Stan Wolf’s employer is granting him an 11-week hiatus this summer for a 4,100-mile bike ride.
BAR Architects in downtown San Francisco is not only giving its 26-year-old architectural designer the time off, the firm is sponsoring Wolf by donating to the cause.
Philadelphia-based Bike and Build is organizing eight cross-country bicycle trips this summer to benefit affordable housing groups. Wolf, his three co-leaders and 30-or-so college-age riders are devoting their summer breaks to biking and building.
Wolf’s Charleston, S.C., to Santa Cruz journey begins May 23. His group will stay in camp sites, churches and community centers, conducting affordable housing presentations and bike clinics for their hosts.
Coming full circle for Wolf, the stop in Colorado Springs will likely present a meaningful and poignant experience as he lived in rent-controlled apartments there as a child. His hometown is an appointed site of a “blitz build,” where the group will construct the majority of a house.
“I’ve always found that being on the site and doing something with my hands is a much better way to learn for me than being on the computer writing models,” said the 2008 graduate from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. “This experience will help me to be a better architect, a better professional.”
Wolf is well-prepared for his first Bike and Build adventure; he has extensive leadership experience, having volunteered with FIRST and Habitat for Humanity, and he is a longtime cyclist.
An avid mountain bike rider since his high school days, Wolf switched to road cycling after moving to San Francisco last year.
His preparations for the cross-country ride include biking round-trip to work from his Bayview district home. Saturdays, Wolf does 20 miles, and on Sundays, a 40- to 50-mile group ride in the North Bay.
He is also in the final stages of securing a pedicab license, which will provide dual benefits for Wolf.
“I’ll be out there on the Embarcadero six or seven hours per shift. If I’m lugging around a couple of passengers, 300 or 400 pounds, that will help build up my muscles,” the 5-foot-8, 175-pound Wolf said. “That’s also a good way for me to reach a lot of people and fundraise out there.”
Fiancee Bridget Weslow has also helped out with the fundraising.
“For her birthday she actually told her family not to get anything for her, just to donate to me; that would be her present,” Wolf said. “Hopefully she’ll be here waiting for me when I get back.”
WHAT: Since 2003, its cross-country bicycling trips have raised $2.7 million for affordable housing causes and projects
WHO: 1,500 applications from college students across the country for this summer’s 250 rider spots
WOLF’S RIDE: www.bikeandbuild.org/rider/4705
INFO: (267) 331-8488