Back on the Bikes: It’s Time to Ride for AIDS
Kansas City’s AIDS Walk, held each April, raises money for the AIDS Service Foundation of greater Kansas City. But it takes more than that one-day event to get the more than half a million dollars ultimately raised. Organizers work year-round on events that contribute to the greater goal.
Seven years ago, AIDS Walk launched the new AIDS Bicycle Challenge (ABC), which had roots in the original PrideRide fundraiser. This year the ride, on Sept. 11, will once again be an urban ride in Kansas City.
The event is headed up by co-producers Michael Lintecum and Josh Strodtman and co-chairs Jeanne Barnhill, Teresa Jarzemkoski, Mark Thomas and Theresa Von Ackeren.
“ABC has seen significant growth since the first time we all set out on our bikes on the Katy Trail to fight HIV/AIDS in our hometown,” Strodtman said. “In that first year, ABC had 25 riders. Last year, ABC had nearly 400 riders. Since 2005, the AIDS Bicycle Challenge has raised over $200,000 for those living with HIV/AIDS in Kansas City. This year we are thrilled to welcome back our honorary chair from the past two years, State Sen. Jolie Justus.”.
Although ABC has featured different routes over the years, this time the organizers are keeping it simple. The route of about 20 miles through the city is designed in a ribbon pattern, similar to the classic AIDS red ribbon. The ride begins at Richard L. Berkley Riverfront Park and goes south through the city, on to the Trolley Track Trail, then returns to end at the park. The route will feature stops with live music, complimentary beverages, food and more.
The money raised through the ABC will stay in the Kansas City area, supporting local HIV/AIDS service organizations such as SAVE, Inc., Good Samaritan Project, Kansas City Free Health Clinic and Hope Care Center. The leaders of the ride have designed the route to pass by these organizations.
ABC will also feature a free one-mile children’s ride on the trail at Riverfront Park for parents who don’t want their children to feel left out. Strodtman said the children should feel welcome “to loop that route as much as they wish.”
There will be an after-party at the park with entertainment, vendor booths, food, drink and more. It’s free for the registered riders and only $10 to all others. Even if you can’t ride, Strodtman and Lintecum are encouraging all to come to Richard Berkley Park to celebrate with the riders at the after-party.
Register online at www.aidsbicyclechallenge.org. The registration fee is $25 until Aug. 15 and $30 after that day. To get a tech shirt, too, just raise an additional $50 in donations or include the shirt in your early registration fee of $50 and waive the fundraising requirement.
On-site registration opens at 11 a.m. Sept. 11 in front of the Pavilion at the Richard L. Berkley Riverfront Park in downtown Kansas City, Mo. The ride will begin at noon. Free parking is available along the street or in the Richard L. Berkley Riverfront Park parking lot (access is off of Third Street).
Here are the prizes that you can win in recognition of your fundraising efforts!
$50: ABC tech shirt
$100: ABC cycling socks, plus the shirt above
$250: ABC Polar Water Bottle, plus the above items
$500: ABC Cycling Cap, plus the above items
$1,000: Custom-embroidered ABC Club Ride Cycling Shirt, plus the above items
$2,500: Fuji or TREK Bike, plus the above items
For more information, visit www.aidsbicyclechallenge.org.