Bike and Build Leader Hit and Killed By Car

The South Carolina to Santa Cruz group of Bike and Build, a non-profit organization which organizes cross-country bicycling trips to raise money for the affordable housing cause in the United States, has been hard hit this week by the death of their trip leader and alumni Christina Genco.  Genco was struck and killed by a car this past week on a trip to Alabama raising money for the organization.

According to the police report, Genco and her riding partner and co-leader, Jeremy Story, were traveling on the shoulder of the west-bound travel lane of Route 35 when an SUV attempted to pass both riders.  Unfortunately, when passing the riders, the SUV struck Genco and paramedics pronounced her dead at the scene.  There is no word from the police on whether the SUV was traveling within the limit of the law.

The group stated that Christina was an active member of the Bike and Build community having ridden in several other rides.  They added that her zest for life and passion for the cause made her a beloved member and her passing has left a permanent hole in the lives of many.

The Bike and Build organization began in 2002 and has directly involved over 1,250 young adults and has also donated over $3.3 million to affordable housing charities.  Riders in the organization are required to raise $4,500 each before starting on a trip.  Part of the money is used to run the trips, and the remainder is donated to affordable housing organizations.  Sometimes on the cross-country trips, additional funds are collected as well.  Participants in Bike and Build do not need previous building or cycling experience or even own a bicycle, as the organization will provide each participant with a bicycle for the trip.  In addition to the trips, each participant is required to complete ten hours of sweat equity before each trip by assisting affordable housing groups with the building of or repairing of a home.

There has been two fatalities on Bike and Build trips since its inception.  Of course, there is the death of Christina Genco on June 7, 2012, who was killed when struck by an SUV bear Rainsville, Alabama.  The other fatality happened on July 20, 2010, when Bike and Build trip leader Paige Hicks was struck and killed by a truck near Vetal, South Dakota.