Habitat 500 rolls through Albert Lea

Published 4:00 am Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Habitat 500 Bike Ride stopped in Albert Lea, according to a press release.

Riders had dinner at First Lutheran Church and stayed overnight at Albert Lea High School on Sunday. They had breakfast at Grace Lutheran Church on Monday.

2015 is the 23rd anniversary of the Habitat 500 Bike ride.

Email newsletter signup

120 cyclists and 33 volunteers started their 500-mile trek through southern Minnesota. The course started on July 12 in Owatonna and will end July 18 in Owatonna.

The ride, hosted by Habitat for Humanity of Minnesota, helps raise money for providing simple, decent and affordable housing for families in need.

Participants are required to raise a minimum of $1,000 to be a part of the ride. The riders and volunteers raised well past the minimum. The 2014 fundraising goal of $400,000 was surpassed by $120,000. The continuous and dedicated effort by participants has led to $3.94 million to be raised on the ride since Habitat for Humanity of Minnesota took over coordination of the event in 2002.

The ride impacts both the communities it goes through and the riders themselves.

“I know that 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 the 15th time this year. “But I have to say they have had equal or greater effect on me. I have met so many people who are not only committed to the work of their local HFH chapters, but who open their schools, churches and hearts to us…and (do) everything they can to help support complete strangers raising money for other places.”