Build the Oasis in the Grass Desert

$14,231 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 245 people in 32 months
UPDATE March 2018

The guys have been hard at work with the funding that has come in.  So far this month, they have repaired floors and walls, added all kinds of finishing touches to the walls, sanded, cleaned and sanded some more, and some more...ugh!  The pic below was pretty much the norm for almost a week... :)  

#workinghard on #pedalerscorner

They have also started painting some of the smaller rooms that can't be sprayed easily...the bathrooms, laundry room and front windows. This is Rich's favorite job and we're glad cuz he's great at it!    :)

While Rich paints, James, Karl and Steve have been busy hanging cabinets.  

We are FAST approaching needing to install flooring, which unfortunately NONE of my amazing helpers know how to do.  As well as buying the material to build bunks and purchase mattresses and some of the appliances we don't have yet.  

Please consider giving.  We are maxed out, tired but excited to finish!!

Remember, every gift no matter how small helps.  There truly is power in numbers.  Please share in your social circles too.  We'd appreciate it very much.

Thank you to each of you who has given!!

Much pedal love,
James & Heather

UPDATE February 2018

If you know us, you know we love to host ALL bicyclists! Sadly, we disappointed a lot of folks in 2017.  :( 

City codes have changed for us and we must finish our hostel so all those traveling to Newton on a bicycle can stay overnight with us.

Every little bit helps...#powerinnumbers  

Here's what the remaining unfinished piece looks like now...will you be part of the legacy?

Below is the small piece that is finished.
Thanks in advance for your help!

Update November 2017

We have bumped up the Gofundme goal to $20000.  Here’s why…

We spent the first part of 2017 rushing to finish the hostel.  When we did not have enough funds to completely finish the full vision you see detailed in other updates, the next most important thing was to at least finish the Trans Am Racer portion of the hostel.  This was imperative not only because the racers depend on us, but because they are the largest group of supporters for the Oasis in the Grass Desert. 

You can see the transformation of the finished racer area and private room below.

Looking toward the bike wash from the side door...

Painting the back 1/3 of the hostel.

Leprechaun green for the sponsored Trans Altlantic Way Race room for the TABR racers...

Flooring being laid...

Finished paint, flooring and doors installed.  Looking toward bike wash from side door.

Sitting area by the side door.

Racer bunk room...

Racer bunk room...

Private room...

In 2017, we slept up to 6 racers at a time as well as housed our overnight helpers and volunteers in the private room and make shift sleeping areas.  It was a little chaotic to say the least.  But you can see how we handled this here.  

This space functioned for the race, but not for regular tourers because it still requires involvement with the bike shop.  Our insurance provider as well as the city are now requiring that these spaces be separate.

As far as supplies, we still need to purchase 6 mattresses and the lumber and supplies to build those bunks, a few appliances as well as a few other minor trim out items.  If we can raise above our goal, we will replace all the mattresses currently in use which would be awesome! 

Originally, we figured we could do all the labor ourselves trying to keep the overall costs low.  After spending the first part of the year finishing the Trans Am Race area in the hostel as well as building out all the interior of the rest of the hostel and finishing our home this summer, we realize that one man just can’t do all that and provide for his family.  We must hire contractors in order to preserve James’ hands, which are hurting badly, and allow him to focus on running the business and preparations for next year’s touring and race season.  This year, we had to turn away all of the tourers coming through after the race because we just couldn’t finish everything at once.  It was not an ideal situation and if we missed you, we sincerely apologize.

Therefore, the remaining labor costs and supplies are going to exceed the original goal.  Our remaining tasks are hiring a painting contractor (we have 12 ft walls in  the rest of the space), the finish out for the plumbing, and a flooring contractor to lay the remaining floor.  The installation of cabinets, bunks, and final trim out will be handled by James. 

With the remaining GoFundMe balance and another loan we have secured outside of the GoFundMe, we will finish the goal.  Will you please help and spread the word?

Much pedal love,

James & Heather

Previous Video Update...May 2017

Watch the video above to view pictures and get a peek at the new hostel being built...

