Having just completed its 27th year, the Habitat 500 is a bicycle ride (not race) and fundraiser that covers up to 500 miles over the course of 6 or 7 days. Each rider raises funds from family, friends, businesses, and church groups and designates the Habitat for Humanity affiliates they wish to support (both locally and around the world). A team of 40 volunteers, including a nurse, mechanic, and rest stop hosts, travel with and support riders. This ride is coordinated and hosted by Habitat for Humanity of Minnesota.
The ride has three options: full week, three-day, and one-day. Each full week and 3-day rider is required to raise a minimum of $500, but the average amount raised is over $2,300 per rider. 1-day riders must raise at least $250. Each rider also pays a registration fee: $400 (Regular, 6-day Ride); $300 (Early bird and all 1st-year riders, 6-day Ride); $200 (3-day Ride); or $100 (1-day Ride).
Each year is a new route; we tour around the Midwest (mostly Minnesota) visiting Habitat affiliates, Habitat work sites and Habitat homeowners along the way (in addition to roadside attractions). Habitat affiliates serve as our local hosts for overnight stays.
A key component of the ride is to raise awareness about the need for decent, safe, affordable housing. In this regard, we are in contact with all forms of media to generate coverage and we find the ride is a very attractive story for newspapers, radio, tv, cable, etc. – we bring a lot of excitement wherever we go.