AIDS Lifecycle - Ride to end AIDS

James is a member of the 10K Club! Please give generously!

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Welcome to My Personal Page

My new ride!
My new ride!

Donate to support James!
Achievements
TeamRaiser Achievement Badge
10K Achieved
Raised the amount of money defined for this milestone
We're on our way
103 percent of goal achieved.
Goal: $20,000.00
Achieved: $20,575.00
Thanks to my generous sponsors

I'm Riding to End AIDS

From June 2-8, 2013, I'm bicycling in AIDS/LifeCycle. It's a 7-day, 545-mile bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles to make a world of difference in the lives of people living with HIV and AIDS.

The AIDS ride jars a lot of memories. I am old enough to remember gay life in San Francisco prior to AIDS. It was an exuberant time of great joy and exploration! To fully understand this, go watch or read Armistead Maupin's  "Tales of the City", and Mary Ann and Mouse will help you experience it. I briefly lived right above Harvey Milk's camera shop when he still owned it. Harvey was not always quite as nice as Sean Penn played him in Milk!

And then AIDS appeared. It was a difficult time of sadness and loss, and there was also a lot of fear. I remember walking out of Health Center One into the bright daylight knowing my entire life had changed.  I had just found out that I was HIV positive and my handsome and joyful partner Chuck was already getting sick. I made plenty of mistakes taking care of him, but I did my best for him until he died. He is one of many I ride for.

Numerous other friends died and there were so many services that I just could not go to any more. The services were meant to be a celebration of life, but so many were sick and dying that it was impossible to celebrate anything.  We were in the prime of our lives, and our friends were dying even as our careers took shape.  At a time when we were learning to be proud of who we are, we were threatened with a fatal disease that no one understood.  We watched our friends disappear when we should have been reveling in our lives while living in the best place on earth. It was depressing as hell!

Life has moved on and we have learned a lot about AIDS and made real progress with treatment.   Some like myself have been extremely fortunate. I don't know why I am so healthy and so lucky, but I am thankful for the extra time that I've had here. Friends sometimes wonder why so many of my friends are younger and fail to realize that my generation is mostly gone because of this brutal disease. I ride to increase awareness of the AIDS plague, both past and present.

Please give as generously as you can in this difficult economic time. I promise to give this ride my best and to celebrate the lives of so many friends who are no longer with us or who are facing the challenges that HIV poses today!

 

My Personal Web Log

Topics

Progress....
So we retreated on mileage a bit with all the new participants in January and I only did about 35 miles last Saturday, but that was my second time riding across the GG bridge, and it is so beautiful! I am stronger now and everyone assures me that I can do this ride, but I admit to having doubts sometimes. I have also been spinning at the gym. This morning I took a spin class from Jules at 7AM...normally the time that my 2 cats Monster and Animal are waking me up by walking all over me! Jules is an amazing spin instructor who has done the ride 6 or 7 times but is no longer able to do it because she has a largely rebuilt leg due a bike accident with a taxi. But she runs just about the toughest spin class of all of them and it does not slow her down one bit. She is one of my many inspirations!

by James Touchstone on Tue, Jan 22, 2013 @ 11:08 AM

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Saturday in the Cold Rain
Cold, fear, fatigue, wet....Okay, maybe not a lot of fear, but that was because I was with my trusty and paternalistic and fraternal ALC riders. It was crappy weather and my thermometer read 47 degrees, and the rain did not wait like it was supposed to....And then I fell! Going uphill, with a really steep ravine to my right, with no shoulder on the uphill road. I saw myself falling before it happened. I may have fallen, but I think the preview helped me mitigate the damage. 3 scraped knuckles on my left hand and no broken bones! And nary an ache! Except for my legs after doing 53 miles, from Sausalito almost to Pt. Reyes! I was well taken care of my Bob, Charles and Shawn.