IF YOU'VE HELPED, please share.  It only takes everyone giving a little to make this happen...

May 2017:   The total GoFundMe amount of $15,000 is the last part of the total $35,000 rennovation for the hostel space.  We have poured our heart, soul and savings into this endeavor.  Will you help us finish the last part?


Thank you to each one who has contributed so far!  aYou are simply amazing and we have been so blessed by your generosity.  We do, however, have a much bigger goal now.  Here's why...

In 2016, we raised a portion of what was necessary to at least open up a temporary entertainment area and get the AC units functioning in the warehouse so it no longer felt like you were sitting outside back there :).  

We did not, however, raise enough to fully develop the plan you see below or to separate the main hostel from the bike shop allowing us to function more efficiently and serve effectively.  

This winter, we changed the hostel bunk room back to Heather's much needed office.  We did this because we had to start somewhere and she needed the separate space to run our business properly.  We also updated the Trans Am Bike Race studio for the upcoming season, opened up the bike shop floor space as well as constructed a service window to help with the flow of customers for our technicians.  Bike shop reno is done.  

Now that it's kind of warming up, we are ready to go into full action to finish the Oasis area for the 2017 season.  We MUST or lots of cyclists will be disappointed!! (There is no more bunk room right now...)

Well because our building is over 100 years old and the hostel needs to be self contained, we've involved our city in creating our new space.  They requested that we involve an architect in designing out the space in our building we will now use for the Oasis hostel to ensure the safety and security of those staying with us. 

In short, more exits, fire alarms, emergency release doors, construction materials and supplies to construct a useable and safe space for our guests are needed urgently.

Well, as you know, it's not cheap to build or "recondition" a space.  While we do most of the work and financial commitment ourselves, we have set the GoFundMe goal to help us quickly finish your new Oasis In the Grass Desert and be ready for you and all the cyclists planning on visiting.  

We literally can't do it without your help.  Will you?   

MUCH LOVE, James & Heather


Hello!  We are Heather and James Barringer, owners of Newton Bike Shop in Newton, KS.

Many of you reading this have been to our store or have stayed with us in our hostel - some in the beginning when it was just a big green couch that you played rock paper scissors to sleep on (that we actually still have :) and it's just as comfy) and air mattresses.  Some of you may have seen our cameo in the movie Inspired to Ride - the 2014 documentary following the inaugural Trans Am Bike Race - or maybe you are connected on our social media and just like what we do because we aren't your normal bike shop, we do EVERYTHING different than the norm.  

You know like free beer on tap for our guests, 24/7 service and live coverage for the Trans Am Bike Race each year as well as taking a very different approach to keeping folks biking.  

We have hosted hundreds of cyclists over the years, each with their own story, from as young as 10 to as old as 85.  We've had famous people, professional racers, retirees, surgeons, lawyers, entreprenuers, teachers, professors, CEOs, college kids, high school kids, whole families, moms, dads, grandparents, photographers, film producers, boy scout groups, groups riding for various charities and the list goes on and on.  

Our goal is to be the BEST place to stay while you travel by bike with the best service, a relaxing spot to rejuvenate, make great friendships, and a common love of adventure.  In short, our passion is to be part of your journey.  

Touring cyclists provide a huge amount of commerce for our community by spending at locally owned restaurants, small stores, grocery outlets, coffee shops and local businesses. Our desire has always been to provide them with an affordable and fun place to stay the night, so they can enjoy Newton for a few days.

Because of our desire to serve our community and those who visit Newton on their bikes, our hostel's popularity has grown and we have outgrown our current space.

In short, we have become known worldwide as the "Oasis In The Grass Desert".

And now, we need your help!

Several months ago, we started the process of purchasing the remaining 2/3's of our current building. With our building purchase recently final, we now have the opportunity to expand our 7 bed hostel to a 21 bed hostel, with on site showers, more bathrooms, and a separate kitchen, laundry and entertainment space for our guests. 

