May 2, 2011 5:41 AM
One 2011 Tulane graduate will ride off into the sunset after graduation — literally. Maria Araneta will join others who will bike across the country, stopping intermittently to build homes for low-income families.
Read the transcript of the Insider’s interview with Maria, who will be graduating with a degree in cell and molecular biology.
Insider: So you’re going to do what after graduation?!
Maria: (laughing) I will be part of a group of 34 people who will bike from Charleston, S.C., to Santa Cruz, Calif., from May 23 to Aug. 11. Actually, four of those people are group leaders that follow the bikers in a van. The full trip is about 4,100 miles in total, and the organization is called Bike and Build.
Insider: Is it a fundraiser?
Maria: Yes. My goal is $4,000. People can go to my page on the Bike and Build website to donate. Some of the money is used for trip expenses, but part of it also goes to building organizations like Habitat for Humanity.
Insider: How are you preparing for the trip?
Maria: I don’t think about the distance much. It’s a really good cause, and I have run some half marathons before.
Insider: So you’re pretty athletic already?
Maria: I wouldn’t say I’m athletic, but participants had to sign a form that said we would ride at least 500 miles before the trip with at least one continuous stretch of 65 miles. I’m doing that.
Insider: What’s the itinerary like?
Maria: I haven’t studied it yet because of final exams, but we will bike for about 70 miles a day and we’ll be stopping for building projects once or twice per week. (See the full route here.)
Insider: This is off topic, but have you already got a post-graduation job lined up?
Maria: I do! I will be working as a research assistant at the National Institutes of Health.
Congratulations Maria. And happy biking!
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