Just about a month after he graduates from Stetson University in DeLand, Fla., Verona native Tyce Herrman, 21, plans to take a trip from Portsmouth, N.H., to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
One way, the trip will take about 70 days — eight hours and 60 miles per day.
Herrman and 29 other people will be riding their bicycles with Bike and Build, an organization dedicated to “pedaling for affordable housing,” all the way across the northern portion of the United States — 3,757 miles.
The group will set out from New Hampshire Wednesday, June 20 for its bike across America, stopping along the way at 10 housing sites to help build affordable homes.
“Most people think I’m crazy, but by and large, they are behind the cause,” Herrman said.
The soon-to-be college graduate will be riding with his best friend from college, Francis Sams, 26, of Norwich, Vt., also a senior student at Stetson.
“I’m a little nervous,” Sams said. “Not so much for the biking because I have the legs for it, but for what’s going to happen along the way.”
Herrman and Sams are both planning on going on the trip, but they can only go if they meet certain requirements.
In order to qualify for the trip, each participant must raise $4,500, complete at least 10 hours of home-building projects with any affordable housing organization, such as Habitat for Humanity, and ride at least 500 miles.
As of May 3, Herrman had raised enough money to bring him to his “sweet home, Chicago,” according to his fundraising Facebook page, Tyce’s 2012 Bike and Build Fundraising Ride. He still needs more, though.
Sams said he had between $2,000 and $2,500 as of Monday, May 7.
Herrman has completed about 300 miles so far and Sams has completed all 500.
The guys have almost worked for 10 hours at an affordable housing site, too. Herrman plans to finish his hours when he returns to Verona for awhile before the trip with the Grundy-Three Rivers Habitat for Humanity and Sams will head to Miami, Fla., to complete his hours there.
If the requirements are not met, the guys will not be going on the trip. Sams said no matter what happens, though, the money donated to the cause will go to affordable housing projects.
“I think it will all work out in the end,” Sams said.
The friends have both been riding seriously for several years now. Herrman’s riding picked up when he started his environmental science and philosophy education at Stetson.
“I needed to be living it, not just studying it,” he said regarding his environmental studies and using an alternative means of transportation.
He rides everywhere in DeLand, averaging about five miles per day, he estimated.
“And it’s a good way to keep your body from falling apart,” he added.
Sams tries to take one lengthy ride each week, normally a 50- or 60-mile ride on the weekends.
The guys are both nervous about the donations coming in on time, but both are hopeful that things will work themselves out.
“It’s really easy (to donate) and it’s tax deductible,” Herrman said.
In nine seasons, Bike and Build has donated $3,387,200 to affordable housing projects and has built for over 100,000 hours.
To donate to Herrman and Sams, visit www.bikeandbuild.org/donate and search for their names individually, Tyce Herrman and Francis Sams.
“We really appreciate any donations,” Herrman said.