Bike ride to raise money for Habitat for Humanity

Published 9:00 am Sunday, July 5, 2015

A 500-mile bike ride through southern Minnesota will stop in Hollandale, Albert Lea and Myrtle next weekend in an effort to raise money for Habitat for Humanity.

The 23rd annual Habitat 500 Bike Ride will kick off next Sunday and end on July 18.

The ride starts in Owatonna and travels through Albert Lea, Spring Valley and Winona before making a brief stop in LaCrosse and returning to Winona. It will then continue back through Spring Valley and Kasson before ending in Owatonna July 18.

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It will stop in Hollandale City Park in Hollandale at 10 a.m. next Sunday before stopping in Albert Lea overnight. The riders will eat dinner at First Lutheran Church before sleeping overnight at Albert Lea High School. The next morning, July 13, the group will eat breakfast at Grace Lutheran Church before stopping for a rest stop in Myrtle later in the morning.

Since Habitat for Humanity of Minnesota took over the ride in 2002, it has raised $3.94 million in support of the organization’s mission of providing families with simple, decent and affordable housing.

“I know the communities we have visited have benefited from the ride as it highlights their local Habitat projects and they often have riders who are fundraising for them,” said Jeri Lake, a rider participating for her 15th year this year. “But I have to say they have had equal or greater effect on me.”

She said she has met many people committed to the work of Habitat for Humanity and who open their schools, churches and hearts to the riders.

Last year the event raised more than $500,000.

Participants are required to raise a minimum of $1,000 to be a part of the ride.

This year riders are coming from all over the United States, including California, Florida, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, North Dakota and Minnesota, to name a few.

The youngest rider is 13, and the oldest is 79. The average rider is 53.

For more information on how to get involved, visit