by James Touchstone on Tue, Dec 18, 2012 @ 10:10 PM

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Going it alone is not the right way...
Rode for the second consecutive day in Palo Alto with a great group of ALC riders and got to meet my rep TJ in person. TJ is a remarkable spirit and embodies the kind of people who work for ALC and the AIDS Foundation. I got terribly lost and separated from my group early when I blithely followed another group of cyclists down the wrong road, and, as a result made my 30 mile ride in to a 40 mile ride. Lesson learned: I cannot do this alone even if I am capable of finding my way back. I need everyone else's help to do this right! It's lonely going it on your own!

by James Touchstone on Mon, Dec 10, 2012 @ 7:47 AM

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Your generosity
I cannot believe that my friends and colleagues have already contributed $6085 toward my $10K goal! Especially in this difficult economy. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
I have not been on any training rides in the last couple of weeks with the heavy rains we have been experiencing. However, I have grown to enjoy the spin classes at Fitness SF. I have not sweated like that at the gym in many years!

by James Touchstone on Wed, Dec 05, 2012 @ 12:30 PM

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Rainy Days
ALC training ride cancelled for Saturday due to rain, but I got in a kick-ass spin class with Dan Bernal for one hour and set up my bike and trainer in the living room so that I can get saddle time and watch TV!

by James Touchstone on Sun, Nov 18, 2012 @ 8:02 PM

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Wow!
I cannot believe that I did 41 miles yesterday, including 3 steep climbs (for me, anyway)! The love and support from my fellow ALC riders is very moving....

by James Touchstone on Sun, Nov 11, 2012 @ 10:41 AM

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Second ALC training ride...
Did about 36 miles with 4 climbs of about 1 mile each (2 going and the same 2 on return) I was happy but exhausted! We headed over Camino Alto and into the mostly flat towns of Corte Madera, Larkspur, Kentfield, Ross, San Anselmo and Fairfax. After Fairfax it was a good climb over White's Hill into San Geronimo Valley. From there it was a straight shot into Lagunitas where we stopped at the market for some snacks. Then it was the same route back back to Mike's Bikes in Sausalito

by James Touchstone on Mon, Nov 05, 2012 @ 9:27 AM

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Just thinking....
How lucky I am to have such great friends....and for the great support I have received for this ride....

by James Touchstone on Thu, Nov 01, 2012 @ 11:11 PM

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Saturday.....
Represents a real challenge. Kinda dreading it and looking forward to it at the same time......

by James Touchstone on Thu, Nov 01, 2012 @ 11:07 PM

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Training....baby steps!
I took my first spin class on Saturday and I admit that I was apprehensive. Everyone always looks so young and like they are working so hard...and dripping with sweat. I sat in the back....and I knew that my friend Dan Bernal was considered to be the most challenging spin leader....but I was able to keep up pretty well! I was exhausted and completely wet....something I have not experienced in a long time with exercise...but I did the whole 45 minutes!
Yesterday I went on a solo ride for 31 miles. Sore today but happy. Maybe I can do this thing! And I am almost at $4000 in donations thanks to my generous friends....

by James Touchstone on Mon, Oct 22, 2012 @ 8:42 AM

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Overwhelmed by the support of my friends
I knew that my friends and family would support me for the ALC, but I could not believe the level of support I got on my very first day of posting my page! Thank you so much!
Your early contributors inspired me to get on my bike and peddle over 20 miles yesterday in about an hour and a half. What a joyful experience! My butt is sore today but I am fired up. So glad I got a proper bike, a Specialized Roubaix that both my brother and Sam at Mike's Bikes thought was the best for me. It is not only light, but it is a highly functioning machine that gives me confidence.
Thank you, my friends!

by James Touchstone on Mon, Oct 15, 2012 @ 8:51 AM

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Excited...and scared!
My new bike makes a world of difference. I am so glad I got it now, even if I can't really afford it. Not quite sure how I am going to be in good enough shape for this ride, so I admit to being a bit worried. But the support already from those who have done this is really makes a difference!

by James Touchstone on Sun, Oct 14, 2012 @ 8:12 AM

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