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Superheroes visit Victoria

By Jennifer Lee Preyss
Dec. 27, 2010 at 6:27 a.m.

Bicycling Superhero George "SuperStretch" Shapiro stands in front of the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Victoria, preparing to volunteer for the afternoon. SuperStretch accompanied 12 other bicycling superheroes, that rode into Victoria on Sunday evening with a mission to perform random acts of kindness and service work.

BICYCLING SUPERHEROES"SuperStretch," aka George Shapiro, aka "Stretch," 25, California.

"Stardust," aka Emily Breczinski, 29, currently "home-free."

"Captain Oregano," aka Max Holmes, 29, Indiana

"Raccoon," aka Tim Riegerix, 29, Missouri

"The Wild Yeast," aka Will Erker, 24, currently "home-free"

"The SerendipiTease," aka Lyndsey Scott, 34, Missouri

"StrongLove," aka Austin Carnahan, 21, Missouri.

"Infiniti Man," aka Jon Heyde, 28, Missouri.

"Eko Explorere," aka Emmy Koponen, 58, New Mexico.

"Ruby Hummingbird," Judy Anastasio, 62, New Mexico

"Zia," aka Nicole Bloin, 44, New Mexico.

"Screech Owl," Yasenta Sen'Gerni, 20, Virginia.

"NightShade Acorn," Melissa Andorsen, 25, Virginia.

The SerendipiTease and Captain Oregano aren't the names of new fashionable restaurants in town. Rather, they're the superhero alter egos of Lyndsey Scott and Will Erker, two of the 13 Bicycling Superheroes who rode into Victoria Sunday night, searching to carry out random acts of kindness.

Joined by a few of their superhero friends, including Ruby Hummingbird, SuperStretch, StrongLove, Infiniti Man, NightShade Acorn, Zia and Raccoon, the team of bicyclists gathered at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore Monday afternoon, where they volunteered to clean out the store's warehouse.

"They showed up and said they wanted to help, so we put them to work," Habitat for Humanity ReStore Director Ruby Ruiz said, laughing.

Donning red, pink and fluorescent orange capes and playful mismatched costumes, the superheroes hammered, lifted and carried large wooden boards in and out of the warehouse for more than an hour.

"We've painted churches, cleaned out trailers, cleaned out back yards, mulched and cleared trails, worked at a food bank, sung Christmas Carols. We'll do anything, really," George "SuperStretch" Shapiro said.

The Bicycling Superheroes kicked off their good deed adventure on Dec. 3 in Austin and plan to ride as a group into the new year.

"We're not trying to hit a number of cities, we're just going until it's time to go home," SuperStretch said.

More than an effort of spreading goodwill, the team said they aim to spread a message of togetherness and love, as they "trust in the universe" to provide for their needs.

"Everyone is a superhero. You just have to open yourself up to it," The SerendipiTease said. "It's about reaching out with joy and positivity."

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