LAURINBURG — Though participants in next month’s Bike to Build may pedal a great distance, the monies the event raises for Habitat for Humanity of Scotland County will go even farther.
The premier annual fundraiser for the local Habitat chapter, Bike to Build will be held on May 7, featuring four cycling tours setting out from the Scotland Memorial Hospital campus. More than 150 cyclists are expected to participate in the event, which offers 10-mile, 21-mile, 32-mile, and 64-mile tours to suit riders of all ages and skill levels.
Each route will lead cyclists through a different area of Scotland County, crossing paths with points of scenic and historical interest like the Lumber River, X-Way Mill, Old Laurel Hill Presbyterian Church, and the path of William T. Sherman’s Civil War march to the sea.
Chris Carpenter, who began work as director of Habitat for Humanity of Scotland County in January, plans to direct the proceeds from Bike to Build toward replacing the organization’s 22-year-old box truck — which is frequently out of commission for repairs — and a 17-year-old pickup.
“Where in the past we take our Bike to Build money and maybe go build the next house, this money is going to be used for our immediate needs,” said Carpenter. “This ReStore does great, but riding around trying to do donation pick-ups in a truck that is 22 years old is just asking too much.”
A new pickup truck that can pull a large construction trailer will allow Habitat to fulfill Carpenter’s goal of branching out into home repair ministry. The trailer is usually stationed long-term on home build sites, but Habitat may take on more than a dozen three-day home repair projects per year.
“If I start doing repair projects around town and we’re having to pull it places more often, that’s not going to work with the truck we have,” Carpenter said.
The fundraising goal for Bike to Build is $20,000, which Carpenter says will improve Habitat’s chances in the running for a $45,000 grant to purchase two new trucks and upgrade duct work in its office and ReStore building on McColl Road.
“That will bring our energy costs down inside this building and it will make our HVAC systems last longer,” he said.
“We really need the community to step up.”
Also during Bike to Build, Habitat will raffle off a Trek bicycle valued at $489. The prize was donated by Rainbow Cycles in Southern Pines, and the winner may trade it in as credit toward another bike of their choice. Tickets are available at $1 each, $5 for seven, or $10 for 15.
On-site registration the day of the event will begin at 7:30 a.m. The 63-mile cycling tour begins at 8:30 a.m. and all other routes set out at 9 a.m. A 5K fun run will begin at 9:15 a.m.
Registration fees are $30 for cyclists or $25 for each cyclist in a team of four or more. Entry to the 5K is $15, or $10 for those in a team. Each registered cyclist will receive a T-shirt, a cue sheet with detailed directions, rest stops, snacks, and support service. All participants are required to wear a helmet.
For information or advance registration information, call the Habitat office at 910-276-3337, or email at [email protected] Online registration will be open through May 1 at biketobuild.org.
Mary Katherine Murphy can be reached at 910-506-3169.