Every year since I met my husband, he has participated in the Hill Country Ride for AIDS. The first year I knew him, I had to work. In 2007, 2008, 2009, & 2010, I also participated and raised funds. Last year, I raised funds and volunteered at the finish line.
April is fast approaching and I’ve been involved in my work world, in the passing of my bestest dog pal, and I haven’t registered yet– and haven’t decided if I will ride or volunteer. I’m sure my spirit will tell me at the last minute. I’m fickle like that.
…but Bill Flanigin, my husband is faithful and true. He’s the reason I know David Smith, and the amazing people affiliated with the ride. Here is a note he wrote for the ride about his experiences, and it inspired me, so I thought I would share it with you.
This is my 8th year to ride; I can’t believe how fast those years have stacked up on each other. I keep my “David Smith Ride Medals” on a hook in my garage. Every year, when I add a medal, I feel good. I feel good that I pushed my body. I feel a sense of accomplishment and community. But most importantly, I feel like a did a good thing and helped some really cool people who needed it.
I do not wear spandex. I do not ride a fancy touring bike. One year, I’m pretty sure a girl on a tricycle passed me. I do not do the training rides either. I ride my bike occasionally throughout the year and walk for exercise. I’ve finished every year. If you’re worrying about the length of the ride, don’t. Heck, if I ever get a flat, I’m sagging to the finish line and starting my post-race cocktail party. No worries.
This year I tried something new to raise money. I wrote about 10 letters to businesses that I’ve supported over the years. Basically, the letters said, “I’ve been a loyal customer and supported your business, now it’s time for you to return the favor and donate to The Ride.” When I got my first check from Hewlett VW in the mail, I was so stoked. I only have about 4 friends, so if I can raise the money for the ride, anyone can.
When I started the ride, I worried about riding a distance I’ve never ridden, and raising enough money. Now, I worry about the weather and what’s for lunch. Ride weekend is so much fun! Come out and ride with us and start hanging your medals today!