COKATO, MN A Cokato native has decided to participate in the Habitat 500 Bike Ride, raising money in support of Habitat for Humanity.
Wade Lundeen, a 2008 graduate of Dassel-Cokato High School and the son of Gary and Kathy Lundeen of Cokato, will participate in the ride for the first time.
“This is a neat opportunity, and the money I raise will go right back to the affiliate I choose,” Lundeen said. “The mission here at Habitat is extremely important.”
The program that will directly benefit from the funds Lundeen raises is Habitat for Humanity of West Central Minnesota, which serves five counties in central Minnesota.
Meeker County is one of the counties served by that office, and Cokato is also included due to its proximity and ties to Dassel.
Lundeen is currently working in that Habitat office through the Americorps VISTA program, creating a critical repair program which will have a larger budget and work-scope than the current home repair program out of that office.
The current program, A Brush With Kindness, has a small budget and deals more with aesthetics like painting or landscaping than major home repairs.
Although Lundeen has never participated in any distance biking, he has always been a biking enthusiast, he said.
The majority of Lundeen’s biking experience in on trails and mountain biking, he added.
About the Habitat 500
The Habitat 500 Bike Ride began 23 years ago and takes place over seven days each summer, with riders traveling approximately 71 miles per day, according to the Habitat 500 website.
Each rider is required to raise at least $1,000 for Habitat for Humanity, and can designate the Habitat affiliate they wish to support; most riders raise more than $2,710.
The ride serves to raise awareness about the need for decent, safe, and affordable housing, and a new route is chosen each year.
Along the route, riders visit Habitat affiliates, work sites, and homeowners.
This year’s ride
This year’s Habitat 500 takes place Sunday, July 12 through Sunday, July 18, beginning and ending at Owatonna Junior High School.
The riders will travel from Owatonna to Albert Lea the first day; to Spring Valley the second day; and to Winona the third day.
The fourth day, the riders can either bike the La Crosse loop, help build a home, or take a break.
The riders will then travel back to Spring Valley the fifth day; to Kasson the sixth day; and back to Owatonna the seventh day.