Frequently Asked Questions

Fundraising Questions

What happens to the money I raise?

All funds collected by riders for the Habitat 500 are donations to the Habitat 500. Habitat Minnesota, as the coordinator of the Ride, collects, manages, and distributes these funds. Each Habitat 500 rider can choose up to three Habitat affiliates (local, national, or global) to support with their fundraising. All funds sent out will be distributed to the affiliate or affiliates chosen by the rider except when a chosen affiliate is not in compliance with the standards set by Habitat International (“Good Standing”). This is not a common occurrence.

Attempts will be made to connect with the affiliate. If the affiliate remains out of Good Standing for four months after fundraising is closed, the rider will be contacted and asked to select a different Habitat affiliate to receive their fundraising or to send funds to the Habitat 500 bike.home. If riders don’t let us know their preference by June 1, funds will go toward supporting Habitat Minnesota’s statewide programming.

Read the full Habitat 500 Funds Policy here.

What should I do with checks I receive for my fundraising?

We ask that riders enter their offline donations right into their GreatFeats pages. That way we can easily pull a report of all donations, and riders will have an accurate thermometer on their fundraising page for all donations they received, and not just their donations online. It will also save riders from filling out all the donor info by hand and cut down on confusion over illegible handwriting. Before mailing in checks, please enter your donations onto your OneCause page (see Offline Donation Entry Instructions here). Then mail in donation checks to Habitat Minnesota regularly, sending the short Offline Donations Paid Form with them.

No matter which Habitat affiliate you are riding for, send your funds raised to Habitat Minnesota with checks made out to “Habitat 500” or “Habitat for Humanity”. After the ride, we will write to the affiliate you represented and send them a check totaling the funds you raised for them.

Can I access online donor addresses in order to send thank yous?

For of security and privacy reasons, OneCause cannot share donor’s personal information with Riders. If you would like to email a thank you to an online donor, follow these instructions:

  1. Log in to your OneCause account and click “manage my page” in the top right corner of the white box with your name in it.
  2. Click “Raise at least $500” at the bottom of the list on the left side of the screen.
  3. Click “Thank Your Donors” to see a list of your online donors and how much they donated. You can email them thank yous from this screen.

*Please note that sending a thank you email to multiple donors will NOT mean that you’ve shared your donors email addresses with one another. If you email three donors at once, the only information they will see is the other donors’ first names.*

General Questions

How can I get my rider picture from the 2019 Ride?

Visit our photographer Renee’s Flickr page and find your photo in the “Habitat 500 2019 Riders” folder.

Where can I get more information about the Habitat 500?

For questions not answered on our website, please email habitat500@hfhmn.org or call 612-331-4439, extension 7. Once you register for the ride, you will be signed up for a bi-monthly newsletter with everything from Ride updates to training and fundraising tips.

In-Person/Hybrid Habitat 500 Questions:

What’s your COVID-19 plan?

We are closely monitoring the current state of COVID-19 in our state. Our Ride will comply with all local and CDC guidelines. At this point in time, our COVID plans include vaccination requirements for all participants (unless medically or religiously exempt), and may include masking indoors, extra hand sanitizing stations provided, testing, and social distancing. We hope to be able to gather in person in July but know that it is possible the in-person Ride will have to be altered or canceled. 

Because of the changing nature of the pandemic, our Safety Team and leadership will continue to reevaluate our requirements leading up to July and keep participants informed.

The Habitat 500 has always highly valued and prioritized safety. Please know that we will do our best to keep that high standard in 2022.

Can I ride 500 miles?

It may be a challenge depending on your experience and fitness, but the answer is yes! Training rides will be planned in late spring and early summer. In addition, we have training and safety resources below:

Who can participate in the Ride?

Anyone can participate ages 13 and older locally and globally.

Do I ride alone?

You can ride alone, or you can find a group to ride with. Especially on hills, never ride more than two abreast.

What if I have a flat tire?

The Ride is a fully supported event and provides a professional bike mechanic (with supplies), massage therapist, daily route maps, marked roads, rest stops, emergency phone numbers, Safety vehicles, and overnight camping sites with showers. In addition, breakfast and dinner are provided for participants.

Where do I sleep and shower?

Both indoor and outdoor sleeping accommodations are available at local schools, churches, community centers, and parks. We ask that sleeping areas and camping sites be quiet after 9:30 p.m.

Showers and bathrooms will be available at each overnight stop (see Lodging Information.) Cyclists will need to use public or private facilities during the day along the ride.

What do I eat on the Ride?

Cyclists will be provided with breakfasts and dinners daily. While breakfast will be served from 6-7 a.m., cyclists may eat at their own pace. Supper will be served from 6:30-7:30 p.m., and we want all cyclists/volunteers to be ready to sit down to eat supper together. Volunteers from local Habitat affiliates will join us during these evening meals.

