Now in its 22nd year, the Habitat 500 Bike Ride will embark on a 500-mile journey with 135 bikers and 40 volunteers from July 13th – 19th across central-Minnesota, all in order to raise funds and awareness to provide low-income families with safe, decent, and affordable homes.
The Habitat 500, an annual fundraising bike ride organized by Habitat for Humanity of Minnesota, gives riders the chance to build a cycle of hope for families across the world from the seat of their bicycle. Participants will bike 50 to 100 miles each day on the ride, making six overnight stops around Minnesota. This year’s route kicks off in St. Joseph, and then travels through Osakis, Menahga, Bemidji, Pine River, and Little Falls before circling back to St. Joseph.
Riders will spend two nights in Bemidji, where they will have the opportunity to work on the sites of the Habitat 500’s two bike.homes. through a partnership with Northwoods Habitat for Humanity. This is the first year that the Habitat 500 will have the opportunity to sponsor two bike.homes. One of the homes is a new construction site and the other is an A Brush with Kindness project. A Brush with Kindness is a program by Habitat for Humanity that aims to improve the existing housing stock and keep people in their homes.
“Each July, I get to see first hand what an incredible job Habitat for Humanity does and how they impact local communities. The week is challenging, but I get to ride through beautiful lake country, I get to visit with old friends, and I get to promote and raise funds for a truly incredible organization,” says veteran Habitat 500 rider, Kim Livezey-Eisenbarth, who will be participating in the ride for the 16th time this summer. “That’s what keeps me coming back each year.”
Each participant is required to raise a minimum of $1,000 to participate in the ride, but typically raises much more, averaging $2,700 per person. This year’s 22nd Anniversary fundraising goal is to raise $400,000 to help create additional affordable housing opportunities in partnership with low-income families. Since its inception in 1993, $5.19 million dollars have been raised through the Habitat 500 Bike Ride, in support of Habitat for Humanity home construction, contributing to the 2,200 homes built by Minnesota affiliates.
For more information on how to get involved, please visit www.habitat500.org.