The Smart Ride is a 2 Day Ride, 165-Mile Ride from Miami to Key West, and this year it takes place January 19th and 20th, 2018 (Had to be rescheduled from its normal November dates due to the hurricane).
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, they raised $169,000 and returned it all to AIDS Service Organizations. Thirteen years later, over $8.5 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%.
Their 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. They attract between 400-500 participants with each event, but they touch thousands more on the road as they travel between cities and towns, and with each donation that is made. Last year, close to 10,000 people donated to their efforts – that’s quite an impact! Riders and crew range in age from 18 to 73. They are involved because:
- They are Positive
- They have lost someone to HIV/AIDS
- They know someone living with HIV/AIDS
- Everybody believes it is the right thing to do!
The Smart Ride 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, and services and also put together riding teams. Thanks to them, they 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 everyone 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
- To provide a SAFE ride
- 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 they changed the lives of others for the better
Their current beneficiaries are: Broward House, Children’s Diagnostic & Treatment Centers (CDTC), Metro Wellness & Community Centers, Pridelines, AIDS Help (AH), Miracle of Love, Inc., and Compass Community Center.
For more information or to donate, go to TheSmartRide.org.