Browsing articles in "Blog"

Miles for Smiles on May 16, 2015

Apr 18, 2015   //   by Chris Dix   //   Blog  //  1 Comment

Vidas De Esperanza presents: Miles for Smiles 2015

riding_toothThe Ride: A continuous 12-hour bike ride over a 10.35 mile loop winding through and around Pittsboro, NC!  Ascary Arias, President of Vidas,  will ride the entire 12 hours but invites  others to join him for 1 lap, 2 laps or as much as you would like.

The Goal: Raise funds to provide free health care services (including new dental services) to those in Chatham County that cannot afford health care.

When/Where: Saturday, May 16, 2015. The ride starts at 6AM at the Chatham United Methodist Church (1826 Chatham Church Road) and will finish there at 6PM. Come to the Church at 6PM to cheer the riders crossing the finish line and for a spaghetti dinner, including kids activities (bouncy house & face painting)!

You can sign up to help or ride emailing or calling 910-986-8913.

To donate use the link at the top of our webpage.

Special thanks to our Sponsors:sponsors

Miles for Mammograms 2013

May 5, 2013   //   by Chris Dix   //   Blog  //  4 Comments

Vidas De Esperanza presents: “Miles for Mammograms 2013”


The Ride: A continuous 12-hour bike ride over a 10 mile loop winding through and around Pittsboro, NC!  Ascary Arias, President of Vidas,  will ride the entire 12 hours but invites  others to join him for 1 lap, 2 laps or as much as you would like.

The Goal:  Raise funds to provide free health care (including mammograms) to mothers and other women who cannot afford health care.

When and Where: Mother’s day weekend-Saturday, May 11, 2013.  The ride will start at 6AM at Pittsboro Discount Drug (628 E. Street) and will finish there at 6PM.  Come for food, music, and fun – including kids activities (bouncy house & facepainting)!

How to Help:

  • Volunteer Your Time
  • Donate – Either a specific amount or sponsor a rider (per mile, per loop, per hour, etc.), or ride and get sponsors
  • Join The Ride!!

Check out the cycling route and get more details at

You can  also sign up to help or ride emailing or calling 336-707-0255.

To donate use the link at the top of our webpage.

Find us on Facebook  here: and a shorter link here:


The interactive route is available here:

Image of Route (Click to view full size):




Aug 16, 2011   //   by ascary   //   Blog  //  65 Comments

Hello all, if you are reading this, you are true friends of Vidas de Esperanza and believers in all Vidas is doing.  Thanks for sticking with me and Vidas through all of the trials and tribulations we have suffered these last couple of weeks. The struggles these last few weeks have been more than I ever thought I could handle.   And you have been with me all the way and I thank you for that.

Tonight I was supposed to be blogging from 200 miles somewhere outside Ixmiquilpan Hidalgo in Mexico.  But I’m not.  Sadly, I am sitting in my office at home, typing this message and wondering how to make sense of the breakdown of A Ride without Borders II. It seems that this ride never really caught a break.  First I was delayed one day because of a bad back, then my knees slowed me down to only about 80 miles on average for the first 5 days (at a time when I had hoped to be able to cover 120 to 130 miles a day).  Then the heat slowed me down even more so that I was only able to complete a 130-mile day once.  Finally though we made it to the border at Loredo.  Things were finally looking up!  The good feelings were fleeting, however.  We soon learned that the border was too dangerous to cross…  Not wanting to risk having our cargo of toys and tennis shoes stolen or confisgated and definitely not wanting to risk being kidnapped, attacked or worse, we had to turn around and come home.  While I know in my heart, this was the right decision, it was still not an easy decision as I knew so many people were counting on me in Mexico and it felt like I was letting them down by coming home.

So, after all of this, I came home  a little disheartened to re-charge my batteries and come up with a new plan of attack.  We decided that I would pack up my bicycle and fly to Mexico.  Then I would bike from Queretero to Ixmiquilpan, arriving as planned on August 18th just in time to give away the toys wheel chairs and shoes that we had originally planned to drive across the border.  One huge hurdle was trying to figure out how to get the wheelchairs, toys and shoes to Mexico– but here things got better– big shout-out to Sports Endeavors in Hillsborough, NC– the soccer company agreed to ship all of our donated goods to Mexico City via Fed Ex for us and (get this!) agreed to pay for about half of the shipping costs.  This was fantastic news and Vidas and I are greatly endebted to Sports Endeavors for stepping in and helping out at a time when I thought all was lost.  So, I dropped all the stuff off at Sports Endeavors yesterday (Monday) and came home to pack my bags for the flight this morning.  I even had taken my bike in to a local bike shop and had it dis-assembled and boxed for the flight.  And I had called US Airways to be sure I could take the bike with me on the flight.  It appeared that I would be able to salvage at least the last few days of my ride.

