A weekend of bad weather and other natural disasters wiped out this year’s Lone Star Ride Fighting AIDS.
The epicenter of the 3.4-magnitude earthquake that hit Irving on Saturday night was on MacArthur Boulevard, just blocks from the NYLO Hotel, the host hotel for the Lone Star Ride. Most riders were asleep when the quake hit and did not feel it. However, others reported the tremors were strong enough to move the sliding bathroom doors in the upstairs hotel rooms.
The earthquake hit after the first day of the ride was canceled due to constant rain. Participants gathered early Saturday in the Microsoft Irving parking garage across the street from the NYLO for a quick breakfast and an expected rideout. But the predawn mist turned into light showers and then steady rain. By 9 a.m., the forecast called for intermittent thunderstorms, and the first day of the ride was canceled.
The planned Cedar Springs pitstop moved to the Microsoft campus. While waiting for lunch, a number of frustrated riders biked in circles on unused decks of the company’s parking garage. Others left to go shopping or see a movie.
Most returned for dinner and entertainment that was also held on the second floor of the parking deck. Awards were given for fundraising. Those who raised at least $1,000 were given a copy of Miscrosft Office. Those who raised more than $2,000 were given a yellow jersey.
Sunday morning the weather was expected to clear, but when new storms moved in over the area, event manager Jerry Calumn called off the second day of the ride and moved the closing ceremony to The Flying Saucer, the planned lunch pitstop, in Sundance Square in Fort Worth.
Lunch was served in the restaurant’s covered outdoor courtyard and “the riderless bike” — which signifies those who’ve been lost to AIDS — was wheeled on stage.
Paul Cross was given a bouquet of flowers in memory of his partner, Jim McCoy, a longtime Lone Star Rider who died of pancreatic cancer earlier this year. At lunch, a butterfly landed at Cross’ table and crawled onto his finger where it stayed. Cross went on stage with the butterfly still on his finger, which he showed to the crowd as a sign McCoy was there with them that day.
A make-up ride will be held on Oct. 21 and will end on Cedar Springs Road.
The Microsoft $1,000 fundraising challenge was extended through that date and riders were encouraged to continue raising money. Other fundraising awards will be given to riders at the Cedar Springs ride-in event.
View photos from this weekend below.