Although health issues will keep Dr. Brady Allen from riding in LSR this year, he still plans to participate as part of the volunteer medical team
M. M. ADJARIAN | Contributing Writer
Dr. Brady Allen of the Uptown Physicians Group has tended unstintingly to medical needs of the gay community for last 30 years. And in the last two years, he’s gone from casual spin and mountain bike cyclist to Lone Star Ride participant.
The transformation began in 2009.
Allen had just moved back to Dallas after a brief period of retirement in Seattle, and friends suggested he become involved in the LSR.
He needed little urging: Road biking on behalf of a cause he believed in seemed the perfect way to re-integrate himself into the community.
“I’d been involved [in the fight against AIDS] since 1982,” says the 57-year-old internist. “So I had memories of people who had passed on, including my best friend and a couple of favorite patients of mine. I think about [them] a lot.”
Allen’s 2010 LSR debut was impressive. Not only was he the third-highest fundraiser — bringing in $6,000 for the event — he also finished second overall in the 45-mile Sunday leg of the ride after the Saturday ride was rained out.
This year, however, the good doctor has to tend to his own health. After developing a blood clot in his calf at the end of April, Allen had to withdraw from this year’s ride.
His desire to participate in the event remains undiminished, though, and participants will likely see him on the medical team, doing what he does best.
“This year, I was going to do the 100- and 75-mile [ride options], because I was in much better shape,” says Allen. “I had trained harder and I was healthier. I’d lost about 15 pounds this year.”
He had also started his fundraising efforts earlier. In 2010, he began soliciting donations in May. This year, he began fundraising in March and already had pledges totaling $1,200 before he had to get out of the saddle.
That money will still go to the LSR. But Allen, who also sits on the board at Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS (DIFFA) and has actively supported other HIV/AIDS organizations, including AIDS Arms, for many years, will have to defer his dream of reaching the $10,000 goal he’d set for this year until 2012.
“[2010 was about] trying to ride in this Texas heat on a bike,” says Allen, who remains upbeat despite the temporary health issues he currently faces. “I [also] had to learn about how much to hydrate, how many salt tablets I had to take the day of the ride, what were the right foods to eat [and] just how to pace myself so I wouldn’t get cramps.”
He also had to learn the more technical aspects of road cycling, including how to shift gears, fix a flat and — perhaps most problematically of all — use the “pedals” of his bike.
“The bike pedals are not real pedals,” Allen explains. “You have these clips on the bottom of your shoes [that you use to] clip into the pedals, which gives you more stability on the bike. But you also have to clip out when you stop.”
Though unable to ride this year, Allen does expect to fully immerse himself in the social aspect of the 2011 ride.
“[I’m looking forward to] the camaraderie, the friendships and relationships that I’m going to develop with people I met last year and with new riders,” Allen says.
With no trace of regret for what could have been this year, he adds “It’ll be very exciting just to be in the crowd and meet new people and have common goals and passions.”
Lone Star Ride Fighting AIDS takes place Sept. 24-25. For more details or to donate to a specific rider or team, or to the event overall, go online to LoneStarRide.org.