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The Ride For Homes

The Ride For Homes

The Ride for Homes is a four-day bike ride that supports Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia. Riders raise critical funds for Habitat’s homebuilding projects and bike through Pennsylvania’s gorgeous countryside. The tour is unique because it maintains a small, friendly, supportive atmosphere, and it's fully supported. Over the course of four days, the Ride creates a unique community among participants, raises awareness about the critical need for affordable housing and helps generate funds to keep Habitat for Humanity Philadelphia building and repairing.

Want to join us on the open road? The 2017 Ride for Homes will take place from June 1-4, 2017. Registration is now open! There are 40 rider slots available. Take advantage of our early bird registration fee of $75 when you register by December 31, 2016. See below for more details on the ride, and register here.

Each year, generous sponsors support the ride costs and help ensure that every dollar our riders raise goes directly towards Habitat's homebuilding and home repair projects. For more information about sponsorship, please contact Sarah Mussoline at sarahm@habitatphiladelphia.org.

Fundraising

We ask each rider to raise $1200 prior to the ride. Your registration fee will be applied to your fundraising total. The dollars your raise go directly to Habitat’s construction projects and family programming, and to cover the costs of the trip (housing and support team). The trip is intentionally mission-focused, and to that end we’ve planned basic but comfortable lodging. This means that you’ll be able to have the maximum possible amount of your donation going directly to Habitat and its hardworking future homeowners.

Nervous about raising the $1200? You can do it! We have lots of tips and advice to help you – and a very easy to navigate online crowdsourcing platform. We can also provide a letter template that you can personalize and send to potential donors. Above all, remember: don’t be afraid to ask! If you don’t ask, people won’t give. Many of your friends, family and colleagues recognize the Habitat name and will be glad to contribute to your ride if they’re asked. 

The 2017 Route

For our 5th annual Ride for Homes we’ll encourage riders to tour, explore and celebrate five years as we pedal Lancaster County! We will start from Valley Forge and head west.  Each day will take us across rolling country roads (complete with horses and buggies) with average distance of 50 miles/day. There will also be an optional loop of 15-20 additional miles, for those riders who wish to tour a bit more each day. We’ll stay in Ephrata, Litiz, and Strasburg – each adorable town offering its own “sights.” 

Ride support

The ride is supported with three support/sag vehicles and volunteers to ensure that riders are safe, hydrated and comfortable.  Riders can keep overnight bags in the sag vehicle. There will also be a volunteer mechanic to help with roadside repairs. 

There are planned rest stops each day, and we’ll have plenty of water and snacks available to stock up on! 

If necessary due to exhaustion or injury, you can ride in the sag to the night’s destination. There is a CPR/First Aid certified staff member on hand at all times, as well as a full First Aid kit.  If there’s a serious emergency, 911 is the first call we make. 

If you are injured and/or cannot finish the trip, we will get you to a train station or help you find another way to return home.

Difficulty and pace

This is a ride, not a race! If you have a road bike and you’re physically ready for a multi-day ride, you can find a comfortable pace for yourself throughout the trip. You will be given cue sheets so that there is no pressure to maintain a fast pace. That being said, the trip totals about 200 miles over four days, and sections of the route are very hilly! We recommend that riders be in very good shape for the trip, and train beforehand if necessary. But don’t worry—there’s lots of support throughout the trip to make sure that everyone gets in safe and sound at the end of each day.  

Age requirement

Riders must be at least 18 years of age. 

Bikes and gear

You will need a road bike that you’ve taken on extended rides before, and you’ll want to make sure that it is fully maintained before the trip begins. If you have any doubts, we recommend taking your bike into the shop for a full tune-up beforehand. You can also prepare by making sure that you have all of the gear that will help you stay safe and comfortable during the trip.  You should have:

-A bike helmet

-Proper cycling clothing (including layers for cold weather and for rain)

-Water bottles and holders (at least two)

-Bike lights (both front and back) and extra batteries

-A basic bike repair kit (patches, tire levers, extra chain link, a spare tube, etc.)

-Tire pump (attachable to your bike frame or carried with you)

You’ll be able to keep one piece of luggage in the sag vehicle.  We have a list of suggested items to pack here.

Food and lodging

Riders stay in basic but comfortable hotels each night of the trip.  Rooms are two-person, and if you don’t select a roommate, one will be assigned.  This is to make sure that costs are kept low, and it’s a great way to get to know other riders on the trip!  You can also choose to have your own room by paying the difference in the cost of the room.

Meals:  buffet breakfast is provided by the hotel each morning.  Lunch is on you—we provide a list of options you can choose from during the ride.  Dinner is provided by local churches that have offered to host us and we try hard to make sure there is are substantial vegetarian options.  If you have special dietary needs or desires, we encourage you to bring your own food, which you can keep in iced coolers that we provide.

Snacks, Gatorade, and water will be provided to take with you each morning and at the planned “refueling” stop each day. 

Evening plans

We will have a mandatory 10-minute route review meeting each evening after dinner where we review the next day’s ride and point out important points to pay attention to (rough spots, strange turns, etc.)  There will be informal presentations and discussions over dinner surrounding Habitat’s mission and the affordable housing cause, but beyond that, we are purposely leaving the evenings open for you to spend how you wish!

Inclement weather

Depending on conditions, Habitat will make decision for safety of all riders.  In years past, we have ridden in the rain and the sunshine. Make sure you have rain gear on hand in case it gets wet.  Here’s a quote we particularly like: “On a cycling tour, there’s no such thing as bad weather—only bad clothing choices!”

We want you to be safe and respond appropriately to the weather.  At the beginning of the ride we’ll review proper safety procedures in case of lightning or extreme weather.

I’m not a cyclist, but I want to help out!

Yes!  We’d love to have you join our planning committee to help secure sponsorships, organize meals, etc.  You can also help during the ride—we need volunteer ride leaders, rest stop staff, and sag support during the day.  To get involved, contact Sarah Mussoline at sarahm@habitatphiladelphia.org or 215 765 6000 x16.