Lone Star Ride Fighting AIDS kicks into high gear this month. Meet some North Texans who are pedaling for power
Talk about endurance, commitment and good ol’ Texan community unity. On Sept. 29, a dedicated two-wheeling army will bike from Dallas To Fort Worth to raise money for North Texas AIDS services organizations.
So far, The Lone Star Ride Fighting AIDS hauled $1.4 million for the AIDS Resource Center of Dallas, AIDS Services of Dallas and the AIDS Outreach Center of Fort Worth
This year’s two-day event travels between 85 and 170 miles, depending on which option riders choose. Not only do riders pedal long stretches, they have to raise at least $1,000 just to participate.
We met some dedicated cyclists and volunteers who are committed to making this year’s ride the best.
Who: Candelario Davila, management consultant and first-year rider.
Expect to raise: At least $1,000.
Most challenging part of the ride: Going up hills! It takes every last bit of me to keep peddling. During the toughest climbs, things go through my mind like, “I must be crazy doing this!” But on the flip side, I tell myself, “If I can do this, I can do anything!” So there’s definitely a balance. You really get to know yourself better, and become a stronger individual.
Best part of the ride: That sense of pride that you’re a part of something that can change the lives of people and being surrounded by people who feel the same way.
Worst part: Getting up in the morning to ride before the Dallas summer scorches you.
Why do the ride? In the ’80s, I lost a cousin to AIDS. And my family had to deal with a disease that no one really knew about. It was scary, and it ripped our family apart. Comparing what things were like 20 years ago to today it’s like night and day. Now people with HIV are living healthy, normal lives. I believe we will find a cure for AIDS during my lifetime.
Personal items I’m bringing on the ride: My MP3 player, loaded with techno, a water bottle and maybe some Scooby Snacks, like gummy bears and granola bars.
Jay Murter & Tomas Soto
Who: Jay Murter, teacher; and Tomas Soto, AT&T methods writer. Partners of 10 years; pit crew members for five years.
We’re there to help: We serve drinks and snacks for the riders, as well as monitor the riders’ health and welfare. We also provide smiles and end up being cheerleaders. Look at our crazy hats!
Yummy contributions: We cooked burgers and hot dogs for more than $600 worth of donations at Sue Ellen’s.
Ride challenges: When it’s so windy, the canopy we put up for shade gets blown down.
Why volunteer? We’re all on the planet to help each other. Everyone should either ride or help with the ride. The smiles and hugs from riders and volunteers really warm your heart.
Best part of the ride: Making new friends.
Worst part: There is no worse part of the ride. It’s all good.
Favorite ride memory: After getting a rest and refilling his water bottle, one rider yelled as he left, “Best pit crew ever!” While we don’t work for compliments, that challenges us to make this year’s pit stop even better.
Who: Elijah Hawken, acupuncturist and Chinese herbalist, second-year rider.
I do more than just bike: After the first day of the ride, I plan on performing in the talent show.
Money raised: Last year, I raised $1,500 in a little over a month. I signed up for the ride really late, and I was nervous about raising the money in such a short time. But my friends stepped up and donated. And I was able to surpass my $1,000 goal.
Expect to raise this year: I plan to beat last year but I’m not sure by how much. I’m already past my $1,500 goal. So far, my generous community people from three countries, 11 states and the District of Columbia has donated $1,520 and counting.
Most challenging part of the ride: I’m kind of a loon on my bike. I can ride all day. The fundraising is hard work. But when I see where the money goes, it makes it so worth it.
Why do the ride? I was riding my bike around all the time to no purpose and enjoying it immensely. Then my bike mechanic suggested I participate in the Lone Star Ride. I realized I could ride my bike and support worthy organizations by pedaling around for a couple of days. I was intrigued, so I signed up. I had no idea I would be meeting such a zany, supportive, positive bunch.
Favorite ride memory: Singing show tunes at the top of our lungs on the 100-mile day.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition September 14, 2007