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In Memoriam

     One of the reasons I have choosen to participate in the AIDS 2001 Ride
is to help raise money to find a cure for this disease.

     The second reason I ride is to honor and remember friends of mine,
and friends and relatives of others who lost their fight against AIDS.

     Following are the stories of some of the young men whose lives
touched mine, and whose lives are worth remembering and honoring

Our own AIDS Quilt

Graphics by Christina Melnarik

     We CAR8 riders recently heard the sad news about a fellow CAR8 rider, massage therapist and Aids rider Trudy Heskett who was fatally hit by a car while training for this year's ride. This would have been her 3rd ride and she was determined to ride every mile. She learned how to ride a bike to participate in the 99 ride and learned to love biking.
Her husband - Bill - "Big Bill #4143" will be riding in her honor.
This will be an emotional ride for all of us for many of our own personal reasons - we all have our own way of honoring our friends and loved ones.
     Purple was Trudy's favorite color - so there will be many riders, those who knew and loved her, and the many who only know about her. We will place a small purple ribbon on our bike, helmet or among our "special" memorials that help us up those long hills.
     Those ribbons will be hugs for Bill and bring smiles to all of the faces as we all remember sweet Trudy during this event


     Another memorial is offered for friends of one of my sponsors, Sharon ... The Rev. E. Stanley Smathers and his wife Ruth whose exemplary lives were cut short by AIDS. Their ministry of love and compassion took them to Taiwan where they labored for more than ten years. Ruth received a transfusion of blood - hoping to give her "new life" - she contracted AIDS and died in July of 1988. Stanley died in January of 1990 of this same, dread disease. They were special people whose ministry to the Taiwanese people needs to be remembered and honored. I'll be wearing a red ribbon for Stan and Ruth to the purple one I'll wear for Trudy...

The Riderless Bicycle.......

At the opening ceremonies of prior AIDS Rides across the country, riders line up on either side of the roadway at the starting point. A riderless bike is led by four people up the roadway, past the riders, to the start of the Ride, while the following is read out loud:


A bicycle is now being lead down the center path.

It is the bicycle to open an AIDS Ride. And like others before it is without a rider.
But in a larger sense, it is without many riders. It is without your friends, and my friends. It is without our lovers, our brothers, our sisters. It is without AIDS Riders who have joined us on AIDS Rides past. It is without over 400,000 Americans who have died of AIDS.

We represent them with quilts. We represent them with memorial services. We represent them with photographs, of the memories we share together on this earth.

But now they belong to the ages.

And today, today we represent them with the sweat off our backs, with the muscles in our legs, the breath in our lungs. The stamina to conquer hills, and wind, rain, and adversity. Today we represent them with courage, with dignity, with the grace and strength of HEROES.

This bike has no rider, but our bikes will. Today we represent life gone by, with life still here. Today we create a living, breathing, human monument. More beautiful than any cast in bronze, or carved in granite. And it says we will never forget. We will never give up. We will never give up. We will never give up. As long as we live, we will never give up.

Home | AIDs Ride | In Memoriam | Pledge | Sponsors | Contact
ColdFusion site created & hosted as a free public service by SupportNet