Graduating in the spring from the University of North Carolina - Asheville is likely to be one of those freeze frame moments, where time stands still just long enough for you to realize that you are completely unprepared for the challenge ahead of you. At least, that's the way I envision it. I spent the better portion of my life in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, moving to the mountains for college in 2004. In 2007, I attended Humboldt State University in Humboldt County, California as part of the National Student Exchange. Living there, I garnered a new appreciation for the outdoors, and I witnessed the struggle between the logging industry and the environmentalists. Participating in debates with classmates concerning these issues, I realized an interest in environmental law and policy. Along this line, I am preparing for the LSAT with plans to attend law school in 2010 ... or 2011. After nearly 19 years of formal education, it is time for a taste of the real world. Spring break, 2008 saw me building houses on a Habitat for Humanity trip to New Orleans. We worked in St. Bernard's Parish, one of the places hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina. Although I was aware of the massive devastation, I was unprepared to see it firsthand. Walking around the neighborhood we were working in, we spoke with several people who were some of the nicest I had ever met. One family brought us all blood oranges as a thank you, even though we weren't working on his house. Seeing the FEMA trailers, still up 3 years after the disaster, was a gripping reminder of the work left undone and the bureaucratic messes left behind. Bike & Build provides young people with an opportunity to practice real change in the lives of others. Those who cannot find affordable housing are "regular" people, including teachers, police officers and firefighters. Although building houses in New Orleans was not the easiest of missions, the people made it one of the most memorable, moving experiences of my life. From the biking end of things, I am riding a vintage Pinarello given to me by a man who recognized my interest in cycling along with my student's budget. My father rode in the 80's, before the introduction of spandex, and his love for the sport was born again in me. I can't wait to ride across the country. I know it will be a thrilling, challenging and enlightening ride.