A long, charitable bicycle ride to Mukilteo

To Lindsay Page, the Mukilteo Speedway is a lot like the Champs-Elysees.

Michael O’Leary The Herald

Lindsay Page, along with a group of fellow Yale students, bikes toward Mukilteo Friday on the final leg of a cross-country trek to raise money for Habitat For Humanity.

She wasn’t handed a giant trophy when she reached Mukilteo Presbyterian Church on Friday on her bicycle. But having spent two months riding across the country from New Haven, Conn., the Kamiak High School graduate is glad to be home.

Page and about 25 other riders left New Haven May 28 on a cross-country trek to raise funds for Habitat for Humanity, and will end the trip in Seattle today.

The riders were scheduled to stay at the new Presbyterian church at 4514 84th St. SW Friday night.

“I’m really just looking forward to getting back to Mukilteo, more so than Seattle,” Page said Tuesday from Okanogan.

Page, 22, graduated from Kamiak in 2001 and Yale University this year with a degree in anthropology. She was inspired to make the annual Habitat ride after hearing about it from other Yale students and seeing the finish of the race in Seattle a few years ago.

Riders raise money through pledges, with a goal of $4,000 or more per rider. Habitat builds homes for low-income people who pitch in sweat equity.

“It’s really just a great opportunity to do some good,” Page said.

Page played volleyball and basketball at Kamiak and Yale, but had never been much of a bike rider.

“Pretty much all of our riders are beginners,” she said. “The first two weeks were a little painful and a little difficult.”

As leader of this year’s ride, Page began organizing the trip last fall, planning the route and arranging for the group to stay in churches. The group has been served most of its morning and evening meals by members of churches where they’ve spent the night, she said.

“It’s been incredible, the churches where we’ve stayed along the way,” she said.

Other nights, the group has stayed in campgrounds. The gear is carried in a couple of vans driving along with the group. For lunch, “we eat a lot of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches,” she said.

Page, who plans to pursue a master’s degree in public health, said the experience isn’t directly relevant to her choice of career. But the skills she’s developed organizing the trip have been valuable, she said.

“I’m sure it’ll help me later in life,” Page said. “It’s really been just a spectacular experience.”

Reporter Bill Sheets: 425-339-3439 or sheets@heraldnet.com.

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