When In Doubt, Wear Red

When In Doubt, Wear Red – Bill Blass

The colour red evokes many feelings – danger and anger on one side, with passion and energy on the other.  Either way, red is an emotionally intense colour and a shameless attention grabber.

Perhaps it is no surprise then that red was chosen as the colour for the ribbon campaign for HIV/AIDS awareness.

Dress Red

The Toronto to Montreal Bike Rally is in its 18th year to raise awareness and support for the work of the People With AIDS Foundation.  Day 3 of this journey is designated as Dress In Red Day which is embraced as a fun day to grab maximum attention as the crimson riders form a ‘long red ribbon’ cycling through the Southern Ontario countryside.

Dress Red6

I had so much fun last year on Red Dress/Dress Red Day that I didn’t want to miss it this year.  I was on the road with my friend Helen at 7 am this morning for the 230 km (143 miles) trip to meet the riders at their first break.

Dress Red7

Bike Rally is a significant fund raiser for the PWA Foundation – the largest direct support agency of its kind in Canada.  Over a million dollars in donations will be raised by the end of the week when the riders and crew finally reach Montreal.

Dress Red4

From the PWA website:

The challenges facing people living with HIV are numerous and complex: episodes of illness, numerous life transitions, discrimination, financial difficulties, social isolation, side effects from medications and long term effects from the virus – to name but a few. PWA provides a safe place to express those concerns and a place where practical information and support services are available.

What’s the next best thing to being on Bike Rally?  Being a supporter!






  1. This was a lot of fun, J
    It connected to my red dress post so well – so I appreciate the link –
    I can imagine the earial view does look like a crimson ribbon- so cool

    also – enjoyed a few comments here too –

    two other thoughts as I leave:
    1) bikers have the best calves
    2) so glad AIDS is not the death sentence it used to be. My siter-n-law lost her brother, Eric, to AIDS in early 90s. He was a nice and well – just glad they have made a lot of progress –

    Liked by 1 person

    • The 80s and 90s were a frightening time with a disease running rampant and a prevailing attitude of indifference. It may not be an automatic death sentence anymore, but HIV/AIDS is still a very tough journey for anyone affected and the stigma attached still prevails 😢

      Liked by 1 person

      • Well ugh – to the stigma and to the difficult road we still have with it- I lost a friend in 1994 – Mark –
        And quick story –
        Mark was at home his last month and my friend took me to visit – she prepped me the whole way – “he’s bald, skinny, thin face, might be groggy” – and I was all set
        So we knock on door – the mom comes and on the couch – I see the bald head – thin legs under the shorts and green t-shirt – then the head looks up from the pillo and stares at me.
        “May I give you a hug?” I asked
        “Sure” came the reply
        We embraced as while doing so – I see in the mirror a huge hospital bed – and turn around to see mark on IVs -under a sheet and —
        I hugged his brother! His brother had shaved his head to honor M and well – we were all
        Laughing –
        Anyhow – heart goes out to anyone with it


  2. I love that you can just see Jordan in his tutu in the background of one of the photos! And I’m loving following along via Trevor’s FB. Great work gents!!


  3. Oh Joanne so glad you could join for this special day! Hoping the ride is going well for all of them. I’m sure they miss having you as their support and were thrilled to see you!


    • As a huge Bugs Bunny fan, I too loved their cycling shirts. Each of them had a cartoon name on the back of their shirts … that’s why I took a photo of their backs.
      I’m soooo glad I didn’t miss it. It would have been very easy to say it was too early in the morning and too far to drive.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Who knew athletes could be so creative with ‘red dress’ as they ride their bikes for such a great cause. I am old enough to remember when a diagnosis of HIV/Aids meant sure death. Now, thankfully, there are medical treatment plans that can last a lifetime. Here’s hoping this year’s event raised a good amount of money to further the cause.


  5. Fantastic! Look at them in all their glory! I can imagine it’s a fun event for such a great cause. It’s amazing how far modern medicine has come with treatment, just amazing!


    • It is a great event and everyone who participates – whether a rider or crew – are all so friendly and it really is a lot of fun.
      Until I learned about Bike Rally, I didn’t appreciate how challenging life is for people with HIV – even with the drugs available that keep them alive. It’s a great cause!


  6. It is almost disturbing how good some of these guys look in their finery! 🙂 Am so glad to know you made it to the event this year….I knew a little collarbone injury wouldn’t hold you down for too long…..and naps are a good thing, long trip or not….I highly recommend naps everyday! 🙂


  7. This is quite a treat to see. I love how each shows his/her own personality in the red dresses. It is a worthy cause as well. I imagine the stigma of having the disease is as traumatizing for many as the disease itself. Awareness is important.


  8. So glad you made it, I know that this is an event dear to your heart. It’s always fun to see what everyone chooses to wear to the event. I’m extremely jealous that I would look hideous in every one of those outfits…they’re putting me to shame. 😉 I hope they raise a lot of funds.


  9. Holy funny Batman!! These guys sure go all out! Some are even sporting nylons. That is a feat in itself 😉 What a great cause! Thanks for sharing… Now I’ve got to clean my phone off from blowing coffee on it from laughter!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Many of them get quite competitive in their costumes for Dress In Red Day and keep them a closely guarded secret until the day.
      I got a big chuckle out of the one guy in the white wig and heart-shaped glasses who proceeded to tell me how difficult it is to put on nylons – I imagine all that much harder from the inside of a tent. Yup! I’m familiar 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  10. They all look fabulous!!! I love the belly dancer red the most, I think, though the crisscross red tights with red dress are a close second. Way to show the love, Toronto peeps!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m so glad you got to be at the Dress in Red Day!! I remember your post from last year. I love the photos! This looks like such a fun group to ride with. Of course I can’t begin to imagine riding in some of those outfits…well really, I can’t imagine “me” wearing any of those outfits!! 🙂


  12. Oh Joanne, I am so glad you were able to make the drive to participate in this fun day! Hope the boys are having a fantastic ride & raising a ton of funds this year!


    • I am so glad I made this trip this morning (although admittedly, I needed a nap this afternoon).
      Everyone’s spirits were very high – Dress In Red Day does have that impact 😀


  13. I wouldn’t have missed that either! Such a serious cause but a fun and fanciful way to attract attention to it. Some of the guys look way better in the red outfits than I would have – I especially like the belly dancer get-up… very sexy!


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