By Paul M. Southern Team Dallas Voice


Paul M. Southern

The story of how I became involved in the Lone Star Ride Fighting AIDS is a multifaceted, and somewhat serendipitous one.

It probably all began several years ago when my son, who lived in Austin, began cycling fairly regularly. After a few years, he decided to ride in the AIDS benefit event that began in Austin, went to Houston, then finished in Dallas.

This was obviously a many-day event, and some of the readers may recall it (or may have even ridden in it). A liquor company sponsored the ride, but all of the riders, and their sponsors, raised money to support AIDS research, treatment and other facets of care.

It was quite inspiring when the entire peloton arrived in downtown Dallas to a huge welcome, and ceremonies.

That event probably got me started thinking about cycling (which I had not done since young adulthood). My son later rode in a similar event and that further stoked my interest.

Shortly thereafter, I volunteered to stay with my adolescent grandson in Austin while his parents went on a holiday trip. During those few days, my grandson and I rode bikes on the many trails in Austin.

That got me hooked.

When I came back home, I bought a bike, and began riding in my neighborhood and on the limited Katy Trail that existed when it first opened.

The story grew when I bought a real road bike and started riding whenever I had the time. And then I won a very nice road bike in a drawing at a local bike shop.

I also began riding in organized, sponsored events around the state. My son and I rode in two of the Lance Armstrong Foundation/Glaxo SmithKline-sponsored events called the Tour of Hope, the finales occurring in Washington, D.C., with ceremonies on the Ellipse by the White House.

Then more serendipity occurred.

My wife and I decided to build a new home in the Urban Reserve, adjacent to the White Rock Creek Trail. In the process, we met and befriended Robert Moore and Terry Thompson, who had built a home in the same development.

Then one day Robert asked me if I would be interested in participating in the Lone Star Ride. It seemed at once a perfect fit for me. I enjoyed cycling, and I have a very dear friend who has been struggling with AIDS for several years.

I said to myself, "I’ll ride in honor of him. Perhaps that will encourage him in his own personal fight against AIDS."

The saying that all things happen for a reason certainly fits into this story. But it took a whole series of events to fall into place for me to become a participant in the Lone Star Ride.

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

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition August 28,информер тиц