Once again this year, I am participating in the AIDS Lifecycle's efforts to end HIV/AIDS. As with everything in this (another!) pandemic, the ride is different this year.
We are undertaking the TOGETHERIDE.
Together we will ride 1.2 million miles and raise $5,000,000 for SF and LA's primary AIDS organizations.
TogetheRide is a community-wide cycling challenge that is bringing people together, even when we’re physically apart. Thousands of people are banding together to join TogetheRide and take on the audacious goal of logging a cumulative 1.2 million miles by June 30, 2021. Along the journey, we are raising $5,000,000 in critical funds to support the work of the Los Angeles LGBT Center and San Francisco AIDS Foundation and create awareness about the ongoing HIV/AIDS epidemic.
Why 1.2 Million miles?
To honor the 1.2 million people in the US living with HIV. Together we are ensuring that all people have access to testing, care, and prevention services.
All ages are welcome to participate from anywhere in the world, on any type of bike; outdoors on the open road, on a stationary bike, or on a trainer in your living room, or jogging, or walking! Set your own personal fundraising and mileage goals and tell us how far you will go to end AIDS. The TogetheRide app will help you track progress and stay motivated. Whether you are a seasoned rider or new to cycling, you have the power to log miles to your heart’s content all while being part of a supportive and enthusiastic community. I'm at 297 miles already!
Join us! Donate, Log some miles, Cheer us on, Jog, Run your miles, Ride with the kids, whatever TOGETHER.
As you know, people with HIV are immuno-suppressed and at great risk for serious illness and death if they are exposed to Coronavirus. So the LA LGBT Center and the SF AIDS Foundation are doubling down on services to their vulnerable populations.
Please help me support TOGETHERIDE by giving what you can. Last year we raised over $8 million! Donations are tax deductible and will benefit the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the LA LGBT Center's AIDS services.
That's the policy stuff, but this is also personal. Howard died first. Then Herb. Howard's partner Edward died later. I had become Edward's roommate so my rent would help him maintain the home he and Howard shared. Wow, then so many more. Vincent and Jeffrey were both former boyfriends when they died. Then, even more recently with great new drugs and technology, Gregory died of kidney failure because the early drugs damaged his kidneys. He and I dated in college and both ended up in San Francisco so many years later. Studies also show that even people with HIV who are on modern treatments age much more quickly than others.
Here are the friends and lovers whose loss has saddened me greatly. I have some of these names tattooed on my leg.
Vincent Boulanger (artist); Jeffrey Baker (waiter); Howard Wechsler (college professor); Edward Winslow (furniture restorer); Gregory Newell (architect); Herb Seto; Michael (nurse); Robert S.; Michael Conway (artist); Brian Philpot (actor and high school friend); Bruce Lawton (high school friend); Thom B.; John Preston (writer); Michael M.; Tom D. (nonprofit admin.); Geof English (arts administrator); Scott G. (bartender); Jim Griggs (artists agent); Michael H. (nurse); Gene Hilton; Thom Gravline; Richard Hornung (costume designer); Scott M.; David Robinson (costume designer); Bob R.; Dennis S. (choreographer); Jim F. (nonprofit executive); Scott Ford (gardener);
Take a look at photos from past rides at: https://animoto.com/play/nzcU73Se015qiscPz7Ua2A
Help me support TOGETHERIDE by giving what you can. We'll keep working together until AIDS and HIV are a thing of the past.