More than 500 people rode their bikes through the Hill Country Saturday morning, but it wasn’t just for fun and exercise.

The ride was part of the Hill Country Ride for AIDS, which is the largest fundraiser in Central Texas for HIV and AIDS services.

“A lot of people have forgotten that this is a disease that kills people,” said ride participant Jeff Smith. “So this community is here to support all of us and the people that need greater than we can ever imagine.”

Organizers say this year they hope to raise $550,000 for nine local charities.

In the 18 years since the ride began, it has raised more than $8.5 million.