The total amount of money raised for AIDS organizations has now topped $2 million in the 11 years of the Lone Star Ride Fighting AIDS. The Ride supports AID Services Dallas, Resource Center Dallas and the AIDS Outreach Center. That’s the important thing. All the rest is just plain fun — and physically and emotionally draining.
The first day of LSR, riders made a loop from the American Airlines Training and Conference Center just south of D/FW Airport through Fort Worth and back. Riders had a choice of routes up to 100 miles. However, most — including me — chose to make their own route. Or got lost.
About 22 miles of the Fort Worth route was along the Trinity Trails, which follow the course of the streams that flow into the Trinity River and the main fork that flows through Downtown Fort Worth. The trail is not one continuous route and more than 40 riders reported going off-course without street signs or clearly identifiable landmarks along the way to indicate where to turn or cross the river.
My riding partner Shelly Morrow and I rode to the end of a wrong trail, carried our bikes over a guard rail, over a bridge down an embankment and continued down another trail — before realizing the river was flowing in the wrong direction. We knew we needed to be near Downtown Fort Worth for the lunch pitstop. So we turned around, made some frantic but unanswered calls, had a flat and a broken spoke, fought off snakes, scorpions, alligators and other critters indigenous to the wilds of Fort Worth, survived the intense sun and brutal heat, a wind storm and finally, 100 miles later, after seeing most of the Trinity Trails, some of it twice, made it into lunch, bruised and battered — and dead last.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that. It’s a ride, not a race. And the Trinity Trail is very scenic — even if it’s not all paved.