ST. JOSEPH - Over 100 bikers took off from St. Joseph on Sunday morning for a 500 mile bike ride to raise money for Habitat For Humanity.

A total of 135 bikers and 40 volunteers are participating in the event. The route started in St. Joseph on the Lake Wobegon Trail and will go through Osakis, Bemidji, Pine River and Little Falls before turning back to St. Joseph.

Each participant needed to raise $1,000 for Habitat for Humanity to ride in the event, but many raised much more than the required amount. The average biker raised over $2,500. Jan Plimpton is the executive director for Habitat for Humanity Minnesota, she says the bikers have a passion to raise money for the cause.

"People just love the spirit of Habitat, raising money for the mission and they also have a love of bicycling-so it's been a great fit," Plimpton says.

The bike ride is now in its 22nd year, bikers will average 50 to 100 miles of riding a day in order to finish the event in one week. Bikers are scheduled to arrive back in St. Joseph on June 19th, in time for the Central Minnesota Habitat For Humanity Pedal.Play.Party!

Habitat For Humanity hopes to raise $400,000 by the end of the race. Money will go towards building affordable housing for those in need. Plimpton says many take great pride in giving housing as a gift for those less fortunate.

"So somebody can have a decent safe place to call home-a lot of people really find a way to be generous with that gift," Plimpton says.


Bikers getting ready in St. Joseph. (Dan DeBaun, WJON News)