The first ever "Pedal Past Poverty" in Mankato was a spinning success, raising almost $69,000 for area homeless shelters, and they still have some matching money coming in.
There were no beautiful trails, or the feeling of wind rushing though your hair. While the bikers were not actually moving, but they were making progress of a different kind.
Tiki Pautzke with Partners for Affordable Housing said, "Here we have pedal past poverty, it's our first signature fundraiser event."
Almost 400 riders pedaled to the metal to build financial support our community's homeless shelters.
Pautzke said, "People who have been living in their cars, if they have a car, people who were living on the streets, some families were lucky enough to couch hop before they end up with us, but a lot come straight from be outside."
The problem is each and every week the two homeless shelters, Theresa House and Welcome Inn, are full, and they have to turn away over 100 families every month.
Pautzke said, "A lot of times our grants, as well as general private donations, do not cover our running costs. There's a big job, and to cover those costs is important."
Of the 38 teams competing, the sisters from Good Counsel Hill brought 4 teams.
Sister Mary Kay Gosch with the "Hill Halos" said, "It's been an energizing event for us to come together, as say we can do something for those who don't have."
Each team was asked to raise $1,000 to participate; the sisters raised $22,000.
Gosch said, "We are fortunate, that is what happens when you gets lots of people with energy who are willing to work together and that is what this is all about."
While there were some nice prizes for the individuals and teams that biked the farthest, the real winners are our Mankato neighbors who need a safe, warm place to spend the night.
Dollars raised will help purchase the foods and basic essentials homeless families need when they are staying at the shelters as well as support utility payment and staff salaries.
Organizers say they plan to make Pedal Past Poverty and annual event.