The full 2020 ride schedule and details will be posted here soon.
Until then, you can read up on orientation day and the overnight cities below!
Pequot Lakes, MN
Saturday, July 11 Kick-off and check-in
4:00 – 7:30 PM Riders arrive / check in
5:00 – 7:30 PM Dinner provided
6:30 – 7:15 PM New Rider Welcome & Orientation
7:30 – 8:30 PM Full Group Welcome & Orientation – All riders and volunteers
July 12-18, 2020
- Overnight accommodations provided in each city on the route
- Breakfast, dinner and rest stop snacks provided for participants
July 11-13: Pequot Lakes
July 13-15: Bemidji (bike.home. affiliate)
July 15-17: Menahga
July 17-18: Pillager
July 18: Pequot Lakes (Finish line celebration)
This year’s route will take us through beautiful North West Minnesota!
Pequot Lakes: Our beginning and ending point is in Pequot Lakes, a town of 2,000 just north of Brainerd. According to the Pequot Lakes Heritage Preservation Commission, the city once called Sibley and Frogtown was renamed as Pequot in 1900. The Pequot Indians are a tribe that used to dominate southeastern New England before the English colonists arrived. While no Pequot tribe members lived in Minnesota, they spoke an Algonquian language related to that of the local Chippewa (Ojibwe) tribes.
Beginning in 1938, Pequot Lakes annually hosts the Bean Hole Days festival in July. It is centered around an old tradition of cooking beans in pots in pits. The festival originally began when store owners in the town hosted a bean feed for the local farmers, and the tradition continued. Over the years, new traditions were created, such as giving pots Scandinavian names like Ole and Sven, and electing a Bean Hole Days “King” and “Queen.”
Bemidji: is a larger town with around 15,000 citizens. Its name derives from the Ojibwe Buh-mid-ji-ga-maug, meaning “a lake with crossing waters”. Bemidji Township was organized in 1896 and is the oldest township in the county. In 1897, the county attorney declared the original Bemidji township organization illegal (no reason given) and the township reorganized June 26, 1897.
Art Lee created the story that the folkloric figure Paul Bunyan came from the Northwoods which then led to the creation of the famous statues of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox. The Paul and Babe statues are “the second most photographed statues in America” surpassed only by Mount Rushmore. The Statue of Paul Bunyan was commissioned by the Bemidji’s Rotarians as another tourist attraction. It was unveiled January 15, 1937, to kick off a Winter Carnival that drew over ten thousand visitors.
Menahga: is our next stop on the ride and has a population of 1,300 citizens. Menahga was platted in 1891. The name Menahga came for the Ojibwe language meaning “there are (many) blueberries”. The cities river received a similar name, Blueberry River, and flows just north of the downtown area.
This beautiful city is also the birth place of the writer-illustrator Wallace Wood, best known as one of the original five Mad cartoonists. Wood’s childhood in Menahga was documented by Bhob Stewart in the illustrated biography, Against the Grain: Mad Artist Wallace Wood .
Pillager: is our last stop before we circle back to Pequot Lakes. The city is small but mighty with a population of 470 citizens. Pillager was first settled in 1886 with a station of the Northern Pacific Railroad, a general store, a hotel, and a blacksmith; it incorporated as a village on September 4, 1900 and its post office was established in 1886. It’s name came from the Pillager Band of Chippewa Indians, who are a historical band of Chippewa (Ojibwe) settled at the headwaters of the Mississippi River in present-day Minnesota through the treaty process with the United States.
Looking to spread the word about the 2020 Habitat 500? Share the Habitat 500 Postcard! Click here for a printable PDF of the 2020 Habitat 500 Postcard!