June 2nd - June 8th, over 3,000 Cyclists, Roadies and Virtual Cyclists will be participating in AIDS/LifeCycle, a 545 mile bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles to raise funds for the life-saving services offered by San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the Los Angeles LGBT Center.
This year, I’ll be one of them!
It took me a long time to get behind this idea that I can actually bike from San Francisco to LA. But I am now committed. It wasn't until I finished a century ride a couple of weeks ago, that I considered myself capable enough to ride (thanks Michelle). The people I met on that ride were so friendly and supportive. They're the kind of people that I like to be around; the kind of people that build each other up constantly; give each other energy and encouragement to do things you didn't think were possible (like bike 545 miles!!) and no one gets left behind. I am riding to challenge myself but also for those out there that need help, support and care and also for those who would like to but can't do the ride themselves. The services provided as a result of this event mean the world to those who receive them, and your support means the world to me. Will you join me in this cause?
We’re working together to make HIV/AIDS a thing of the past. Please support me by making a TAX-DEDUCTIBLE donation today and/or forward to family and friends who may want to support the cause. Just click the orange Donate Now button somewhere on this page. Also check with your employer to see if they have a donation matching program for charities; this way you can double your contribution (Holy Trifecta Batman - worthy-cause donation, tax-deductible and company match!!) and help me achieve my fund-raising goal even faster. If you are able to get a company match, please include my name and participant# (4886) on your match request. Thank you
If you are not able to donate financially, you can show your support in other ways:
1. Join me on the ride!! What a great way to see the coast? Slow tourism by pedal power.
2. Spread the word and ask others to help: post on social media / send texts to family and friends with the link and ask others to share and donate.
3. Volunteer: https://www.aidslifecycle.org/roadies-and-volunteers/
Being a roadie for AIDS/LifeCycle is no cake walk. They are up before dawn doing hard physical work all day, each day of the ride. Some say it's harder than riding (sometimes, but still lots of fun with great camaraderie). But for riders and roadies alike, fundraising is by far the hardest part.
Please join me on this journey. With your donation, you'll be part of something bigger than any of us. Help put an end to this epidemic with a generous donation. We'll keep this ride going until AIDS and HIV are a thing of the past.
My Personal Web Log
Anti chafing cream or what we lovingly call Butt Butt'r
There is nothing but reverence for Butt Butter on the ALC. Nothin can dampen your spirits more than having sores from too much friction from a long day's ride....and then you have to pee. None of us want this torture, so to prevent it there is anti chafing cream. I slather that stuff on thick and often (every rest stop 15-20 miles). It used to be riders would put chamois cream on their chamois but since we don't have actual chamois in bike shorts anymore due to better clothing technology; we now have creams that go directly on the skin. There are many different kinds of creams out there but (Ha!) I will focus on the three that I am trying. Chamois Butt'r is the cream that is readily available on the ride. It is thick and odorless and very helpful. It is not the female version (the purple tube that is PH balanced for a woman so there is a threat of UTIs. Nobody wants that!) It also has lanolin in it which may be irritating to the few with wool allergies. DZnuts Bliss is also thick, PH balanced and has natural healing ingredients. Hooha Ride Glide (now how could I not buy that one with a name like that?!) is the third anti chafing cream it is thinner, ph balanced and also has natural healing ingredients. The latter two have a warming effect that might be annoying but the feeling goes away in about fifteen minutes. I use all three and hopefully it will be enough. I may use chamois Butt'r first and then half of DZnuts Bliss or half of Hooha Ride Glide so there isn't as much warming. You rode long, you rode hard, now it is time to air the girls out too so get out your cotton undies or go commando with a skirt. You won't regret it.
by Michelle Bombardier on Thu, May 16, 2019 @ 4:53 PM
My ride with a butterfly escort. How pleasant!
As I struggled to go up another hill. Trying to breathe through it all, a Painted Lady butterfly passed me! Either showing off or giving encouragement. I'll take the latter. For a good mile I had happy little escort. It makes for a pleasant twenty mile ride
by Michelle Bombardier on Mon, Mar 11, 2019 @ 5:17 PM
Political changes for those interested:
The new administration has made changes that negatively affects the progress that has been made on the lives of those living with HIV and AIDS, and at-risk communities. Here are those changes:
The President's Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) has been disbanded. Since 1995, PACHA has provided recommendations on the U.S. government's response to the AIDS epidemic.
