Thank you so much for supporting my participation in the sixth annual California AIDS Ride. As promised, on June 6-12, 1999, I rode my bicycle 565 miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles in the sixth annual California AIDS Ride, benefiting the San Francisco AIDS Foundation.
As you know, I was required to raise at least $2500 in pledges in order to participate in this event. Thanks to your help, I personally raised $3900 in pledges. There were 2959 riders participating in this event, and together we raised over $11.1 million, making this event the largest AIDS fund raiser in history.
The ride was a great physical challenge for me. Iíve never been an athlete, so I spent a considerable amount of time training for the event. Getting sick the last few days of the ride did not help, nor did several flat tires. (My problems were minor; some riders suffered serious mechanical problems and, worse, several were hospitalized.) At times I wasnít sure if Iíd make it, but Iím pleased to say that I did in fact ride every mile of the route, even though vans were available to help riders who had trouble completing the ride. I was still exhausted for weeks after the ride ended.
Despite the challenges the Ride presented to me, I must confess that in some ways I had it easy. The several dozen "Positive Pedalers" (riders who themselves are infected with HIV) were an inspiration to all, and I was awestruck by the two riders, one paralyzed and the other an amputee, who managed to pedaled the entire distance using only their hands!
My recumbent bicycle made me a bit of an oddball on this ride; although there were at least six other recumbents, mine was the only short-wheel-base recumbent and the only bicycle with under-seat steering. Even after seven days, I still love my bicycle; Iím convinced I was much more comfortable than most other riders.
Will I ride again next year? Probably not. But please donít let that stop you from continuing your support of the Rideís worthy beneficiary, the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. See the Foundation's website or call (415) 487-3000.
Iím planning to post a more detailed synopsis of the trip here within the next few weeks. (Or so I said in 1999 -- don't hold your breath!)
Thank you again for your support!
Other out-of-date AIDS Ride information on this site:
Resources My plea for money CAREE Training Schedule
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