menuclose

Annie & Marie – Why I Ride Project

READ my interview below, SHARE this post to support me, and DONATE TO MY CAUSE!

Why I Ride Project - Brent Dundore Photography

“We Crew as family, to end stigma.”

ANNIE ELMER – age 58, 4 time rider, 2 time crew member

Donate to Annie: HERE

Why do you Red Ribbon Ride? I’ve been living with HIV for 25 years.  I was cycling before I was infected.  When I found out I had HIV, I asked if I could continue riding across Minnesota to raise money for MS.  They weren’t sure if my immune system could handle it or not.  There were no life-saving medications like there are now and they guessed I’d be healthy for 3 years.  I figured I’d continue riding to live my life as “normally” as possible and cycling helped keep me healthy.  I rode the AIDS Ride from Minneapolis to Chicago in 1997 and that was when I was on my first “cocktail” of drugs.  It was very challenging riding on meds, but I made it. That’s where I first learned about Positive Pedalers and the first time I wore a Positive Pedalers jersey on the ride.   The support I got from others really helped me keep going when the going got rough.  I took a few years off of cycling and heard about the Red Ribbon Ride at an Oscar Night fundraiser.  I went to watch my friend at closing ceremony two years.  The second year they invited all Positive Pedalers to ride in together and I searched for a woman. There wasn’t one there.  I signed up for the 2008 ride.  I selfishly rode for me to have a goal and to appreciate whatever strength I had for 4 years and when the going got tough I rode for others who can’t ride and for the family and friends who donated for the beneficiaries.  A few health issues have worn me down and I no longer have the energy to ride so I do the best I can to help out with crewing.  I’ve found crewing in some ways be even more rewarding than riding.

It’s been very wonderful to have my mother crewing with me.  I’m the serious introvert and she’s the fun-loving extrovert that makes everyone smile.  I couldn’t do it without her and my father’s support and I’m very grateful because I know not everyone with HIV has family support.
What is your favorite thing about the Red Ribbon Ride? Each year I appreciate how much work goes into making this event happen.  My crew team is amazing!  My “job” is bike parking.  I make sure each rider checks out before they ride and that they check in when they’re back to make sure no one is left behind.  I notice that when I get stressed or overwhelmed, I turn around and there’s my team all pitching in to get everyone out and back safely.  It feels like magic the way we work together!  They help me put up our station and help tear down and move it to the next location and repeat the process.  When we’re finished and if I have extra energy, I help unload the truck for the rest of camp services.  Bike parking usually has a lull in activity early afternoon and people stop by to visit.  My biggest reward is when riders tell me that when they see me when they check in, I’m a reminder of why they do the ride.  When I feel like I don’t have the energy to do more, that gets me refocused on why I’m here.

What do you do away from the Red Ribbon Ride?  I worked in the corporate world for many years and I most recently was a personal trainer.  I still have a few clients that I train in my home.  I enjoy hiking and some cycling and sharing my story about living with HIV at high schools or wherever anyone wants to hear it.

 

READ my interview below, SHARE this post to support me, and DONATE TO MY CAUSE!

MARIE ELMER – age 78, supported Annie while she was riding, crewing 2 years

Donate to Marie: HERE

Why do you Red Ribbon Ride? To help raise money to help people who need support.

What is your favorite thing about the Red Ribbon Ride? The hope and inspiration I get from younger people participating.

What do you do away from the Red Ribbon Ride? I volunteer for the local food shelf with a positive attitude.  I help people in recovery.  I support Annie and help her with HIV advocacy.

How were you introduced to Red Ribbon Ride? I volunteer for the local food shelf with a positive attitude.  I help people in recovery.  I support Annie and help her with HIV advocacy.

What is one great memory you can share from your ride/crew experience in the past?  The year when my husband (Annie’s Dad) and our friends came to closing ceremony.  We stood watching my daughter with the riderless bike.  She’s still here and others aren’t.  I realize how important it is to keep on working to prevent others from experiencing HIV.

What person or group of people are you hoping to bring to the ride this next year?  I tell whomever I meet all about the ride and do that to try to help end the stigma of HIV.

What is your fundraising goal this year? What creative ways are you going to achieve that goal?  $750

Is there anything else you’d like to say to our Red Ribbon Ride community?  This is a powerful, good, positive group of people and wonderful sponsors.  I’m proud to be part of it.

 

 

SERVICES

Industry

Personal PORTRAITS

Headshots

Activism

FINE Art

Creative Production

Coming Soon.

CONTACT

Please fill out the form below to tell me about yourself and your photo needs.

 

DUE TO COVID-19 EMAIL REPLIES ARE TAKING LONGER THAN NORMAL. YOU'RE ALSO WELCOME TO TEXT OR CALL THE NUMBER ABOVE.

Form submitted successfully, thank you.Error submitting form, please try again.

Dundore photo

Serving Monterey & San Francisco Bays, Big Sur, Santa Cruz, San Jose, Palo Alto & Beyond