Hosted by TSR Adventures Inc. and called the “SMART Ride,” or “Southern Most AIDS/HIV Ride Two Thousand Twenty-Two,” the event is slated for Friday and Saturday, Nov. 18-19. It typically attracts 400 to 500 solo riders, 250 volunteers and multiperson teams of people ranging in age from 18 to over 70.
According to organizers, the fundraiser is the second-largest event of its kind in the United States.
Now in its 19th year, the ride has raised nearly $14 million, with 100% of proceeds distributed among HIV/AIDS service organizations throughout Florida.
Riders are to depart Friday from the University of Miami’s Watsco Center at 1245 Dauer Drive in Coral Gables. The ride starts at sunrise, 6:41 a.m., with the first scheduled 100-mile trek to Hawks Cay Resort on Duck Key.
Rest stops are available approximately every 15 to 20 miles.
Entrants receive overnight housing, meals and the services of a medical team and a holistic and wellness tent throughout the event.
Scheduled overnight housing for participants and volunteer support staff is at Hawks Cay. On the second day, riders are to cycle some 65 miles southwest to Key West.
Once all entrants arrive, a 4-mile parade around Key West with police escort is slated for 2 p.m. Closing ceremonies are to be held at the Truman Waterfront Pier.
The public is encouraged to join in the closing ceremonies to congratulate riders, crew and volunteers.
Post-ride celebrations are slated throughout the day Saturday at LGBTQ-friendly venues in Key West. They include a closing party at the Bourbon St. Complex, 724 Duval St., and a Sunday fundraiser featuring the sounds of Alexander Zenoz at Aqua, 711 Duval St.
Registration for the 2022 ride is currently open with a fee of $135.
Event information: thesmartride.org
Key West visitor information: fla-keys.com/keywest or gaykeywestfl.com
Florida Keys visitor information: fla-keys.com or 1-800-FLA-KEYS
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