Matt Hartman – Bike and Build
Bike and Build is a nonprofit organization that involves a combination of biking, building houses, and funding for affordable housing. The organization was founded in 2002 by Mark Bush. Each year, the organization has about 250 young adults 18 to 25 years of age participate in 1 of 8 official routes across the country. Each participant has to raise $4,500 before the trip. Most of the money then goes toward the building projects.
Matt Hartman, a Religion and Philosophy major who graduated from Drury in 2010, decided to join Bike and Build after a friend of his completed the Northern Route. This summer, Matt will be completing the Maine to Santa Barbara Route. The trip lasts for about two and a half months and consists of 77 total days, which include 59 days of riding, 15 days of building affordable houses, and 3 days off to relax. Eventually, Hartman will be traveling through Springfield on this trip. “Part of the reason I chose this route,” Matt explains, “was because it passes through Springfield and it would be good to go through my hometown and be able to help out there.”
Matt has been biking since childhood and has become more and more involved with it as he grew up and went to school. “I just kind of got into it. I had some friends who were into biking. When I was in school I just wanted to save gas and stay active…The thing about biking long distances is I get to see more of the country.”
Hartman just finished getting his masters in Religious Studies at Missouri State University. As was mentioned earlier, Bike and Build is a two and a half month commitment and will take up a majority of his summer this year. “After getting my masters, I wanted to do something fun and adventurous and kind of crazy, and also to give back to the community.” Matt says that after he has completed his trip, he will be applying to get into Ph.D. programs. His ultimate goal is to be able to teach at the university level.
Written by Sarah Lee ’16