Welcome to the 2012 California Wine Country cycle touring season! It’s been a great start to the year: Sunshine on our shoulders and miles and miles of roads to enjoy along the vineyards, mountains, coast, and oh yes, those hills we love to climb! As we “roll” into a new season, I’d like to introduce you to our California Team of Guides. This month, we feature Kristen Gentilucci.
Kristen’s was born in Los Angeles, escaped to Boston, Nebraska, and then Santa Cruz searching for a home with trees and good people. She eventually found it in Oakland, CA, the perfect mix of art, redwoods, real people with disparities, and thus potential.
She studied graphic design and art history at UC Santa Cruz. She likes… no no, she LOVES her bike. She found this love for a bicycle a few years ago and it has taken her around the world on two wheels. Kristen wants to be a traveler that meets people from all walks of life and shares in their excitements and also their tales of sadness and hardship.
This summer, Kristen will be leading a bike trip of 27 young adults ages 18 to 25, across the USA (from Maine to Santa Barbara) for Bike and Build. The goal is to raise awareness for affordable housing. While biking across the country diagonally they will meet with members of the communities they cycle through and tell them about their trip and the affordable housing issues, and help them become involved in efforts to alleviate the problem.
There will also be several days where the group will trade bikes for hammers, and help construct affordable homes with local affordable housing organizations like Rebuilding Together and Habitat for Humanity. In order to participate in Bike & Build, each cyclist must raise $4,500, including the leaders. The proceeds from the trip will be used to fund young-adult driven affordable housing projects.
We wish Kristen all the best on this adventure and certainly look forward to having her back in the Fall for more cycling tours around our bountiful fields of the harvest season.
To learn more about Bike and Build or to support Kristen’s efforts please visit: http://bikeandbuild.org/rider/5558 .
Cheers from California!