Hurricane Irma hit all of Florida just over a week ago. For many of our friends and family they are still without power. Many of us just got power back within the last 72 hours. As we continue to recover, we continue to access damage and how it impacts SMART Ride 14.

We wish we could tell you more, but as you can imagine there are more questions than answers to give you a definitive plan. For now, we encourage you to continue to train (stay in shape, keep your blood sugar low, keep your stress level down, keep those endorphins up). Biking is good for you year round. We have heard from so many of you asking “Well? is SMART Ride happening?, How does this affect the event?, When will you know? I need to make plans and I need answers!“…..BREATHE…Inhale….Exhale… repeat

What we are doing and the questions we are asking…

  • We have a special board meeting  on Wednesday evening to talk about what the impact on SMART Ride is
  • We have spoken to Hawks Cay
  • We are just hearing back from Key West as they access their situation
  • We are contacting the parks and rest stops to see what condition they are in
  • We are looking at the route (from the eyes of people in the keys) to see if there is bike lane damage
  • We are checking with the municipalities about their capacity to handle us
  • We are checking with those who clean and clear roads

SMART Ride is vital to the lives of tens of thousands of individuals and regardless of what path we choose (pun intended). As you are all aware, there remains a great financial need for the agencies who support those affected by HIV and AIDS. Federal funding is questionable and new challenges as a result of Irma tax am already burdened system.

If you are a rider, or a crew, please keep your fundraising up, AIDS did not take a holiday when the storm hit, but it did exasperate many lives of those affected by HIV and AIDS. We still need to raise at least $1Million to help. As we have been saying for months “If not now, when?” do we stand up and stop HIV and AIDS? When do we make a difference in the lives of countless people you may never meet?

For now, continue to train, fundraise, get creative with your crew. Our meeting is Wednesday evening and we won’t have everything resolved, but we will have marching orders to get more information out to each of you.

-Glen