What is the Christian Elder Memorial 900?
The Merchants Bank Christian Elder Memorial 900 (CEM 900) is an annual charity bicycle ride covering 900 kilometers in nine days for the benefit of Kids ‘n Kinship, a non-profit mentoring organization based in Dakota County, Minnesota. The mission of Kids ‘n Kinship is to provide friendships to children ages 5-16 in need of positive role models.
The CEM 900 was founded in 2006 by John Elder, who pedaled with long-time friends, Ken Dean and Tom Behan, and support driver Gordy Clough, from Wolf Point, Montana to Apple Valley, Minnesota, raising over $16,000. The CEM 900 has evolved from a ride on county roads and trails in Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, South Dakota, Nebraska and Wisconsin in the early years, to a ride exclusively on trails in northern and southern Minnesota in recent years.
The CEM 900 has grown in participants from two riders in 2007 to 11 riders in 2020, along with four support drivers. Likewise, the amount raised has increased from $16,000 raised the first year to over $45,000. It is projected that 2021 donations will put the total over $500,000 raised since year one in 2006, with 100% of the funds going directly to Kids’ n Kinship. Merchants Bank has been the title sponsor of the CEM 900 every year since the ride’s inception.
100% of your donation goes directly to Kids ‘n Kinship
Kids 'n Kinship provides friendships and positive role models to children and youth ages 5-16 who are in need of an additional supportive relationship with an adult.
This year the ride will be conducted like the 2020 CEM 900 with participants riding independently, or in small groups, and returning home each day. It is anticipated that next year the team will be back together, riding Minnesota trails, with support drivers handling the motorhome, camper, and meal duties.