The SMART Ride’s 20th year will be its last

(Photo via The SMART Ride/Facebook)

Fort Lauderdale, Fla. | Organizers of the Southern Most HIV/AIDS Ride announced Sept. 16 that this year’s 20th annual fundraiser, culminating with a 165-mile trek from Miami to Key West Nov. 17-18, will be its last.

SMART Ride formed in 2003 “with a vision of giving back 100% of every dollar its participants raise to AIDS service organizations throughout Florida.” It is now the second largest AIDS bicycle ride in the U.S. and the only one of its size to do so.

Nearly $15 million has been raised since its inception, more than $1 million of which came from SMART Ride 19. Organizers hope to build on that momentum to raise $2 million during SMART Ride 20 for Empath Partners in Care in Tampa Bay, Miracle of Love in Central Florida, Broward House in Wilton Manors, Pridelines in Miami-Dade County, Compass Community Center in Palm Beach County and A.H. of Monroe in Monroe County.

SMART Ride Founder Glen Weinzimer, who had previously announced this year would be his final ride, confirmed the fundraiser’s end via social media. He was joined by Executive Director Todd Delmay, another longtime LGBTQ+ advocate.

“We are hanging up our helmets, packing up our jerseys, and emptying our water bottles, the 20th Anniversary edition of #TheSMARTRide taking place November 17-18, 2023 will be the last,” their post reads. “We will all walk away with our heads held high and a legacy you can be proud of.

“From the beginning, #TheSMARTRide has been about more than just a bike ride,” it continues. “It’s been about love, compassion, and making a difference in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Together, we’ve raised millions of dollars, funded vital programs, and created lasting change … Thank you for 20 incredible years and for riding with us!”

View the announcement video below:

SMART Ride 20 was initially described as a “transition year” by Weinzimer and Delmay, who became executive director in January. According to Out South Florida, “the situation changed when Delmay accepted the job as Executive Director at SAVE LGBTQ.”

Safeguarding American Values for Everyone, the LGBTQ+-focused advocacy group based in Miami, announced Delmay’s appointment Sept. 16.

Watermark reached out to Weinzimer for comment and was referred to his joint interview with Delmay on the LGBTQ+-streaming series “Queer News Tonight.” The duo discussed SMART Ride’s end and more.

Weinzimer advised during the segment that the decision was made around “three weeks ago when there was a conversation about” SMART Ride ending. He added that organizers met with the benefiting agencies before sharing the news publicly and explored other options for continuing the ride.

“There were two weeks of conversations and this was one of the options,” Weinzimer said. “And this is the one that everyone felt was the right thing to do.”

“The board made the right decision,” Delmay added. “It has been a family, people will continue to be inspired by The SMART Ride … these agencies and the teams will have opportunities to create their own fundraisers, to go on and sometimes there is a story that is told perfectly and there comes a moment when the story may end, but it will live on forever.”

Weinzimer also advised Watermark that “so many things have made this decision easier and much of it has come post-decision with moments of reflection, epiphanies if you will as to why this is the right decision and the right time.”

Fundraising is well underway for SMART Ride 20. The Key West Mile Markers, currently the top fundraising team, has already raised $79,299 as of Sept. 18. The Tampa Bay Area Cyclists and Active Hearts, both based in Tampa Bay, have respectively raised $43,683 and $25,410.

EPIC Executive Director Joy Winheim tells Watermark that the news makes SMART Ride 20 “that much more important.” The organization became a benefiting agency for SMART Ride 19 after assisting the year prior.

“I had no idea what being part of the SMART Ride would mean for EPIC, and for me, when we were invited to participate in 2021,” she says. “We were welcomed with open arms and immediately felt a part of this crazy family. 

“I am deeply saddened that it will end as quickly as it started,” she continues. “The SMART Ride has created such an opportunity for EPIC to change the lives of our clients in different ways than our grants do by removing the paperwork, the income guidelines and sometimes the zip code restrictions. It let us focus on the person, their needs and how we can help them.”

Winheim also notes that “with 100% of the funds coming back to the agencies, it will ensure that the money we get from the 2023 ride will get us through until we figure out what’s next. We have such a great momentum building in Tampa and EPIC is committed to exploring creating something locally … Let’s hit that $2 million dollar goal!”

For more information about SMART Ride 20 and to donate funds, visit

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