We are a 2-Day, 165-Mile Bicycle Ride from Miami to Key West, November 20th and 21st, 2020.
Like many things that change us and the world in some way, it starts with a dream, a vision, and an idea. The SMART Ride (Southern Most AIDS/HIV Ride) is no different. It was born out of a dream to make a real and significant difference in the lives of those infected, affected and at risk for HIV/AIDS. In 2002, the idea was a welcome change to this kind of fundraising but met much skepticism about the reality of meeting these goals of 100%. The ride became a reality one year later in November of 2003 with less than 100 riders and about 100 crew. Miraculously, we raised $169,000 and returned it all to AIDS Service Organizations. Sixteen years later, over $11.8 million has been distributed throughout Florida, making SMART Ride the 2nd largest AIDS bicycle ride in the country and the only one of its size to give back 100%.
Our participants come from across the State of Florida. From as far south as Key West, as far north as Jacksonville, and from Tampa to Palm Beach. Nationally, participants come from as far as Hawaii to as close as our neighboring state of Georgia, not to mention Internationally. We attract between 400-500 participants with each event, but we touch thousands more on the road as we travel between cities and towns, and with each donation that is made. Last year, close to 10,000 people donated to our efforts – that’s quite an impact! Riders and crew range in age from 18 to 73. They are involved because:
- Some are Positive
- Some have lost someone to HIV/AIDS
- Some know someone living with HIV/AIDS
- Everybody believes it is the right thing to do!
Our sponsors are Independent/Family-Owned Businesses, Regional and National Companies. All believe that being involved is a life-changing experience and want an opportunity to give back to the community. Sponsors donate cash, products, services and also put together riding teams. Thanks to them, we are able to produce a safe event and donate 100% of the pledges raised back to the community. So whether you ride, crew, sponsor or donate, it takes all of us to make a difference in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
- To raise more money than any other similar event has historically done in the State of Florida (and we have at $11.8 Million in 16 years)
- To provide a Safe, fully-supported ride which includes sweep and SAG vehicles. Pit stops are located every 13-17 miles to restock on snacks and rehydrate.
- To bring awareness to the continued growth of HIV/AIDS worldwide
- To help those already living with HIV & AIDS live healthier and more fulfilled lives by providing the basics to long term survival
- To give those who have lost someone to AIDS an avenue to express, recognize, remember and celebrate these individuals
- To include anyone who has ever felt they wanted to challenge themselves and make a difference in the world
- To create memories that will fill your heart and soul
- In some small but significant way, to feel we changed the lives of others for the better