Dr. Greg Duffner got hooked on long-distance bike riding as soon as he graduated from the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Dentistry in 1985 after a twenty-day trip from Florida to Chicago. Not only does he ride 13.5 miles to work every day (rain or shine), Dr. Duffner has recently teamed up with five of his closest cycling friends to embark on a 3,667-mile bike ride from coast to coast to help raise money for Mercy Housing – a nonprofit organization helping provide affordable housing in 41 states across the U.S.
Starting in San Francisco and ending in Rehoboth Beach forty-two days later, the team of riders were accompanied by Dr. Duffner’s sister and wife who drove the route in a van carrying supplies, extra equipment, food, and any other emergency needs.
Dr. Duffner and his team rode an average of 102 miles a day, with three hours of rain within the six weeks of riding. Staying at schools, churches, hotels and campsites, the cyclists were also able to stay in private homes ranging in size from a small, two-bedroom apartment to a Mormon bishop’s home.
“Staying as guests in private homes gave us a wonderful opportunity to meet people and enjoy their hospitality,” says Dr. Duffner. “We really learned about ourselves and others and we put ourselves in the shoes of homeless people for six weeks… We definitely got an education. It was an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
Dr. Duffner and his team were able to raise $60,000 for Mercy Housing. For more information on Dr. Greg Duffner and the Mercy Riders, visit mercyriders.org.
More on Mercy Housing:
“Mercy Housing was established in 1981 and is headquartered in Denver, Colorado. It was originally founded by the sisters of Mercy of Omaha as a response to the need of low and moderate income families for affordable housing and has grown to become one of the largest nonprofit affordable housing organizations in the country. Since its inception, MHI has developed about $2.3 billion of housing (41,000+ units and it serves almost 140,000 people daily. Mercy Housing’s nationwide portfolio has tripled in size in the last decade”.