Eric – Why I Ride Project

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Why I Ride Project - Brent Dundore Photography

“I ride for the mission.” 

Eric – 3rd year rider.

Why do you Red Ribbon Ride?  I started riding just for the adventure, challenge and joy.  After meeting so many great people and seeing the impact my fundraising has had over the years I can now summarize it all and just say I ride for the mission.

In the early 2000’s,  I rode in the last two Twin Cities to Chicago AIDs Ride and at the time it was all about the adventure and being a part of something that was larger than life.

On those rides I met so many intelligent, strong and beautiful people and I came to know about their personal struggles living with AIDS/HIV, many of which I stayed in contact.

The Red Ribbon Ride reminds me off those early years, embraces me for who I am and continues to provide me with opportunities to give back both on and off the bike.

What is your favorite thing about the Red Ribbon Ride? The themed pit stops they can really help lift your spirits when you’ve been in the saddle for a few hours.  And……while it’s not very altruistic of me…. food tastes so much better when you’re in the saddle all day.  Ride to eat, eat to ride.

What would you tell someone who is on the fence about joining our ride next year?  Like any large and great event people can easily feel overwhelmed.  I would try to uncover their objections and then describe for them the resources that we have that are available to help them achieve their goals.  Hate fundraising….we have a workshop for that and we have teams who can help support you.  I can’t ride 300 miles…..that is okay….we have fully supported training rides that will slowly get you up to speed.

How were you introduced to Red Ribbon Ride? I met Joe Ede on some training rides during the 2001 Twin Cities to Chicago AidsRide.   His story and leadership made an impression on me then and I knew he had gone on with others to continue and improve the mission through the Red Ribbon Ride!

What is one great memory you can share from your ride/crew experience in the past?  The last day of the ride in 2013 severe storms were blowing through the area accompanied by cold heavy downpours.  The ride took care of us
and got us safely into a fire station for a couple of hours where we could wait and warm up.  It was a bonding moment for all us and an almost party-like atmosphere.  Unfortunately we weren’t allow to try on the firefighters gear or play in trucks…..but we asked!

What do you do away from the Red Ribbon Ride?  Currently, I volunteer in the Red Ribbon Ride office putting my excel skills to good use.  I enjoy bike commuting, bikejoring and am training to be a ride leader.  Off the bike I train Cider my four year old sheltie-mix in agility through Agile Canine training school.

What person or group of people are you hoping to bring to the ride this next year?  I have a few people in mind that expressed interest and I’m going to email them right after completing this questionnaire!

What is your fundraising goal this year? What creative ways are you going to achieve that goal?  I always start with 2k then once things get going increase it from there.  I know Marni says 3k is the magic number and hopefully I’ll get there!  I joined Team Bear! and they already have been cooking up some great fundraising ideas.

Is there anything else you’d like to say to our Red Ribbon Ride community?  Thanks for adopting me and making me a part of your community!  Also, thanks to Marni and Brent for your fresh ideas and making HQ a fun place to work.



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