SMART Ride 14 Postponed
If Not Now, When?……..A Very Good Question
Irma, a storm that packed winds of up to 180 miles approached the mainland of the United States on Saturday, September 9th and entered around Cudjoe sound in the Florida Keys. The storm was unprecedented in size and power. As a result of the storm, the Keys has had to hit the “Pause Button”.
The pause button means SMART Ride 14 needs to be postponed. WHEN WILL we be able to ride and crew? The honest answer is “We just don’t know”, BUT we are working as quickly as possible to get answers. The goal is to reschedule the ride for the first quarter of 2018.
Hawks Cay is closed through January 2018 at the earliest
Most other resorts within 25 miles of Duck Key and Hawks Cay are all temporarily closed
All agencies felt that the decision to postpone was the right decision for each of you and for respecting the Keys recovery.
Over 10,000 FEMA workers are working, or will be working in the Keys from Key Largo to Key West with trucks and vehicles sharing the same road as us
Storm Debris…it’s just nasty, it often blocks our bike lanes and shoulders, it also really really stinky from all the seaweed washed ashore.
Safety of every participant comes first:
We don’t yet know extend damage to the rest stops
We don’t yet know the extent of repair to the damaged roads
We don’t yet know when all the infrastructure, water and power will return
We do know that trees are barren, that emergency, county and state workers are doing their best to keep up with the extensive demands
We know you have questions, lots and lots of questions…
We are working on the answers, right now the answer is most likely, “we don’t know yet”.
Here are some questions we don’t have answers for that you may be asking:
* I already booked my hotel in Key West, what should I do? Will they honor the reservation at a later date?
We are working with DelMay and Associates to get those answers for our contracted hotel reservations. Most hotels in the Keys still are not fully operational, but we are trying to get you info. No need to call Delmay right now, they will get more info to us or to you directly soon. If you booked on your own, reach out and see if the hotel is open or what their plans are to reopen.
* I have reservations in Miami before the ride, what happens to those?
If you booked through DelMay and Associates they are reaching out to the local hotels and seeing if they will honor your reservation when the ride gets it’s new dates.
* I rented a bike, what happens now?
We are reaching out to the bike company to see what their status is, if they survived, if they had damage and if they are up and running enough to get those answers.
* What about Key West? How are they doing?
Key West is expected to be ready for Fantasy Fest by October 20th, this however does NOT represent a true look at the recovery of the entire Keys or the residents of Key West and their personal challenges. AIDS Help, Inc in Key West has expressed that the need is great and the demand very strong to get back up and running. If you already have reservations for the weekend of the ride in Key West and you want to go, we know that their economy could use the influx of Dollars, Pesos, Drachmas, Shekels, Euro’s, and of course they take credit cards.
* How can I help immediately?
We know all our benefiting agencies can use help, especially in Key West. They all have different needs, if you want to help, we recommend reaching out directly.
* I bought a plane ticket what do I do now?
Reach out to the airline and let them know what has happened, see if they will refund or credit you. We know they were making exceptions because of the storm. If you need a letter from us we are happy to do that for you.
* What happened to Hawks Cay?
They suffered damage but we really don’t know the extent of it. We have been told that it will not be until the first quarter of 2018 that they will accept any groups.
* What about SMART Ride 15? What happens then?
We are planning on getting back on track and keeping our ride in November for our 15th anniversary. We are already contracted with hotels for our normal schedule in November. It is conceivable that we will have two rides within 10 months (how much fun is that!!!!)
* Has this ever happened before?
Yup for SR3 we had hurricane Wilma, we had to postpone that year and everyone rallied to support us. We believe with each of you we will make our mark on the world and come out stronger.
Now what? Please be patient. Its very hard to hear that, but we are working to get answers as soon as possible.
- It’s important to continue to ride, to continue to train and continue to raise awareness on the road by your presence.
- It’s a healthy decision, especially right now to reduce stress,
- It’s good for you mentally
- It’s heart healthy (at least I think so)
- It’s sexy with you in your riding clothes
- It’s great practice
- It’s important to re-start your fundraising as soon as it is appropriate. The need remains great for those affected by HIV and AIDS. Our agencies are counting on you to meet not only the needs before the storm, but the unprecedented across the state need that has arisen. Remember many of the clients we all benefit have a hard time day-to-day. They all just experienced losses of food, shelter and more.WE can make their lives better
- Your friends and family are counting on you to make a difference in this world and they support your willingness to be so selfless.