ST. JOSEPH -- Bike enthusiasts are spending the next four days doing what they love -- biking.

Over 300 cyclists from the five state area and Canada gathered in St. Joseph Thursday morning for the 2019 Bicycling Around Minnesota Tour.

The ride began 15-years ago as a way to promote bicycling throughout the state.

Jeff Schwalen is the Board Chair of the group. He says each year the route takes them to a different part of the state.

This ride was organized with the idea that we moved the ride around the state. Last year we were in the Iron Range, the year before we were in Rochester. So we move around the state and the idea is to showcase the state of Minnesota to bicyclists.

Each day cyclists ride between 60-70 miles a day seeing the beauty of Minnesota through a different perspective.

Thursday riders will make their way to Sauk Centre, Friday they will travel to Spicer, on Saturday they will head to Hutchinson before coming back to St. Joseph on Sunday.

Schwalen says at the end of each leg of the tour, their organization presents a special gift to the community they are in.

We've done this for the last 15 years where we leave a commercial grade bicycle rack to what ever town we are staying the night in. We will meet with the mayor and present them with the bike rack that they can put in the city to promote bicycling.

He says the ride is not a fundraiser but rather a way to hang out with others who share the same passion.

The Bicycling Around Minnesota Tour began in 2006.

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