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AidsRide 2002

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For those who weren't here 

last time, allow me to add a link 

to my original page. Just click on the bike.

For the 2001 trip click here.

finally, if you like to hear a good story guaranteed to have a happy ending try this

Last year my older sister signed up for a thing called the AidsRide, a 530 mile bicycle trip from the Twin Cities in Minnesota to Chicago. They raise money to benefit aids patients. This year we were going to have a bunch of people going, but due to accidents, and surgeries I was the only one to make it. I still hade fun though. 

I was a few days early so I hung out with my Aunt in Rochester for a few days before going to St. Paul to get the bike serviced and to goof off. Friday night in St. Paul I ran into a guy, John. We got to talking and the next thing I knew we went to his house to have KFC and sit around the fire. His wife, Anna wanted a picture on the bike so we took one. They used to ride but a bad accident left her permanently disabled. Saturday I went to a bar to see Tinsley Ellis play. The music was good. I only had a short time to chat while he was autographing a CD for me, but he seemed like a pretty nice guy. I also found Osama Bin Laden, but I couldn't collect on the reward.

Sunday I got to meet the rest of the motocrew and register for the ride. On Monday the ride started, luckily for use there was plenty of police support all through the ride. (Something that was missing last year.) So we didn't have much to do but watch while the first riders rolled out to start the ride. 

I really didn't take a lot of pictures of the ride. Most of the time I was standing in an intersection trying not to get anyone killed. I didn't really have the time to take out my camera and snap pictures. (I was too busy standing in front of trucks.) I did get a picture of Jen and Ashley, the wife and niece of out fearless leader Shawn Michael Dargon. (I"m sure I destroyed his name. I also caught one of the motocrew watering the cornfields. According to one of the girls, I won't say who, cornfields are the best because you have something to hold on to.

Of course I did talk to a lot of people, though it is very hard to recognize riders without their riding gear on. Occasionally I see them at camp and we actually have the time to talk. Like Lisa here. Or the photographer intern, Madison, I think. Of course no adventure would be complete without some sort of calamity. One night, Thursday I think, they evacuated us from our tents and into a gym because of the weather. The only problem was I was listening to the thunder and the eye of the storm had already passed by the time they started to evacuate. Obviously most people didn't bring their blankets and stuff so they gave out Mylar emergency blankets to anyone who wanted one. 

Then there was the time I told everyone the next pit stop was only 6 miles away when it was really 12. Somehow or other I forgot that a bridge was out and we had to detour around it. Then next day there was more construction, but we marched right on through it, literally

Of course on the last day I hung out in Highland Park, right after lunch and kept most people safe from those dangerous, cell phone using, North Shore drivers. Then again I wasn't the only on who thought it was a good place to hang out. 

By Saturday we made it to Montrose Harbor and got to celebrate. Much fun and excitement, not to mention a few hugs. 

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