Pictured Tim Dellett and wife Gena. This July Tim Dellett will ride in the Habitat 500 Bike ride for the fifteenth time. (Courier file photo)
SAINT PAUL, Minn. — For twenty-six years, the Habitat 500 Bike Ride has sent cyclists around Minnesota, pedaling 500 miles to build strength, stability, and self-reliance through shelter with Habitat for Humanity. The ride is coordinated by Habitat for Humanity of Minnesota but raises funds for Habitat organizations all over the state, country, and world. This year's ride runs from July 15th through July 21st. Cyclists will begin in Becker, Minnesota, with overnight stops in Royalton, Alexandria, Staples, and Pierz before returning to Becker.
Since Habitat Minnesota took over coordination of the ride in 2002, the Habitat 500 Bike Ride has raised $4.9 million to support Habitat for Humanity home construction. The ride has contributed to Minnesota's Habitat affiliates building 2,500 homes. This huge impact would not have been possible without the dedication and support of Habitat 500 riders and volunteers, many of who have been participating in the ride for many years.
"The Habitat 500 is still a great adventure for me and a way to give back to those in need." This year, rider Tim Dellett will celebrate his 15th anniversary going on adventures through the Habitat 500, which is what first drew him to the ride. "I had been involved with Habitat during college," says Dellett, "on a building trip during Spring Break in Johns Island, SC. I did my first Habitat 500 because it seemed like a good way to get connected back with Habitat's mission in an adventurous way." Now, after 15 years, Dellett is "grateful to be able to join again this year." His family moved from Colorado to Kansas and his wife had their second child last year. "I'm glad that with all this change, I'll still be able to keep my Habitat 500 tradition," says Dellett.
The other riders on the Habitat 500 also bring Dellett back each year. "It's an event I look forward to, seeing those that I've met over the years and reconnecting with them," says Dellett. "From my first ride in 1996, one of my favorite memories was riding with three or four other riders who were willing to stop a lot and have mini adventures along the way. Our group became known as Team Tourist." One such adventure involved rescuing an injured cat that became known as the "HabiCat." The other riders provide more than just fun for Dellett. "Every day there will be tough moments and many more pleasant surprises," says Dellett. "You will find yourself surrounded by a supportive loving community...and are guaranteed to meet friends along the ride."
This supportive community goes beyond riders themselves. "I remember a hot and humid day," reflects Dellett. "A complete stranger came out of their house and handed out spring water to riders as they were going by." Dellett sees many strangers express interest in Habitat through the ride. "We're making people curious," says Dellett. "That curiosity may lead to a deeper involvement with Habitat's mission." Dellett also admires that the Habitat 500 is able to help "families to grow deeper roots and connections in their communities" through the money raised for Habitat homebuilding. Ultimately, the community and ride all come together to make an impact on everyone touched. The best part of the Habitat 500, according to Dellett, is "knowing that wherever I am on the route I'm not far from someone who is going to offer support and encouragement. I do all the pedaling myself, but I truly feel part of a larger team that is all working hard for the betterment of the world, really. And we're all out there having fun and helping each other along the way." Tim Dellett helps make up this supportive rider base that, combined with community and volunteer involvement, will keep the Habitat 500 an adventure making a difference for years to come.
For more information on how to get involved, please visit www.habitat500.org. To donate to Tim Dellett's ride, visit 2018habitat500.greatfeats.com/tim-dellett.
About Habitat for Humanity of Minnesota
Habitat for Humanity of Minnesota, Inc. (Habitat Minnesota) is a statewide resource development and support organization that serves, advocates for and advances the work of Minnesota’s Habitat for Humanity affiliates who build simple, decent, affordable housing in partnership with people in need. Habitat Minnesota was created in October of 1997 by the Minnesota Habitat affiliates it serves for the initial purpose of applying for funding and providing funders with a single contact for the distribution of resources. Since that time, we have added a range of programs to support these affiliates. For more information, visit hfhmn.org.