Stephanie Wilkins, founder of the Ride of Love, began working with Camp Smile-A-Mile in 1998 after seeing a story about the children's cancer camp on Channel 13. Being sensitive to the struggles of this disease, Stephanie became a counselor and later a staff member for Camp Smile-A-Mile.
In 2001, while attending the funeral of a child that Stephanie was close to, she simply asked the question, “What Can I Do To Help Camp SAM.” She had been cycling for a few years and thought “I’ll ride my bike” and so it started.
David Patterson of the UA Gymnastics Team joined her in the Ride of Love in 2002.
In 2003, Stephanie decided to open up the Ride of Love to anyone who would take the challenge. Cyclists now come from all over the state and Southeast.