Expanding our hostel takes it out of our bike shop, allowing our shop to perform more efficient bike service, and a bigger, separate hostel gives our guests more room, more beds and more amenities to help make their stay one of the most memorable on their journey - a "bicycle oasis."

Construction has begun, but...
Time and resources are SHORT!

Time is not on our side due to circumstances beyond our control and we are already being flooded with guests and summer service. We need to raise another $7000 in the next week or so to quickly paint and repair the additional bunk rooms, to finish installing A/C in those rooms, to finish the separate kitchen and on site showers, and purchase additional beds so we can to accomodate the riders heading our way. 

All of you helped make us the #1 spot on the TransAmerica Trail and we want to stay that way and not have to turn anyone away!

Though we raised a small amount of funds for our hostel growth already, that was eaten up pretty quickly in clearing out the space to make it useable, gas line pressure tests, electrical work and purchasing additional kitchen, bathroom fixtures and flooring - all of which have yet to be installed.

So, you helping with any amount means we get to finally finish the much needed separate space of bicycle AWESOMENESS, for the hundreds of cycling guests who plan to stay with us each season.

We honestly can’t finish the task without your help. We are tapped out of resources, man power and time.  

For those who know us personally, you know that being a part of your journey and the journey of those to come is what fuels our passion.  

Will you help shoulder the burden?

 Much pedal love...
James & Heather
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Hey guys, thanks for all the recent donations! Even though we have a ways to go, we've made due with what we have been blessed with so far. Check out the main story page. I posted lots of update pics there for you to see our progress.

Please spread the word and help the guys out. They are working themselves to the bone, eating dust and getting cracked fingers to save money on hiring contractors. AND, flooring is coming up fast and we need to get 'er done. As well as major purchases still to make for bunks, etc. Any and all help is appreciated to keep the future costs down for our traveling guests!!

You guys rock and we appreciate you!

Keep pedaling,
James & Heather
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February 27th, 2018

THANK YOU to all those who have given! Here's a peek at what we've been doing with your recent donations...

We've purchased ceiling paint, drywall primer and paneling for the entertainment area. The guys are hard at work cleaning wall paper off the walls and prepping the walls and ceilings for paint.

Keep those donations coming so the guys can keep working. We have LOTS more to do and a few large items to purchase still - you know things like mattresses and bunk beds!

Enjoy the pics :)

Removing Wallpaper
Almost done
New paneling around the room
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You guys ROCK! Thank you for helping us get closer to helping you and others on bikes...
Just thinking how awesome you guys are!
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Hey everyone! We are excited to give you some amazing updates in the video below. We are not done though and we need your help FAST.

Guys, our passion is to be part of the journey of hundreds of cyclists each year. We have poured our hearts, lives and savings into becoming that place you want to stop while on your bike . After the process of buying the building, cleaning it out, repairing it and beginning the hostel expansion, we have gone as far as our funds will allow, we need you to help us finish our goal.

There have been over 5,600 visits to our campaign, yet the amount raised so far was done so with only 138 people. Wow! The power of just a few...Just imagine what we could provide our guests if each of the remaining 5,462 people only gave $2?

Will you pay it forward today?
We are so close! Check out the updates.
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Read a Previous Update
Chris CJ Rausch
21 months ago

You guys are awesome ! Thanks for all your help!

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$14,231 of $20,000 goal

Raised by 245 people in 32 months
Created June 13, 2016
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Christian Johanningmeier
8 months ago

Keep up the good work.

John Egbers
10 months ago

Nice work! Hope to be there for the Full Monty.

Chris Abess
10 months ago

Thanks for all you're doing! Looking forward to seeing you guys soon and enjoying the Oasis!

Dennis Knowlton
11 months ago

Love what you are doing! Thank you! As a 2018 Transam Rider, hope to see you in June.

Damon Ormes
11 months ago

Love your work guys. Keep it up.

Marcel Graber
11 months ago

See you at the TABR ;-)

Chris CJ Rausch
21 months ago

You guys are awesome ! Thanks for all your help!

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