The annual 165-mile SMART Ride for AIDS/HIV, from Miami to Key West is next week. We start on Friday, Nov 14, doing 100 miles and staying overnight on one of the Florida keys. Then we do the final 65 miles on Saturday into Key West. The town gives us a victory parade down Duval Street, with a ceremony at their AIDS memorial.

I have to begin early, because I'm one of the support people, as well as a rider, will spend most of next week in Miami, doing registration and moving support vehicles & equipment around. Nearly 600 people are registered, and I spent last weekend trying to match people into rooms for the Friday night stay.

The web site has great info, but significant is that 100% of the money the rider's raise of their $1250 minimum goes to 6 AIDS/HIV non-profit agencies in Florida. Not a single penny goes to salaries or other overhead, like in some other charities.

The support vehicles & gas are donated free, the pit stops are staffed & supplied free, the bicycle repair teams work for free, the members of the organizing committee and ride directors work for free. In fact, my partner was on the original forming committee 5 years ago, still a member this year, receiving no salary or compensation at all, like the rest of the committee.

If you want to make a donation online it's not too late, just use that website above. I'm rider # 242/Bob, BTW, if you'd like to donate on my behalf (again, as a rider I receive nothing personally, it all goes to the 6 AIDS/HIV agencies).

Heading for the pier in Key West for the Closing Ceremony, 2007:

Riding into Key West, 2007:

One of the pit stop crews, who are often in costumes:

Many more pictures are in the Gallery at the site link above.