LAURINBURG — With the hope of good weather and events added for pedestrian participants, Habitat for Humanity of Scotland County has big expectations for this year’s Bike to Build fundraiser.
The 11th annual event, a bicycle tour of varying distances around Scotland County, will be held on May 3. Typically Habitat’s largest single fundraiser, Bike to Build typically raises about $25,000, or one-third of the cost to build a home.
At a rate of about two homes per year, Habitat has constructed 44 homes for Scotland County families since its inception.
With lengths of 10 miles, 21 miles, 32 miles, and 63 miles all taking bikers past pieces of local history, Bike to Build offers options for riders of any age. Some 140 people participate, with half usually opting for the longest route, including Mason’s Cross, Stewartsville Cemetery, and the Laurinburg-Maxton Airport in a single morning’s biking.
Though last year’s event was dampened with wet, windy weather that bogged down registration, Habitat director Susan Covington said she would like to see this year’s Bike to Build recover in a big way, attracting 200 bikers and walkers and raising the full cost of a home.
Participants receive a T-shirt, snacks at rest stops, and support and gear crews on each route. Showers will be provided so that non-local riders can freshen up after the tour. For those preferring to keep their feet firmly on the ground, Bike to Build will offer for the second year a 5K walk/run.
“We’re really interested to see how the walk will do — last year with the rain and wind it was hard to measure,” said Covington. “A lot of people would come with a rider and stick by the Dulin Center and hang out and a lot of them would be young moms with babies and we felt that would give them something to do.”
Though, she added, it is not uncommon to see bikers strap their young children into a bicycle seat and take them along for the ride.
Preparing and managing Bike to Build requires a team effort, with local law enforcement helping to divert traffic from biking routes
“A week before, animal control starts making sure that everybody’s got their dogs locked up that day and there are no strays roaming around,” said Covington. “The county and the city are really good about keeping the roads cleaned up, so it’s a partnership with everybody.”
All tours will leave from the parking lot of the Scotland Memorial Hospital Rehabilitation Center. The Circle of Scotland 63-mile ride will begin at 8:30 a.m. with all other rides beginning at 9 a.m.
Early registration will be open until April 12 at a cost of $20 per person or $15 per person in a team of four or more. Entries may be made at biketobuild.org. Online registration will remain open through May 2 for $25 per person or $20 per person for teams. Participants may also register onsite for $30 per individual or $25 for a team. Registration for the 5K walk/run is $15 per person or $10 per person in a team of four or more.
For information or registration options, contact the Habitat for Humanity office at 910-276-3337.