Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 28, No. 13, Ed. 1 Friday, August 12, 2011 Page: 8 of 56
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
Partners in peddling, partners in life
Michael Smith and Benjamin Mussler
Longtime partners Smith and
Mussier say training together for
LSR has strengthened their bodies
and their relationship
M.M.ADJARIAN I Contributing Writer
Michael Smith and Benjamin Mussler are just
entering their 30s, in peak physical condition and
with bright futures ahead of them. I hey have it
all: youth, health and success.
But these two Lone Star Ride Fighting AIDS cy-
clists also have something else to envy, and that's
a loving, longtime relationship with each other.
The men joined LSR as a couple in 2007, start-
ing out as pit crew members. On the first day, both
were part of a Bachelor-themed pit stop.
"There was one 1)achelor/ and everybody was
fighting over him," Smith, a Dallas-based Farmers
Insurance agent, says of the pit stop theme.
The Second day, the pair got to live out their
fantasy of going back to school at the Hogwarts
Academy, the school for young witches and wiz-
ards from the "Harry Potter" books and movies.
Those manning the pit stop all donned their witch
and wizard robes and grabbed their wands to
help keep the cyclists hydrated.
The two men say they enjoyed every minute of
their time "in the pit," refilling water bottles and
cheering cyclists onward. But as they tended to
the sweat-drenched riders, Smith and Musslersay
they felt the road — and ultimately, LSR—calling
to them to make a deeper commitment.
"We saw what a great cause it was and wanted
to help out more," says Mussler, a marketing
manager for Sabre Holdings. And so, they regis-
tered to ride.
But to be able to experience the event on two
wheels rather than two legs meant training—and
lots of it. Both have dedicated many hours every
weekend to preparing for the event, on their own
and through LSR-sponsored training sessions.
But neither of the two has any complaints
about the loss of free time. If anything, they say,
becoming cyclists for the ride has actually
drawn them closer, together.
"It's something that we can do together that's
healthy for us; it's definitely exercise!" remarks
Mussler. "[Cycling for the LSR] is also just some-
thing that challenges lis to keep up with each
The two men's commitment to the event mir-
rors the even deeper one they have to each other.
They are family, and proud to share that fact
with their community. Smith and Mussler are
even more proud that their efforts on behalf of
LSR have brought their nearest and dearest into
the larger "Ride family."
Says Smith," Last year, my mom became part
of the medical crew. This year, 10 of our friends
— including my mom — are part of the:event,"
Born as they were in the early 1980s, Smith
and Mussler did not experience firsthand the
devastation that the early days of AIDS caused
in the gay community. But they are still keenly
aware that they are part of the first generation
to benefit from those who struggled through the
epidemic and who fought for the greater social
freedoms both now enjoy.
"I feel like the gay and lesbian people that
came before me paved the way to making our
lives a little easier," Mussler says. "I don't want
to paint HIV / AIDS as something that only af-
fects LGBT people because it definitely [affects
others, too]. But I do feel like [I am] giving back
to the community, and I take pride in who I am.
It's a real motivating factor that I can do this
with my partner through the Ride."
Smiling his assent Smith adds, "It's impor-
tant for the community to have positive role
models of people [like us] who do things to-
horn Star Ride Fighting AIDS takes place Sept. 24-
25. For details or to donate to a specific rider or team
or to the ride in general, jp online to
LoneS ta rRide. org.
The Law Office of 2501 °akLawnAVDXs tx^i?
Timothy T. Thomas
A Professional Corporation
• Wills & Trusts
• Powers of Attorney
• Domestic Partnerships
• Health Care Directives
• Hospital Visitation
• Probate & Trust
• Employment Agreements
• Independent Contractor
• Contract Review
• Buy/Sell Agreements
CONVENIENT OAK LAWN LOCATION
EZ PAYMENT PLAN
Saturday Daytime and EveningAppts.
1 Julianne Parker
Offices in Dallas, Texas
We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for
Bankruptcy Relief under the Bankruptcy Code.
Board Certified, Consumer Bankruptcy Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization,
Here’s what’s next.
This issue can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Newspaper.
Nash, Tammye. Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 28, No. 13, Ed. 1 Friday, August 12, 2011, newspaper, August 12, 2011; Dallas, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth239180/m1/8/: accessed February 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.