Finishing up her sophomore year at the University of Connecticut, 19-year-old Noelle Albert is embarking on different type of journey for the summer.
Along with her bike mates, Albert is one of several who on Saturday began pedaling across the country to raise awareness for affordable housing.
Albert said she grew up spending a lot of time outside.
“I always went hiking, we were camping every single summer, my dad was really into hiking all throughout my childhood and my mom loved spending time outside,” described Albert.
The love for the outdoors and adventure led Noelle to sign up for a journey of a lifetime – biking 4,084 miles across the country.
“It starts in Jacksonville, Florida and we bike all the way over to Santa Cruz, California. It's to raise money and awareness for affordable housing,” said Albert. “So, every few days on the trip, we stop and build with a local affordable housing group.”
Noelle said the inspiration to do “Bike and Build” came from her older cousin, but she said signing up for the 4,000-mile journey was not easy.
“I had to raise $5,000 before the start of the trip. I had to bike 500 miles. Then I have an affordable housing curriculum which is discussions every week with my small group through Bike and Build and then I have to interview a local affordable housing group and local adorable housing beneficiary,” Albert said.
Noelle said the group is going to put the pedal to the medal so they can get in their average 70 miles a day, and make it to their destination by the end of July.
“I think those days where we're biking 80+ miles a few days in a row, I think that's going to be pretty tough to get back on the bike the next morning,” Albert said.
Noelle said her bike is fully equipped with all the safety features she needs. She is riding with 28 other people along the southern route with a goal of making it to California by July 27.
“I can’t believe I get to be part of such an amazing project. I don't know if I'm ever going to do anything so huge again,” said Albert.
To donate to Noelle Albert’s “Bike and Build” fundraiser, click here.