Thank you for joining me on the 2019 AIDS/LifeCycle ride!
From June 2nd - June 8th, 2019, I will be joining over 3,000 Cyclists, Roadies and Virtual Cyclists 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 is my second year doing the ride and I'm going back again because, in addition to raising critical funding for a cause I care deeply about, that first ride (in 2017) was a transformative experience for me. It was all about the "love bubble." (I planned to ride again in 2018, but had surgery on my foot way too close to the ride.) I heard other people talk about this and, honestly, I thought it was mostly a bunch of "new age-y, California mumbo jumbo." I was sure this was a declaration of what people wanted to be the case, rather than an actual experience. I was wrong. Everyone on the ride works so hard -- the riders on their bikes 80, 100, 110 miles a day, the cooks serving up 3,000+ hot meals twice a day, the rest stop volunteers showering us with liquids and foods and sunscreen and chamois butter (and entertainment!), the mechanics fixing, adjusting, tweaking our bikes. . . How amazing it is to ride in to camp and find huge trucks housing hot showers! What a wonder that every day, I went to the M truck and there was my bag and my tent ready for set up! And then there are the chiropractors, massage therapists, and medical staff. . . But there was something more. It was not just about all this foundational support. It was the attitude, the vibe, the energy. I felt personally loved and cared for and that opened my heart. Can you remember the last time you spent an entire week where everyone you interacted with was accepting, loving, caring and working their butts off? Where your biggest gripe was that breakfast had bacon rather than sausages? Where you were in this huge wave of people of all ages, genders, sizes, shapes and on every sort of bike you've ever imagined? I don't think I could overstate what an incredible experience this was and I believe (now) that creating that much love and then sending all of us out into the "real" world knowing that experience is real and is the stuff that can change the world.
The nitty gritty -- HIV/AIDS still exists, not only in Africa, but here in the United States, and AIDS/LifeCycle is by far the biggest source of income for the services of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the Los Angeles LGBT Center. And these services save lives. These two organizations work not only at the local level, but also regionally, nationally and internationally to prevent the transmission of HIV, support those living with HIV and AIDS, and to seek a cure. This year's World AIDS theme is "know your status" and, of course, both the SF AIDS Foundation and the Los Angeles LGBT Center are on the front lines of making testing easy and accessible for everyone.
My goal is to raise $5,000 for this ride. I'm asking everyone I know. I'm getting on the bike to ensure I'm in the best shape possible. We’re working together to make HIV/AIDS a thing of the past. Will you support me by making a donation today?