California: AIDS/LifeCycle Raises Awareness and Money
June 8, 2012
This week, 2,225 bicyclists are taking part in AIDS/LifeCycle 11, a seven-day bike ride to build AIDS awareness and raise funds for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center (LAGLC). The ride rolled off Sunday from the Cow Palace in San Francisco and will end Saturday at Veteran's Center in Los Angeles.
"The ride has been going really well," said Catherine Davie, associate director of marketing and communications for LAGLC. "The riders couldn't be more enthused about the ride and the cause."
Those taking part come from 44 states and 16 nations, and they range in age from 18 to 83. A crew of 600 supports the riders, erecting temporary camps at the end of each day's trek. Some days have been more challenging than others: Bikers battled rain and hail on the 100-mile trip from Santa Cruz to King City, and high winds on the 97-mile Paso Robles-to-Santa Maria leg.
Ronald Westcott of Long Island, N.Y., is participating in his sixth AIDS/LifeCycle. "There's a million things that are special about this ride, but one of the things that's the most incredible to me is to come here for a week and put that [HIV-Positive] flag on my bike and be 'I'm positive,'" he said.
"In the world outside of [AIDS/LifeCycle], I don't do that because even in the year 2012 there's still a stigma to it," Westcott explained. "It's a very freeing feeling to have that flag on my bike. It's a week where I can be proud to be positive instead of doomed by it." The Positive Pedalers cycling club, of which Westcott is a member, has chapters from Provincetown, Mass., to San Francisco.
[PNU editor's note: To view daily updates on AIDS/LifeCycle 11, visit http://experience.aidslifecycle.org/.]
Santa Maria Times
06.07.2012; Brian Bullock
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.
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