No director for the White House Office of National AIDS Policy has been appointed. (In fact, information about the Office of National AIDS Policy was removed from the White House website the day President Trump took office.)
A new Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) directive allows healthcare workers to refuse to perform health-care services based on personal objections. (This effectively eviscerates the very purpose of HHS to protect the health of all Americans and provide essential human services.)
Constant attacks on the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are starting to take their toll and put millions at risk. Key pieces of healthcare legislation are gone, while 90 percent less was spent on advertising an enrollment period that was half as long!
The World AIDS Day proclamation removed references to gay and bisexual men, transgender people, youth, and black and Latino Americans. Huh?
by Michelle Bombardier on Mon, Mar 11, 2019 @ 5:07 PM
Double your pleasure, match your donation
When considering supporting me, I want to let you know there's an easy way to double even triple your impact. Have you heard of gift matching? A matching gift is a charitable donation by a corporation that matches an employee's donation to an eligible nonprofit organization usually dollar for dollar, but sometimes more!
A stunning $1,054,439 of the $16.67 million raised for AIDS/LifeCycle in 2018 were from matching gifts. So check to see if your company will match your tax deductible donations.
by Michelle Bombardier on Mon, Mar 11, 2019 @ 5:04 PM
Why and I riding?
My cousin died of AIDS back in the 80s; I didn't know him very well but I wish I did. From the stories that I have heard, he was entertaining, admired, loving and loved. I also have close friends that live with HIV, for decades now. I have seen what they have gone through. How something as simple as a boil could persist for months! I have seen the improvements that have made their lives more bearable and better. There are so many avenues of research that have improved the quality of their lives. I am dedicating this ride to the memory of my cousin and to support my friends and, most importantly, this ride is for the people I won't meet and will never meet; those who need a hand and have no one to turn to. I know, if it were me, how grateful I would be for the kindness of strangers.
by Michelle Bombardier on Mon, Mar 11, 2019 @ 5:03 PM
Why is riding so important, an education continued
By donating today, you'll help ensure more people are getting tested, have access to care and will be living healthier and happier lives. Did you know that if someone suspects they have HIV and is tested immediately they can decrease their viral load? Once a person gets their viral load down, it is difficult to spread the virus and virus symptoms can become virtually undetectable. Testing is extremely important.
HIV does NOT discriminate. Anyone can contract HIV through sex or intravenous drug use. It's not a "gay disease" although it affects the gay community the most. HIV rates in Hispanic and Black men are still on the rise. Saying AIDS is no longer an issue is exactly why we still need to do this ride, because it still is an issue. It's just not at the heightened epidemic state as it was in the 80s and 90s because of the medications which are giving people longer lives
by Michelle Bombardier on Mon, Mar 11, 2019 @ 4:58 PM
Why is riding so important, an education
Last year ALC raised $16.6 Million! That money allows both the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the Los Angeles LGBT Center to provide free or low cost access to quality, culturally competent care for those who need it most. Both organizations have low overheads which means the majority of donations go directly to the individuals they serve. This ensures that those individuals who are HIV positive and don't have healthcare, can get medications to decrease their viral loads which helps stop the spread of HIV. This is a win-win for everybody
"Well, Michelle, they have millions of dollars, they don't need my money." Well, you make a good point but this is THE major fundraiser for both organizations for the whole year and how long do you think that money will last with the cost of research. Last year, not only did they give out close to a million free condoms, provided clean and safe needle exchange, they also counseled clients in health care, social care, law, and provided advocacy and education. Despite what some may think, HIV/AIDS still affects millions, even though it's not currently in the news. In 2016 alone, there were 39,782 new HIV diagnoses just in the US. Some states don't even provide services to help these individuals! Those people must travel to Los Angeles or San Francisco to receive treatment and help.
by Michelle Bombardier on Mon, Mar 11, 2019 @ 4:55 PM