On September 19, hundreds of riders and crew members will travel from busy downtown Boston to the scenic shores of Provincetown for the 13th Harbor to the Bay AIDS benefit bike ride. Since 2003, Harbor to the Bay, affectionately also known as H2B, has donated 100% of the funds raised to four local organizations that serve the HIV/AIDS community: Fenway Health, AIDS Action Committee, Community Research Initiative, and AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod.
Amongst the riders this year will be many seasoned veterans of H2B, including Michael Noel, who is preparing to make the impressive 125 mile ride for the fifth time. Michael has raised over $20,000 since his first ride, with most of that going to support the programs and services at Fenway Health.
After completing his first ride, Michael recalled, he was ‘hooked’ and knew he wanted to be a part of the H2B community. “It was just so incredible to know that I had made such a difference,” he said. “I knew that all of the money that I raised, every penny that I asked for, was directly impacting people in need. I’m capable of doing this – it’s my way of giving back to the community.”
Each year, the beginning of the H2B ride is always an emotional experience for Michael. “When we take off, everyone is so excited and everyone is on board and committed to doing this really physically challenging event for the same cause,” he said. “It’s all to help people who are in need, and being a part of that just gives me a real sense of pride and community.”
Considering riding H2B for the first time this year? Michael has some words of encouragement for you. “Don’t be afraid to ask people to support your ride,” he said. “If you speak about the cause and are passionate, people will always be happy to give money.” As for the ride itself? “There are challenging parts, sure, but it’s such a tremendous sense of accomplishment and pride when you’re done,” Michael said.
“And besides,” he added. “Who doesn’t love to hear drag queens cheering you on in the middle of September?”
Thank you, Michael, for your dedication to Harbor to the Bay and to Fenway Health – have a great ride this year!
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