CKHS grad biking from coast to coast

Sarah MacDuff -
Sarah MacDuff
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Although her love of biking was just discovered a mere four months ago, Silverdale native Sabrina MacDuff is preparing for her more than 3,000-mile bicycle trip from Virginia Beach, Va. to Cannon Beach, Ore. beginning today.

A pre-medical student at Boston University (BU), MacDuff said she heard about the cross-country cycle trip, hosted by the Bike and Build organization, at a Habitat for Humanity meeting, a Christian, non-profit organization that helps to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the world by making decent shelters and homes. MacDuff has been involved with Habitat for Humanity since she was in the ninth grade.

Bike and Build, a non-profit organization, mobilizes young people to raise money and awareness for affordable housing while biking on various trips. MacDuff is on the central United States trip.

“I cannot think of a better way to spend my summer than truly making a difference for a cause I am very concerned about,” MacDuff said. “Moving to the city for college has exposed me to the devastating reality of poverty within the United States.”

Not wanting to come home for the summer and work her high school job, MacDuff said she heard about the opportunity to bike across the nation while stopping in various cities to build homes for less fortunate and jumped at the chance to join.

“I really wanted to see the country,” she added with a laugh. “I knew that if I didn’t go this summer, I would never go.”

MacDuff is currently pursuing a degree in international relations with a focus on regional politics in Africa.

After purchasing her first bike in January, MacDuff said she was so excited, she went for a 20-mile ride in low temperatures and caught a cold that lasted more than a week.

“(After that) I rode a lot in March,” MacDuff said with a laugh. “I did a lot of indoor training ... spending five days a week in the gym. It was hard at first, but slowly it became part of my routine.”

MacDuff said during her training for the cycle trip, she would get up at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday to take in at least a 40-mile ride, as well as check the weather multiple times a day during the week to try and squeeze in a training session whenever she could.

“It became more important for me to train then go out at night,” MacDuff added. “My social life was cut out.”

With a love of building, MacDuff said she knew this was the right trip for her when she heard about it. As a previous home-builder with Habitat for Humanity, MacDuff said that experience has helped her to realize the importance of shelter for all families.

“It brings joy to my life to be able to make a difference,” MacDuff explained. “I absolutely love building ... and seeing the physical work you’ve done.”

Adding that although Boston doesn’t provide MacDuff with all the types of terrain that she will experience on her nationwide ride, she said she’s excited and just a little nervous for the hills in West Virginia and the Rockies in Colorado.

“I’m nothing but excited (for the trip),” MacDuff said, adding that she has been training with and e-mailing other Bike and Build members. “I’ve been anticipating this for eight months.”

Along with 29 other Bike and Build participants, MacDuff said they will begin their ride with two-day training in West Virginia, spend a couple of days building homes in the area, and then head off to the next build site. MacDuff said building times are sporadic, with multiple weeks passing before any building days, but other weeks with multiple building days in one week. Along the trip, each participant has been assigned an aspect of affordable housing to present on each week. Although the presentations will benefit each participant, they are designed to educate and create awareness for people in the various towns and communities they stop in. There will be nine building days on the particular route that MacDuff is on.

“I really have gotten into cycling because of this trip,” MacDuff said, adding that she will participate on BU’s cycling team next year as the only female on the team. “It’s a great group of kids.”

Participants will stay at various homes, churches and community centers to sleep and shower.

“Right now, all that is on my mind is cycling. I’ve been training for months and my anticipation for this trip is almost unbearable,” MacDuff added. “The point of the trip is to create awareness more than anything.”

To follow Sabrina MacDuff’s journey, visit her blog at to read her journal and see pictures from her trip.

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