Lunches are the responsibility of each cyclist at his/her own expense. Energy snacks and beverages will be provided at daily rest stops.

How much do I need to fundraise?

Fundraising Minimums

  • $500 for all 3-day hybrid riders
  • $500 encouraged for all virtual riders
  • $100 encouraged for all 1-day riders

By the first day of the in-person Ride (for hybrid riders), contributions or a personal commitment totaling the minimum must be turned in. The cyclist’s personal commitment in lieu of unpaid pledges is a check.

For riders looking for a challenge, we have also provided the following options for fundraising:

  • Level 1: $500: first-year riders
  • Level 2: $1,000: returning riders or new riders looking for a bigger challenge
  • Level 3: $2,500   
  • Level 4:$5,000
  • Level 5: $20,000: if you’d like to beat our current top fundraiser!

Or, out-fundraise yourself: Your 2020 fundraising total plus 15%! If you’re looking for a personalized challenge, look at your fundraising total from your most recent Ride and see if you can beat yourself by 15% (or more!)

Habitat 500: Bike @ Home Questions

How is this Ride different than the 2020 and 2021 Habitat 500 Bike @ Home?
With all the lessons we learned from our first two virtual Habitat 500 events, we are excited to keep the Bike @ Home option in 2022. We are offering both the virtual option (Habitat 500: Bike @ Home) and a hybrid event where riders cycle in their own communities, then gather in person from July 14 – 17, 2022, in Fergus Falls, MN. There will once again be online events before July, and then we invite Bike @ Home riders to watch our nightly programs online from July 14–17.
We will once again be using Zoom (rather than Microsoft Teams) as our online platform for connecting. Facebook and Strava groups will again be available.
Why should I participate?

The Habitat 500: Bike @ Home provides opportunities for participants to engage from their own communities! It also offers flexibility that an in-person Ride just can’t: ride when and as much as you’d like, sleep in your own bed each night, and skip days that are too hot, too windy, or too wet!

The funding from the Habitat 500 riders, whether virtual or hybrid, is also so important for Habitat affiliates across the state and country as a source of funding. The Habitat affiliates we raise money for with this event need this money more than ever, as building costs continue to rise as does the need for affordable ownership options. 

Do I have to ride 500 miles?

Nope! We invite riders to ride as much or little as they are able to do safely. Maybe you prefer short rides in your neighborhood. Maybe you’d like to challenge yourself to complete a Century Ride this year. Whatever your distance biked, you can be a part of the 2022 Bike @ Home!

Can I bike now? Do I have to bike during July 14-17, 2022?

Yes, you can absolutely bike now! Anytime between now and the end of September, cyclists can hop on their bicycles. Online events for the Habitat 500: Bike @ Home will occur during July 14-17, as well as the spring.

What will happen during July 14-17, 2022?

Habitat Minnesota and the Habitat 500 Committee are planning in-person and virtual events and activities to engage riders during the Habitat 500. We will share our in-person evening programs online for virtual riders and provide other ways for you to connect with one another. Stay tuned for more details!

Do we get T-Shirts?

Yes! T-Shirts will be sent with your rider packet. If you’d prefer not to receive one, please email habitat500@hfhmn.org. Adult sizes S–2XL will be available. T-shirts will be reserved for the first 200 registrants. After that, we cannot guarantee a shirt.*
How old do I have to be to participate? 
Because the Bike @ Home option occurs in communities all over the country, there are no age restrictions for the 2022 Habitat 500: Bike @ Home option. Any age rider can sign up. We strongly recommend adult supervision of any rider under 18. Anyone under the age of 18 will be required to have a parent or guardian sign their Ride waiver for participation. 
Can I still collect and send in donations given to me offline (cash/checks)?

You can absolutely still accept cash and checks from your donors. However, we ask that you DO NOT send cash in the mail. It is already a risky option, advised against by the US Post Office. If a donor or donors gives you cash, please do one of the following:

  • Keep the cash and write a personal check to “Habitat 500” to cover the amount. Please note on that check who the money was originally from. Enter the donations in you OneCause page (see instructions below). Mail the personal check with any other checks you receive to Habitat Minnesota. Once we receive the check, we will confirm the cash/check payments.
  • Keep the cash and make an online donation to cover the amount. Here’s how:
    • While logged into OneCause, hover over your name in the top right corner, and select “manage my page”
    • From there, select “raise at least $XXX” from the left menu. Then select, “Enter cash/checks.”
    • If the check is made out to you, or it’s cash, select “Cash or payment to me” under “Method of Payment”. Fill in the relevant information, then make a credit card payment to cover the cash. Please note which donor or donors made the original contribution

Checks will still be accepted. There may be delays in cashing checks with staff working both in office and remotely.