By Mark Ambrogi
Sarah Swiezy finally had a sales pitch that worked on her younger brother.
“I got dragged in because she has tried to get me to go with her to Honduras with her,” Jacob said. “She’s been twice to help with affordable housing. But I didn’t really feel comfortable with those trips. But when she found this trip, I thought it would be kind of cool.”
The two have committed to Bike & Build’s Costal Drift trip where they will take an 816-mile bike trip in and out of towns spread from Bay Harbor, Maine to New York City. Along the way during the three-week trip which starts June 7, the riders will stop to help build affordable housing. There a five build days scheduled in Portland, Maine, Salem, Massachusetts, Nantucket, Massachusetts, and New Haven, Connecticut, and New York City. There are 13 ride days and the rides will travel through seven states.
Sarah, a 2012 Carmel High School graduate and Washington University(in St. Louis) junior, learned about the trip in her college newspaper.
“I wanted to do something community service focused over the summer,” said Sarah, who majors in biology and wants to be a physician. “Jake and I also knew we wanted to something for his graduation and before we were both out of the house.”
Jacob, a Carmel High School senior, has been accepted at both MIT and Purdue and hasn’t made his final decision yet.
“Neither of us are very serious bikers but we thought it was a good way to spend time together before we are off in our own directions,” Jacob said. “She is passionate about affordable housing so it was a perfect fit.”
Jacob plans are to become an aeronautical engineer.
“For me it’s just a trip to have some fun and do something good while we are doing it,” he said.
They have to raise about $3,000 each for the trip. As part of that cost, they will be provided proper bicycles for the trip. In addition to donation on the site, both plan to ask for donations in lieu of birthday presents. Sarah turns 21 on April 2and Jacob 18 on May 3.
During Sarah’s spring break earlier this month, the two practiced taking longerbike rides.
“We’re supposed to get comfortable riding on streets,” Sarah said. “Our bikingexperience previously has been mostly limited to biking trails we’ve taken as a family.”
Sarah stays fit as a Washington University cheerleader. She also was cheerleader at Carmel and was on competition cheerleading teams in high school. Jacob played football through his sophomore season and regularly lifts weights.
Jacob said the riders are expected to log 500 bicycling miles before the trip.
For more more information on the bike trip, visit costaldrift.org. Visitors can click on the riders profiles and donate.