If you haven't heard about it, the Ride for AIDS Chicago is a 200 mile bike ride held over 2 days that raises money and awareness for individuals living with HIV/AIDS. This charity event is held every year in the month of July and just celebrated its 10th anniversary! Besides the multitude of reasons for why this bike ride is a special event, a key point to mention is that 100% of the money raised goes DIRECTLY to individuals living with HIV/AIDS. Unlike countless other charity events that raise money for awareness, the Ride for AIDS gives all the money back. If you are doing any charity events or runs, take a moment to review the event's information on where the money goes after it is raised. Some charities will shock you with only giving 10 CENTS per dollar raised! I should name names...however I am challenging you to look those up yourself so that you are being aware of what you are supporting. During the last ride, held over July 13th and 14th, the Ride for AIDS raised over $740,000!! WOOHOO!!
Now, you might be sitting there saying to yourself, "200 miles in 2 days? Really?" Why yes, the riders train vigorously for months battling hot weather, rain, and grueling hills to get their bodies in working order for this strenuous journey in the summer heat. I am so proud to say that I have done the Ride for AIDS Chicago for the last 2 years and currently signed up for it in 2014. However, as I am excited about doing the ride for the 3rd year in a row, I am also scared to see what is going to happen to my body. During the 2012 ride, I suffered nerve damage in my left hand for three months and had swollen knees for about 2 weeks. At the end of this year's ride, I finished with a shredded forearm (from ripping my skin open in gravel after flipping off my bike), two wood friction burns (from dragging my skin along a wooden wall), and a few other scrapes and tears.
All that being said, I am actually geared up to captain another team and bring a group of virgin riders to pop their taint cherries while biking to Wisconsin and back. This coming year, the group name will be "Team TNT (Toddlers N' Tiaras)", and yes it is named after one of my favorite shows. We will have glitter, tiaras, capes, and anything else to gain a higher score from the imaginary judges that we will hallucinate while biking in July heat through miles and miles of nothing but farm land.
If you would like to learn more about the Ride for AIDS Chicago, please take a moment to look at the following website: http://www.rideforaids.org/about/index.html. If you enjoy biking, helping the local community, or know someone impacted by HIV/AIDS, consider being a rider or a crew for the 2014 ride. I can honestly promise you that it will change your life. After doing the ride for two years now, regardless of the damage to my poor body, I can think of nothing else to do during my summer. It is a family that you will be welcomed into with open arms and you will meet people that you will hold dear to your heart for the rest of your life. I consider myself thankful for taking a chance two years ago and doing this ride by myself. However, I never was truly by myself, there was always support and a helping hand every step of the way.
Below are some photos from the 2013 Ride for AIDS Chicago..I hope you enjoy!