Rolling down the homestretch: Mike Chavez has biked over 1,000 miles and raised over $3K to fight childhood cancer

Published 7:01 am Wednesday, September 23, 2020

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Mike Chavez has pushed his body to the limits to give back in a big way this fall.

Chavez has ridden over 1,000 miles and raised just over $3,000 to fight childhood cancer in his quest to ride 1,200 miles and raise $4,000 for the cause.

Chavez has logged a lot of his miles by biking on the Shooting Star Trail from his home in Rose Creek to the Post Office in Austin, where he works. He has also taken his bike to the Root River Trail and the Sakatah Singing Hills State Trail.

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The miles have been tough, but Chavez is motivated to give back.

“I can do this. There are kids out there who can’t do this,” Chavez said. “There are kids out there suffering from cancer who would love to get on a bike and they can’t do it. When I’m out on my bike at 5:30 a.m., I’m thinking of those kids and I’m thinking of the donors. There’s days when I wake up and it’s cold out and I don’t really want to go biking, but I think about those things and I get going.”

Chavez’s cause raises money for awareness and research for cancer research and all of the funds he raises stay in Minnesota.

Chavez bought a bike in March and learned about the Great Cycle Challenge from Danielle Nesvold of Austin in April.

His original goal was to bike 1,000 miles in the month of September, but he drew so much interest that he added another 200 miles to his log. To do that, he had to average 42 miles per day in the second half of September. Chavez has had more support than he expected and the 1987 Albert Lea High School grad has seen a lot of his former classmates donating to his cause.

“It’s been great and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it,” Chavez said. “It’s just been great. I’ve got family and friends, the city of Rose Creek and my classmates in Albert Lea supporting me. I’m not the only one doing this. Rydjor Bike Shop, Total Fitness, Wellness Chiropractic and Sarah’s Massage have basically kept me on the bike by helping me maintain my body and my bike.”

Chavez will celebrate his 1,200 mile journey this Sunday. He will leave the Post Office in Austin at 11:30 a.m. and hopes to hit Rose Creek by 1 p.m.

He’s inviting anyone interested in supporting him to join him on the trek.

The Great Cycle Challenge goes well beyond Minnesota. In five years, riders from all 50 states have ridden a total of 18,831,310 miles, and together they’ve raised $24,615,507 in support of research to develop better treatments and find a cure for childhood cancer.

If you’d like to donate to the cause or follow Chavez’s donations, visit