Los Angeles: Cyclists Triumph Over Adversity
May 24, 2002
After a week of triumph and tragedy, 670 cyclists rode into Los Angeles last Sunday, ending a 600-mile trek to raise money for HIV/AIDS services and educational programs. The inaugural AIDS/LifeCycle was born last fall out of a disagreement between two nonprofit agencies and the promoter of the California AIDS Ride, Los Angeles-based Pallotta TeamWorks. The Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation created their own ride because they thought Pallotta devoted too much of the fund to marketing and operations, rather than to the intended beneficiaries' programs.
Pallotta's ninth California AIDS Ride, sponsored by AIDS Project Los Angeles, will be June 2-8, with an estimated 1,100 participants. Because of the controversy, the two rides combined will draw fewer than 1,800 participants, compared with 2,700 riders in the single event last year.
The organizers of AIDS/LifeCycle said their event raised more than $4.4 million in donations. The ride got off to a difficult start Monday after leaving San Francisco, however. Shortly after lunch, participant Tom Gilder, 57, died of an apparent heart attack along the San Mateo County coast near San Gregorio State Beach.
After traveling from their last campsite on Sunday, the cyclists drew cheers as they rode the final segment together and attended a ceremony to celebrate their achievement and pay tribute to people who have died of AIDS-related diseases. The participants, who ranged in age from 18 to 71, were each expected to raise at least $2,500 each.
Los Angeles Times
05.20.02; Jeffrey L. Rabin
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.