I got up this morning and packed my car.  Liz took me to the airport and dropped me off.  I got up to the ticket counter with my carry-on, my suitcase to be checked and my boxed bicycle.  I put the bicycle on the baggage belt and was instantly told by the un-helpful US Airways attendant– “sorry sir, there is an embargo right now in Mexico and we cannot allow boxes on the plane.”  But, she then cheerfully told me– you can fly Delta to Mexico and take your box.  So rather than transfer me to Delta she just refunded my ticket and sent me down to the Delta counter.  Amazingly it was true, I could take my boxed bike on the Delta flight.  Go figure.  I guess the Mexican embargo applies to US Airways only… However, because my ticket had been refunded, I now would have to purchase a day-of ticket to fly to Mexico.  Not cheap– if I wanted to go, the ticket would be $1600 plus $400 for the bike.  Needless to say, that was too much.  I knew I couldn’t do it.

I called the people who were waiting for me in Mexico…

I told Juan that I was sorry but we would have to postpone my trip– Vidas just couldn’t spend  over $2,000 dollars just to get me there so I can ride my bike.

Juan is the director of Vidas in Mexico and he is in charge of putting all of our events and trips together for us in Mexico.  He told me that he completely understood and that he would be happy to work with me to re-schedule.  He is still going to give the toys away however and the Fed Ex’ed boxes of wheelchairs and tennis shoes will still arrive this week.  So at least the supplies that so many needed and were counting on will get there… I had to take heart in that fact.  And, so, with the last strong breath of air I had for the day, I told Juan that I would not be flying today, that instead I would be staying here and figure out a way to keep moving forward.

I have learned a lot from this ride.

The must valuable lesson? that I am not always in control, that I can only do everything I do with all the love and passion I have for what we are trying to achieve and that even the most well-intentioned plans do not always work out.

My hope? that those who so strongly believe in me can understand and continue to believe in me and what Vidas does.  I have learned much about doing business in Mexico– the next time, we’ll be better prepared to deal with whatever Mexico throws our way.  We will keep trying to make a difference..because it is the right thing to do.

Sincerely yours,

A tired, and disappointed but very much willing to try again man,


Coming up..

Aug 13, 2011   //   by ascary   //   Blog  //  75 Comments

Hello again,

Thank you all for your kinds words as I continue to deal with the fact that our trip had to temporarily be stopped.  I have decided on the following course of action after discussions with folks here and our team in Mexico . 

As part of this event, Vidas was bringing shoes, wheelchairs, toys and clothes.. too many people are waiting for us, we will not cancel the trip.  I will be traveling to Mexico on Tuesday and riding the last (and safest) 250+ miles of the trip.

As an athlete I refuse to give up, as a humanitarian I refuse to let down those who believe in Vidas, as President of Vidas I ask you to please, refuse to give up and continue your support of our cause.


We’ve hit the pause button

Aug 13, 2011   //   by Dr. Brown   //   Blog  //  64 Comments

By now dear readers you know we are on a brief pause in this adventure. Up until the last few days there has been a safe corridor in Mexico that would allowed us passage to Ixmiuilpan – that door is now closed.  An armed group is setting up check points to rob or detain travelers – our director in Ixmiquilpan talked to a family on Thursday that had been detained and told us to not cross the border – how frustrating – we were literally 10 feet away. So, we headed back to NC and spent the next 23 hours driving and coming up with a new plan. As Ascary mentioned, he is flying into Mexico City early next week and resuming the ride. I wanted to go ahead and send out the video I completed before the border issue – I’m working on another one that will bring the trip up to date – please continue to check in here … I’ll be posting the next day or two and Ascary will continue with his blogs once back in Mexico.

So, this is where I was going to connect the link, but once again I’ve somehow messed up the process and my crack IT team will provide a link shortly.



Day ten…

Aug 11, 2011   //   by ascary   //   Blog  //  560 Comments

Hello all…

I have often believe that I can do anything I put my mind to..

Often i fell to take into account the forces of nature, physics, and Man..

We got to the border yesterday and waited for our day to cross the border today, it didn’t happen.. It will not happen.  As it turns out it is very dangerous to cross over right now, there is a stretch of road on the other side of the border that is a “no man’s land” people get stopped and are dispossessed of everything they have and held for ransom, this while other watch (police included).

So, today I had to remember what I so often tell students and their parents when they are traveling with Vidas “our main priority is the safety and security of those who so willingly contribute to the betterment of our communities” and with a very heavy heart I told Dr. Brown that she wold not be going any further.  Nor would I.  It is too risky and it seems silly to go forward just because I have a personal goal of pedaling as many miles as I can before reaching Ixmiquilpan.  But we are not canceling the event..too much time from individuals and money from many of you has been invested into this event.  Also, people in Ixmiquilpan still are waiting for us.  So,  Instead we are turning around and I will fly in early next week and finish the last few hundred miles of the ride with the cyclists who were waiting for me.

My legs are tired, my body is weary and my heart is heavy as I put my bike in the back of the truck..I have tears in my eyes as I tell you all this..But i know this trip has not been a failure..I have been truly tested, this time.

I just hope that all of those who have so strongly believe in me and my abilities too, believe that this is not a fall…but if it is a fall we will get up..we will get up and continue on because forward is the only way I know..

