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AIDS/LifeCycle 5 or Bust!
      #190216 - 05/08/06 02:01 PM

Hi!

I am writing to you today to tell you how much I would like to be in California this June and to ride AIDS/LifeCycle 5 as a Positive Pedaler. What is a 'positive pedaler' you might ask? Positive Pedalers are a group of men and women living with HIV/AIDS and participate in AIDS cycling-related fund raising events. Many of the team participate in the AIDS/LifeCycle Ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Most of the team lives in California, but have members in numerous states, Canada and here in Minnesota; (ME!). I would be honoring the 10th year of the positive pedaler team, honoring the memory of Positive Pedaler founder and fellow rider; Jonathon Pon and to observe 25 years of the HIV /AIDS pandemic. I myself have been positive since 1998, 8 years this October. You can learn more about the positive pedalers at www.pospeds.org





First off, I need to raise a minimum of $2, 500 in SIX WEEKS ! ! !

Visit http://www.aidslifecycle.org/3000 to make a pledge!



AIDS/LifeCycle is a seven day journey from San Francisco to Los Angeles, June 4th-10th 2006. AIDS/LifeCycle is co-produced by the two beneficiaries’ for the AIDS/Cycle Ride and they are the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center. They are designed to advance their shared interests to end the pandemic and human suffering caused by AIDS.

You can read more about these incredible beneficiares

and this fantastic 7-day journey at: www.aidslifecycle.org



This "California" AIDS Ride will mark my 28th ride since my first ride in 1997 called the Twin Cities>Chicago AIDS Ride 2 a 500 mile; 6 day journey which to me seems like yesterday. I learned a while ago that I could make a difference one pedal stroke at a time. When I question or wonder why I've been put on this earth, I just need to look at my bike. I am a rider, I am a HIV+ AIDS Rider and proud of it. Back in June of 1999 I was a bit reluctant to enter the "Washington DC Ride" as a positive pedaler. I was even more uneasy about strapping a bright orange flag on my bike for fear that everybody would surely know that I was positive. But then I began to realize just why I was doing these ride's -- for all of the people who were also positive but not well enough to even get on a bike or become intimidated by the thought of having an orange pos-ped flag attached to their bike.



During the ride supportive cheers from other riders overcame me. "Way to go Poz Ped!" "You rock Poz Ped!" I was no longer ashamed to have a bright orange pennant on my bike. I wasn't looking for popularity status, but really relished the encouragement I received from other cyclists.

If you were to ask me to identify one positive thing about being HIV+ and doing these rides, there is no mistake, instantly I would say the wonderful friends that I have made during this whole journey process and the new friends that I can't wait to embrace. Now in 2006, it's not a question of why to ride it's rather a statement.

"I will ride until I don't have to."

Looking back over the years of being HIV+ and contributing to these events is an incredible " heart full" of emotional experience's that are hard to describe, but I will try. People participate on these events for many reasons, including memorializing those who have died from AIDS and supporting their friends/family who live with HIV/AIDS. To work with so many people who care about HIV/AIDS and who are doing something about the disease that I live with is very humbling. I cannot begin to count the number of quiet times spent on my trusty Lemond when I have a little cry thinking about what everyone is doing. I am fortunate to have good medical care and great medication - which is why I am here and not one of the people being memorialized. These events leave me thankful for life and appreciative of the kindness that human beings are capable of -- WOW!

Once I return from Los Angeles, I will gear up (code words for TRAIN!) for the 4th annual Red Ribbon Ride in Minnesota. It's going to be a great summer!



I appreciate your support; your continued support means the world to me. I CANNOT participate in these incredible events without your support. I love you and thank you in advance for your generosity!



Joe Ede

AIDS/LifeCycle; Positive Pedaler Rider #3000

MN Red Ribbon Ride; Positive Pedaler Rider #9





"Riding in Loving Memory of"

Mr. Todd Allen Rose

November 25, 1966 - August 4th, 1998

"In the end, only kindness matters"





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