At the conclusion of another SMART Ride, Glen Weinzimer had a message for people who complain about their lives.
“I try to keep things in perspective,” Weinzimer said. “So you got a flat tire, you know what? Some people can’t afford their medicine or have no place to live.”
Weinzimer told SFGN final figures for the 14th annual SMART Ride (Southern Most AIDS Ride). He said $830,245 was raised this cycle, a satisfying total for a rescheduled event, and registration for the next ride is at record pace.
“I am completely blown away by the community and their support,” Weinzimer said.
One of the riders this year was Kevin Clevenger, who participated on behalf of the Poverello Center in Wilton Manors.
“The SMART Ride was incredible,” Clevenger said. “I love the experience coming from a first time rider. I had volunteered the past two years and that had inspired me to take my commitment to the next level.”
A 165-mile course from Miami to Key West, the SMART Ride raises money for HIV/AIDS service organizations. In Key West, cyclists received a police escort and closing ceremonies are held at White Street Pier.
“Key West welcomed us with open arms,” Weinzimer said. “It was truly a one human family experience — police escort, confetti, marching band. It was great.”
Planning is underway for the next ride, Weinzimer said. SMART Ride 15 is set for Nov. 16-17.