The 3 Things You Learn on Your First Red Ribbon Ride — 

The Red Ribbon Ride (RRR) is a 4-day, 300-mile bike fundraiser that supports Clare Housing, and 7 other local HIV Service Organizations. We sat down with husbands and longtime participants Donnie and JB Mayo-Moschkau to ask them what it’s like to ride and to crew.

Donnie (left), and JB (right) stopped by our office to give us the low-down on the Ride, and their favorite things about it.

Discovery #1: It’s a safe environment to challenge yourself in new ways.

Think that you could never do a 300-mile bike ride? Think again. The RRR is a great way to challenge yourself, and according to Donnie and JB you will never be more supported in an effort like this than on the Ride.

“From the day you sign up, they help you with your training. On the Ride, there’s a pit stop every 15 miles, and support vehicles riding up and down the route. They’ll fix your flat, or pick you up if you’re exhausted. There are so many people there to help you succeed. Especially new riders. They’re very supportive of new folks,” Donnie explained.

“One of my coolest memories,” JB shared, “was challenging myself to do 100 miles in a day. None of my other teammates would join me,” JB laughed. “But I opted to do the “century” anyway. Of course, I got a flat. But another rider rode by and was right there to rescue me. Brent Nelson fixed my tire up, and I completed the full 100 miles with his support.”

Discovery #2: Expect unexpected delights.

One of the great things about doing the ride is how the smallest things become so rewarding. Take for instance a simple visit to Dairy Queen. “You will have the best DQ of your life after riding 80 miles,” JB shared. “And it will be entirely guilt free.”

“One of my favorite memories,” Donnie said, “Was getting back into camp early, years ago. There are professional masseurs and Chiropractors that volunteer for the Ride. I got a free massage from not one, but three of them at the same time! After a long day riding, it was the BEST massage of my life.”

It’s also fun to connect with new friends, and watch others reconnecting, year after year. “I’ve made friends with people I would never have met during my normal day to day life,” JB shared. “One of the things I enjoy,” Donnie said, “Is seeing the families that do the ride together each year. There’s a group of adult children who ride in honor of their Dad, and a couple of families who do crew work together.

Discovery 3: The fundraising is a lot easier than you think.

One of the biggest things that worries folks about riding is the fundraising, but JB and Donnie have found it to be surprisingly easy. “Don’t let the fundraising scare you, it’s not nearly as hard as you think,” Donnie explained. “Especially on social media. Online you don’t have to ask people face-to-face.”

“Yes,” JB added, “It’s easy. Sometimes people just need the cause, and the permission to support you and they’ll show up. I also like using the ride as a reason to stay connected with friends all over the country.”

So what are you waiting for? Please consider joining JB as a rider this year or Donnie, who will be crewing, on Team Clare! Contact our team captain Chris Briggs to learn more at 612.236.9524 or Not able to ride or crew? You can still make a secure online donation to any member of Team Clare. Click on any team member name to make your donation!