Well, here we go again!!! Going into last year’s ride, I had a feeling that I would do the ride again, but I wasn’t sure if it would be this soon. After such a phenomenal first ride experience, I was a bit nervous about the “Sophomore Slump”. How could I ever raise that much money again? How could I go through all of those grueling training rides again? How could I have a better team dynamic? There were so many firsts that could never be repeated that I was tempted to let them remain cemented in my memory, unspoiled by a second attempt. And as valid as those concerns were, they would also be very selfish reasons not to do the ride again.
You see, when I signed up for the Ride last year, I did so to honor those who we lost during the epidemic. But as I cycled those 545 miles, something else became clear. I also needed to do it to help carry on the torch from those who have been carrying it for so long. I met riders last year that have been making the trek to LA for over 20 years now, riding over 10,000 miles in the process to fight HIV/AIDS and the stigma associated with the virus. Because of the tireless efforts of these riders, San Francisco hit a record low number of new infections in 2016. Because of these riders, people now understand that Undetectable = Uninfectious. And because of these riders, we have the opportunity to be a generation of Zero. Zero AIDS-related deaths, zero new infections and zero stigma.
And so I ride. I ride to show my appreciation to everyone that has made it possible for me to live a happy and healthy life. I ride to continue the fight. I ride so that one day we won’t have to. In this spirit, I have set a goal for myself to raise a cumulative $100,000 for my first two rides, which means raising another $44,390 for 2018. I know it may be a long shot, but what’s life without a challenge? If you would like to donate and help me in this endeavor, it would mean everything to me. I cannot wait to ride for each and every one of you yet again.