is harder than biking,” said Matt Krane, a cyclist from Portland.

While the group was passing through Oklahoma, two riders were hit by a distracted motorist.

Tragically,  Patrick Wanninkoff, one of the route leaders, was killed in the crash.

Bridget Anderson, a volunteer from Florida, is recovering from a broken femur in an Oklahoma City hospital.

Despite the tragedy, the group pushed forward with its mission.

“I feel that I’m very thankful to be here with this great group of people. They’ve stayed with, have supported us with well-wishes, calls, food, anything we need,” said Rere Anderson, Bridget’s mother. “I know Bridget would have been here, she would have finished.”

Riders will hold a memorial for Wanninkoff in Santa Barbara.

Bike and Build is a non-profit organization that raises money and provides volunteers to help construct affordable housing.

 

In addition to the manual labor, the volunteers also raised more than $180,000 on the ride alone.

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