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On November 7, 2003, a small group gathered in South Miami on what was to become The SMART Ride. With fewer than 100 riders and about the same number of crew members, they embarked on a journey to raise awareness and help six AIDS service organizations throughout Florida provide direct services. That year they raised over $169,000, and most remarkably, they committed to returning 100% of every dollar raised to those in need. Not one penny went to administration or production; that all came from the generosity of the community.
On November 13, 2015 the 12th SMART Ride will take place, and like the very first event, every penny raised by the participants will assist with education, prevention, and care for those affected, infected or at risk for HIV and AIDS in Florida. “In our twelve-year history, we are proud to have been able to keep to our business model and return over $6.4 million across Florida,” said Glen Weinzimer, founder of The SMART Ride. He continued, “It’s been a remarkable journey that I never imagined I would take when, in 1993, I found out I was living with, or better yet, dying of, AIDS. I am proud of our community and how it rallies around the ride every year to help us grow and continue to help.”
The SMART Ride (Southern Most AIDS/HIV Ride) leaves Miami on Friday morning, November 13th, and travels 165 miles over two days with nothing more than human endurance and determination. The participants vary in age from 18 to 82 and the ride is fully supported. The support comes from the desire to make everyone feel safe and secure on the event. SMART Ride support includes everything from bike techs to a full medical team, rest stops, and sweep and sag vehicles. Overnight accommodations will be at the beautiful Hawks Cay Resort (after 100 miles on day one, you are very happy to see this place!). Participants pay a registration fee of $95, which covers their housing on Friday evening and their food over the event. The remainder of expenses is covered by in-kind or financial donations.