Trae Schaefer hopped back on a bike to fight AIDS.
Now the Dallas cyclist is training for Gay Games VII
Bicycling around Dallas is for daredevils and those poor souls who rely on fuel-free two-wheelers for transportation. Unlike Austin, a city flush with car-free bike lanes, our Metroplex doesn’t like sharing the road with pedal pushers. Which is a shame because most of the year, Dallas’ weather is terrific for biking.
But Trae Schaefer takes his chances. Five days a week, the information technology manager hops on his Specialized Allenz 24-speed road bike to train for the Gay Games VII in Chicago, July 15-22. On top of zipping around White Rock Lake or touring the streets of Oak Lawn, Schaefer also hits the gym for additional cardio workouts and weight lifting. And then there’s the bike team he rides with: the Wild Stallions, which was formed in 2003, when Schaefer got serious about cycling while training for his first Lone Star Ride Fighting AIDS.
Among the athletes representing Team Dallas, Schaefer is one of six Wild Stallion cyclists competing at the Gay Games. Some members of Team Dallas are also competing at the Montreal OutGames, July 29-Aug. 5, but for his Chicago expenses (airfare, hotel, registration and food), Schaefer’s already budgeted at least $2,000, and he’s taking off a total of seven business days from work. Tacking on the Montreal trip just isn’t feasible, he says.
At the Chicago games, Schaefer will compete in four events: road race (a distance of at least 30 kilometers), criterium race (between 800 meters and 3 kilometers), individual time trial and a five-member-team time trial.
Schaefer says glowing stories about the 2002 Gay Games VI held in Sydney made him want to go to Chicago.
He thinks the road race is his strongest event.
“I’m usually pretty competitive,” he says. “But for the Gay Games, I’m more interested in participating in the experience.”
In the meantime, the Wild Stallions are praying that Dallas drivers will be more careful.
“One of our team members who’s going to the Gay Games was stuck by a car at White Rock Lake,” Schaefer says. “Luckily she wasn’t seriously hurt. But come on, the Texas license plate says “‘Share the Road, Y’all.’
For information about competing with Team Dallas at the Gay Games, visit www.teamdallasusa.com
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, March 24, 2006.