Motorists in Hellertown Wednesday afternoon may have noticed something unusual as they passed by Saucon Valley Bikes at 824 Main Street.
A woman on a stationary bike was pedaling away, with a large posterboard sign that read “Cycling X-Country 4 Habitat For Humanity.”
The woman is Jenna DeVivo, of Bethlehem, who will embark on an 85-day cross-country journey to help raise money for the nonprofit organization that builds affordable housing for families across the United States and around the world.
DeVivo’s trip is a Bike & Build journey, during which she and about 30 other participants will “stop in hundreds of communities, where they will meet with local residents, give presentations about housing issues, and build affordable homes with local housing groups,” according to a brochure from the Philadelphia-based group.
“Bike & Build participants are thrill-seekers with adventurous spirits and involved citizens with tremendous hearts,” it explained. “Each cyclist has made a commitment to help build affordable housing in his or her community, and to address the problem throughout the country.”
DeVivo, who is a Univ. of Pittsburgh student, said she’s excited to begin the trip to Santa Cruz, Calif., in Charleston, S.C., on May 19.
“I heard about Bike & Build from Pitt’s Habitat club and I have spent a good portion of this past year constantly talking to my friends and family about what an awesome experience it would be,” she said in a bio posted online. “I am most excited to meet people and experience everyday life in other parts of the country. I am also looking forward to the physical and mental challenge of the rides.”
She is continuing to raise money to help pay for her trip via a crowdfunding page on the Bike & Build website and by spinning in front of local businesses like the Hellertown bike shop, which is owned by Steve LaBrake.
So far she’s raised more than $2,800 toward a goal of $4,500.
DeVivo’s 4,172-mile route will take her through 14 states: South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Idaho, Oregon and California.
She is scheduled to arrive in Santa Cruz with her group on Aug. 9.
“I am excited to just get out there on my bike, raise awareness for affordable housing, and explore!” she said.