LONE STAR RIDE JOURNAL — Crashed, not burned: Riding to make a difference

Posted on 25 Jun 2009 at 6:05pm
By Ramon Vega Team Dallas Voice


When publisher Robert Moore announced to us that he would be riding in the Lone Star Ride, I thought to myself, "Hmmm … a 160-mile bike ride? How fun is that!"

Then I got really excited because I began to think of what color biking shorts I could get!

A few days went by and I really didn’t give the ride anymore thought. I mean, the ride was in September and it was only April, so I had more than enough time to decide if I wanted to participate.

Then Robert walked by my office and asked, "You’re going to ride?" I half-smiled and said, "I’m thinking about it." Next thing I know, I am filling out the registration form.

I hadn’t ridden a bike since I was in college, but I run everyday, so I figured it couldn’t be that bad. The only problem was that I didn’t have a bike.

I found out that you could actually get a bike on loan through the Lone Star Locker Program. So I signed up and went and picked up my bike the next day.

I was super-excited when I saw the bike I was getting, because it was bright red and yellow, and had a sticker that said, "Kaliente." So fitting!

Our team had planned a training ride for that weekend, but I wanted to get a ride in before hand. So, I took to the streets of Cedar Springs.

Well, I didn’t get far because I forgot to air up my tires. Luckily, I was heading toward Maple Avenue, and I stopped by the auto shop and had them air up my tires.

Yes, I literally had the guys air them for me because I didn’t know how.

So I get back on the road and continued my mini practice ride. Everything was going pretty well — until my pedal broke.

Of course when it happened, there was a guy standing at the bus stop who saw it all. And he laughed at me. I quickly pedaled on home — that was enough of my first training day.

Then Sunday came, and I was so excited to ride with the team. We were going to ride about 25 miles around White Rock, then have mimosas when we were finished.

So, we started our ride and everything was going great — until I crashed!

How I did it, I don’t know. All I recall is the bike going off the trail and then I was skidding across the pavement, screaming like a little girl, scrapping my knee and forearm.

I quickly jumped back on my bike, semi-laughed and continued the ride. At the end of the ride, I had several mimosas!

After a few days, the pain began to subside and the oozing was minimal. So I thought to myself, "No matter how bruised up I am or how many times I embarrass myself, I’m still having a blast and super pumped about the ride!"

This is not just my first Lone Star Ride. It’s also the first time that I have been really involved with a charity event.

You know, I’ve been to DIFFA’s Dallas Collection. I’ve gone to cocktail receptions for Black Tie Dinner and have attended luncheons for several organizations throughout Dallas.

But this time, I wanted to do something different. I wanted something more than just dressing up and going to dinner for a couple of hours.

I wanted to be able to say at the end, "I did that. I helped made a difference for someone."

You can make a difference, too. Come ride with us.

The Lone Star Ride Journal will appear weekly in Dallas Voice through Sept. 25, the Friday preceding the Lone Star Ride Fighting AIDS on Sept. 26-27. Weekly installments will be written by people who are either riding as part of Team Dallas Voice or are crew members.

For more information on Lone Star Ride Fighting AIDS, or to donate to Team Dallas Voice, a Team Dallas Voice member or any other rider or team, go online to LoneStarRide.org.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition June 26, 2009.

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