Tuesday June 19, 2012 | 07:30 AM
Thirty young adult cyclists made stops in greater Portland over the last few days as part of Bike & Build Inc., a national non-profit committed to affordable housing.

The crew of riders had a three-day orientation before heading to Freeport Monday to work at the Habitat for Humanity build site at 40 South St.

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Nicole Bosarge of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Portland was at the work site and contributed the photos.

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After a full work day, the group departed from East End Beach this morning to begin the journey across the U.S. The 10-week trek will end in Santa Barbara, Calif.

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Some of the cyclists tested the chilly Atlantic after carrying their bikes onto the beach for a group photo.

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You can track the rider's progress over the 3,886 miles on the Bike & Build website. It's also mapped out on the group's support truck.

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The next stop is Kittery, 64 miles away. On Wednesday the riders will pedal to Andover, Mass. and spend a build day there on Thursday.

While in the Portland area, the riders stayed at St. Peter's Episcopal Church on Washington Avenue, ate pizza from Portland House of Pizza and were fed dinner by St. Mary's Episcopal Church & Foreside Community Church in Falmouth. And they helped build a house.

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Based in Philadelphia, Bike & Build has seen 1,600 volunteers ride through the program since 2003, resulting in 100,000 volunteer hours. Riders, ages 18 to 25 years old, must raise at least $4,500 to participate. The money helps fund trip costs and goes toward affordable housing efforts.

According to Director of Operations and Outreach Justin Villere, Bike & Build has 265 riders this year. The program offers eight cross-country trips each summer.

About the Author

Karen Beaudoin lives in Portland and is the web editor for PressHerald.com.

Her Pedal On blog offers info, events and advice for people who love their bikes more than, well ... almost anything.

Get in touch at kbeaudoin@mainetoday.com

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