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Cyclist stops in Park Rapids on way to Habitat 500 ride

Tim Dellett, of Alamosa, Colo., stopped in Park Rapids this week on his journey to the Habitat 500 fundraiser bicycle ride starting July 11. Dellett rides up to 100 miles a day during his trip. (Anna Erickson / Enterprise)

A Colorado cyclist is pedaling across northern Minnesota on his way to the Habitat 500 fundraising bike ride.

Tim Dellett, from Alamosa, Colo., made a stop in Park Rapids Tuesday afternoon after biking from Bemidji. Local developer Alan Zemek helped Dellett find a place to stay overnight.

"I try to do a charity ride each year and this year it's the Habitat 500," he said. "It's a great group of people."

Over 130 bikers will pedal 500 miles through northeastern Minnesota in order to provide low-income families with safe, decent, and affordable homes.

The Habitat 500 gives riders the chance to build a cycle of hope for communities across the globe from the seat of their bicycle.

"My success depends on the generosity of others," Dellett said. "People have opened their homes to me to stay at along the way."

That's also the best part of his cycling trips, he added.

"I've met some really great people along the way," he said.

He rides in the Habitat 500 to help others realize the opportunity for home ownership.

"I've found that there are neighbors everywhere, no matter where I go," Dellett said.

This year marks the 18th annual Habitat 500. The seven-day event, from July 11-17, takes riders on daily 50 to 100 mile treks across the state. The 2010 ride begins and ends in Sandstone, bringing bikers to Isle, McGregor, Grand Rapids, Hibbing, and Cloquet along the way.

Riders will spend two nights in Hibbing, where they will participate in the Habitat 500's "bike.home," a home which the riders help build. This year riders will celebrate the construction of Minnesota's 1,800th Habitat home. An average of $25,000 in rider sponsorships traditionally go to building the "bike.home," an amount that will hopefully increase in the future to cover the entire cost of a Habitat home.

Each rider must raise a minimum of $900 to participate but typically raises much more, averaging $2,600. Due to a strong volunteer and sponsor base, 96 cents of every dollar donated goes directly to building more homes at the Habitat affiliate designated by the rider.

In the past 17 years, over $3.5 million dollars has been raised through the ride for Habitat home construction, contributing to the 120 homes built by Minnesota affiliates each year.

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Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
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