Training Ride (San Francisco): World AIDS Day Ride 2010 (30mi)
McLaren Lodge, Golden Gate Park

Meet Time: 8:00 AM
Ride-Out Time:  9:00 AM
Miles: 30
Category:  Category 2 - Medium pace (10-12 mph)
Terrain: 2 - rolling hills
Rain Policy: Heavy Rain Cancels


The Positive Pedalers is proud to again sponsor San Francisco's World AIDS Day Ride.  This year's ride is to be held on Sunday, November 28 (World AIDS Day is Wednesday, December 1).  This is a milestone year: 30 years of AIDS.

Everyone is heartily welcome, and we hope for a large turnout.  Please come join us, wear red, as this year we can create a red ribbon throughout this beautiful city, the hardest hit of all.

On June 5, 1981, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued its first warning about a rare pneumonia called pneumocystis circulating among a small group of young gay men. Unrealized at the time, it was the official beginning of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.  In 1982, the CDC coined the term AIDS, for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, but the cause was still unknown. In 1983, the virus was finally isolated and given a name: Human Immunodeficiency Virus or HIV.

To commemorate this ironic anniversary we will join other cyclists around the world on Nov. 28 and all ride 30 miles to mark the 30 years.  This 30 years has been one of great loss, pain and suffering, but has also been one increasingly filled with hope--for longer, healthier lives for people living with HIV/AIDS, and hopefully for the long-awaited end of the AIDS Pandemic. 

This year we will embark on a new ride, one that will encircle the City of San Francisco.  We will head west from McLaren Lodge and through Golden Gate Park to the ocean.  Heading south then east, we will pass through many areas and neighborhoods that have been touched or greatly affected by HIV/AIDS.

We'll first roll past San Francisco State University, which in 1985 established an ad-hoc AIDS Task Force that organized the first AIDS Awareness Week within the CSU system.  We will then continue east and into the Outer Mission and Excelsior Districts, home to many Latino families; Although Latinos make up 14% of the U.S. population, they account for nearly 20% of the 40,000 new HIV cases reported in the United States each year.  National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Director Alberto Santana said that poverty, a lack of health insurance and the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS contribute to the high HIV infection rate and low testing rate among Latinos.

Further east we roll through the Portola District and into the northern part of the Bayview District, home to many African-American families; African Americans make up 10 percent of the population but about half of the HIV/AIDS cases nationwide. One of every 16 black men will face a diagnosis in his lifetime, and black people are seven times more likely to contract the virus than other races.

We then head north on the city's waterfront and past the new UCSF campus and many new biotech firms; UCSF has been at the forefront of treatment and research of HIV/AIDS since the beginning.  From here we'll continue to follow the bay, along the Embarcadero, then turning south up and over Polk Street and eventually passing City Hall; early in the epidemic, San Francisco's compassionate, multifaceted, and creative response to AIDS became known as "The San Francisco Model", which became an international inspiration. The city's activist and progressive infrastructure that evolved out of the 1960's, combined with San Francisco's highly politicized gay community centered around the Castro Street neighborhood, helped overcome the obstacles of a nation both homophobic and lacking in universal healthcare.

We then roll west through Hayes Valley and Lower Haight to come to the Castro District; AIDS descended on San Francisco 30 years ago like an unrelenting hurricane, the epidemic roiled The City for two decades and only began granting some reprieve with medical advancements in the late 90s. The death years of AIDS left San Francisco ravaged and exhausted.  The AIDS crisis mobilized the gay and lesbian community by concentrating its focus on a single threat, and by involving many people who had not been politically active before. Because of the general public's indifference to this crisis, the greatest response came from the gay community itself.  Community-based groups started support services such as the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, ACT UP, Shanti, Project Open Hand and the Coming Home Hospice. AIDS, which had the potential to destroy the gay liberation movement, in fact brought the neighborhood closer than ever before.

We then roll north then west toward Golden Gate Park, looping past the DeYoung Museum so we can make a stop at the National AIDS Memorial Grove and recall those we lost, celebrate those still here and living with HIV/AIDS, and remember why each one of us rides to end the pandemic of AIDS.  It's then a short jaunt to complete the 30 miles of our 2010 World AIDS Day Ride.

Facilitator: Beau Thomson (email if the rsvp button doesn't work for you)
Co-leaders: David Duncan, Molly Locke, Harry Stark, Mark Troy, Deyon Jonson, Janine Swanepoel, Greg Hill, Buzz Miller, Robert Katz, Joseph Pulice, Robert Kavanaugh


Time: 8:00 AM
McLaren Lodge
Stanyan Street and John F. Kennedy Drive
San Francisco, CA 94117

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