My bicycle cyclometer refuses to work. I am not able to get it to synchronize the transmitter to the receiver. Therefore, I opt for the "voice-activated" system of reporting my speed:
"Hey Nancy, how fast are we going?"
Yup, that’s my backup system for the cyclometer.
It was while I was riding in the MS150 for the fourth time that I began to think about another great two-day charity ride — The Lone Star Ride Fighting AIDS.
Like the MS150, I would ride a bike for two consecutive days and raise funds for a very worthwhile cause. Both the MS150 and the Lone Star Ride are helping people who suffer from treatable but not yet curable diseases.
I rode the LSR for the first time in September 2008. It was a ride that far exceeded my meager expectations. I figured there would be ride support like I was accustomed to on the MS150 rides, but this ride support went beyond the MS150.
On the LSR, there is fleet of 10 or more vehicles to SAG tired riders to the next pit stop. These cars and trucks are called Sweep Vehicles.
No one fixes a flat on the road. Instead the cyclist and his/her bike are hauled to the next rest stop, where the flat can be repaired in safety. Additionally, there is a team of motorcyclists riding ahead to make sure bicyclists make the correct turns.
At every pit and places in between there are message therapists, medical advisors (doctors and nurses) and lots of volunteers. Of course fresh fruit, cookies, water and sports drinks are also available at each pit.
Each pit has a theme and those themes can range from "The School Lunch Ladies" to the "Disco Divas" to the "Gypsies."
Riders are treated to live entertainment at the end of Day 1 as well as dinner. Prior to the entertainment, awards are given for the teams who have raised the most money and recruited the most riders, etc.
I was so enamored with the Lone Star Ride that I became an advisory board member. And this year I am working hard, along with many other volunteers, to make the ride even better.
We will be riding a figure-8 pattern starting from the American Airlines Training Center. This year’s route will include lots of tree canopies and beautiful scenery as we ride through the historic town of Ovilla on Day 2.
Camping will be available at the American Airlines Training Center for those who prefer that at the end of Day 1. For the rest of us, there are limited rooms available at the American Airline Training Center for $25 a night — that’s double occupancy. The rooms are not large, but for one night, one can rough it.
Riders, as in the past, will have the option of riding for one or two days. There will even be a 100-mile option on Day 1 for those riders who really want to get their bonus miles. The routes — minus the 100-mile option — will total about 165 miles over two days.
The AIDS Outreach Center of Fort Worth, Resource Center Dallas and AIDS Services of Dallas are the beneficiaries of the funds raised for this ride. These organizations offer services such as food pantries, counseling, housing assistance, education and advocacy for persons with HIV/AIDS in North Texas.
So, what are you doing the last weekend of September? Want to do something to top the "Hotter Than Hell" and yet not have to drive as far? And still have fun doing it? Then sign up with the Lone Star Ride Fighting AIDS and have a fun and healthy weekend.
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.
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 August 14, 2009.