Written by Phil Cerroni
By Alice Canham
About 110 cyclists prepared to streak through the rain-soaked streets of Dallas, Fort Worth and Irving last weekend as participants in the 12th annual Lone Star Ride Fighting AIDS. They ended up cooling their jets, though.
Wet weather kept the numbers down – 300 registrants had been expected – but that didn’t dampen the spirits of Ride organizers, who had to cut back on some of the scheduled events and courses.
“We don’t have totals yet,” said event manager Jerry Calumn, “but we had a good year. Weather doesn’t affect our fundraising because most of our money comes in as pledges before the event.
“It’s been a tough year for nonprofits, though. Just this week, Cathedral of Hope in our own community announced ten staff layoffs. Fundraising is hard right now because people don’t feel yet that they have the time and resources to give us, but we think soon we’ll come bouncing back.”
Some of that bouncing could have been literal – earthquake tremors were reported in Irving that same weekend – but riders pressed on. They had to abandon the goal of covering 175 miles in two days of touring, however.
“This was a year of change for us,” said Calumn. “We moved our start and end points to our Microsoft partner’s facilities in Irving. We got so much support from the city, and a good chunk of the route was to go through the center of Irving. I’m sorry our riders didn’t get to see it.”
Calumn added that Lone Star Ride is in hopeful discussions to return the event to Irving next year.
A wrap party is scheduled for Oct. 21 with a location still to be determined.
“We’re calling it the Victory Lap,” said Calumn, “with all of our cyclists riding together from Cedar Springs to Irving and back.”
With the help of other partners such as NYLO and Hyatt House Hotels; the Flying Saucer Restaurant; GLM Waste Management and the Cedar Springs Merchants Association, LSRFA channels its funds to three beneficiaries: AIDS Services of Dallas, AIDS Outreach Center of Tarrant County and Resource Center Dallas.
These groups provide housing, hot meals, food pantries, HIV testing counseling and other basic needs for more than 20,000 clients with HIV/AIDS throughout North Texas.
Some information provided by Lone Star Ride Fighting AIDS.
For more information: www.lonestarride.org.