Annual event on wheels raises funds for a community member in need.
Grab your bicycles, funky costumes and friends! Tour De Bar is back for the 35th year on August 5.
What started as a weekend bar-hopping tradition for a group of local cyclists has turned into a beloved annual benefit, drawing hundreds of participants from around the Metro. “It’s blown up to the point of no return,” says longtime White Bear Lake resident and event organizer Mike Shearen.
Each year, a committee collects nominations for the individual beneficiary of the event; the only criteria is that the recipient must have a connection to the communities of Hugo, Mahtomedi, Vadnais Heights or White Bear Lake. Last year’s benefit raised nearly $15,000 for recipient Shelly Tripp, a White Bear Lake High School class of 1986 graduate battling an immune system disorder.
“It’s not just the fact that it’s a bike ride, and you’re going from establishment to establishment; We’re hopefully changing the life of somebody that we’re doing this for. That’s the main purpose,” Shearan says.
The event is free to the public, though riders are encouraged to support the cause with the purchase of a T-shirt or other merchandise and participate in the raffle, which features up to $10,000 in prizes. Funds are also raised via corporate sponsors and private donations.
In the 16 years since the benefit began, Shearan says they’ve raised about $140,000 for community members in need.
This year, the event will start with a presentation at 11 a.m. at Macaluso’s Roadhouse, then continue to about 20 different establishments around the lake. Participants can hop in at any time and visit a few establishments or make it a goal to enjoy the entire day of bikes and brews.
To purchase merchandise, volunteer, donate raffle items or learn more, email Mike and Linda Shearan at firstname.lastname@example.org.