Please stay tuned

Sincerly Ascary

To Liliana, Ava, Sulema, Caly and Liz.. Papi is coming home

Love, papi




Day 10 – morning update

Aug 11, 2011   //   by Dr. Brown   //   Blog  //  92 Comments

We’re still on this side on the border – Juan delayed – more to follow as we know it. Seems there are some safety and security issues that have come up in the last day or so – we’re fine – don’t worry
Dr. Brown

Day nine – the remaining ground crew

Aug 10, 2011   //   by Dr. Brown   //   Blog  //  74 Comments

As a kid I love westerns – I remember the cattle town of Laredo playing a major role in many of them – it was celebrated in song and cowboy poetry – however no-where was it ever mentioned just how hot it is – 113 degrees at 5 pm today. Walking across the parking lot I was pretty sure I could feel my brain cooking … Don’t have any idea how long Ascary will be able to ride, but we’ll try to get early starts for the next several days ….

Earlier today we went through Freer, TX – the home of the Texas rattlesnake roundup – every time I got out of the truck to fix Ascary’s drinks I looked around to make sure none of the little devils were hiding under the vehicle.

I tell you what – Texans are tough – my hat is off to them – my new cowboy hat that is …. Our wireless is having trouble right now, so I’ll send a photo ASAP.

We’re chilling out in the hotel right now just waiting for our daily update from Juan on how things south of the border are going, so we can set our departure time.

More to follow ….. Cheryl (Dr. Brown)

day Nine..

Aug 10, 2011   //   by ascary   //   Blog  //  55 Comments

After a 2 hour, 20 mile ride on a hilly road against a very strong head wind, I was forced to stop.  I am now treating my back which seems to be a little agravated because of the effort of this morning.  We are now at the border, we will spend the night on this side and cross in the morning.

So, for now I will try and rest, and relax my back, hope the pain goes away fast and ride out in the morning.  

Please stay tuned as i will try and blog at least once every other day.


To liliana, Suulema and Eva..hola hijas, im almost in Mexico now! tomorrow morning I will be crossing the bridge and then I get to ride all the way To Ixmiquilpan!!  Please be good to each other and caly ok?

Please tell mami I love her ok?

Love, papi

day Ocho!

Aug 10, 2011   //   by ascary   //   Blog  //  68 Comments

Here we are in.. where are we? oh yea George West Texas!

It has been a long day.  I was able to do 53 miles in 2:30 minutes this morning (averaged a little better than 20 mph) then i did another 53 this afternoon .  but I did these miles in 3:30 hours.  I had a strong head wind that slowed me down so I was not able to finish the second leg of the ride untill 8:30 pm!  And spent the next 2 hours driving forward because all the hotels around here were full! 

 But we are now finally here, im showered and ready to go to bed and see what tomorrow holds for us.. 

Untill now I have been working as hard as I can (and will continue to do so) I have workled through pain and mental barriers and you all have been great by saying the right thing over and over.  Thank yo uvery much again for helping me get to this point.

Now, I must ask you again to help me.

I am happy I can do this and that I haave so many people helping me through it all. 

But the reason we do this, ride miles and miles to Mexico is this:  Right now in this instant, there is a child going hungry, a mom wondering how is she going to buy her kids school supplies.  A father leaving home to try and find food for his family.  A child not complaning about the pain in her stomach because she knows her parents cannot afford to take her to a doctor…

We have seen all of this in just one village..we work with at least 12 villages.  We have told you about all of these issues numerous times, and numerous times you have come through, you have helped us.  I am asking you again to do so.  How? please donate NOW, now is when I want you to get in our website and donate, sponsor miles, or just donate.. 

This ride cannot be a success without your donations..without your donations we cannot help these people..

I will be crossing the border very soon..the day after tomorrow actually, and my hope is that by then I have already seen the do nations come in..I want to see that you, my frieds, my family..people I have never met ,decided that you can give me one more push, one more reason why I need to get though the next 10 days..This 8 days have been long but the hard part is yet to come..As soon as I cross the border the terrain is different, no longer flat..I will be climbing almost every day..Climbing is a lot harder..I know i can get through it, I know I can count on you to help me get through it!

But for now, donate.  Just give to Vidas, I promise, your money will be very well used, many children and their families are counting on us, they are counting on you.

Thanks to Dr, Steve kizer who made a pledge that he would donate 40 cents per mile..who is next? 

Now is time for me to try and get some rest..stay tuned,


To Liliana, Sulema and Eva..The Vultuers are back! Yes, they were chasing me again today, just like they did the last time I did this!   i guess papi smell like a dead carcass now because those birds were cirlcling around me like they wanted something!! they followed me for a little while.. So I decided to sing to them, you know? like i sing all the time with my very nice voice!! But i guess they just dont know a good voice when they hear it because as soon as I started singing they took off!! I just think they have bad taste in music to be honest with you..but htey defenitely liked my smell..may be I should try showering more often, weather i need it or not, what you gilrs think?

Ok mijas, be good to each other and to Caly, please tell mami I love her ok?

Love, papi