Here we go... year FIVE of my misadventures!!
After my first ride, I wasn't sure if I'd ride again. I was then convinced by a great friend that I should do it again, so I did. Now here we are, ride 5. Still representing ALC-aholics, still working on my endurance, and still serving the ALC community as a training ride leader. My previous TRLs have given me so much, that I want to make sure that I give back and continue the tradition.
Four years before my first ride, I was stood on top of HWY 92 serving these riders strawberries... in drag. "Strawberry girls", we were known as. It wasn't pretty. We were on top of that hill at seven in the morning, waiting in the cold, straberries in hand waiting to cheer the riders on. They would come in groves, some taking the fruit, others just riding by. You can see the struggle in the eyes of a lot of them. Little did I know how difficult climbing up hills and mountains were. It was such an amazing experience. I was in awe watching them start their journey. Those that needed the strawberries were so grateful, stopping to say thank you and sharing hugs. I even got a kiss or two on the cheek! I always knew I wanted to be a part of the ride. So 3.5 years ago, with the help of a few of friends, I signed up. They helped me raise money for a new bike, and one of them even came with me on my first training ride. I graduated from being a "Strawberry girl" to being an ALC rider.
Every time I ride, I ride for those that can't. I ride for those just learning that they've seroconverted, for those living with HIV, to help end the spread of the disease, and to give a voice to those that have been set aside, forgotten, over looked and dismissed.
AIDS/Lifecycle brings money in to the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, which brings education, prevention and treatment to those who need it. It makes services like HIV testing and counseling available. SF AIDS Foundation also runs programs that help minority communities find a place within the larger LGBT community, like Black Borthers Esteem and El Groupo, a comprehensive support program for Latinos and Latinas and their families dealing with HIV.
Now, more than ever, we need you. Let's keep the momentum going and help stop the spread of HIV.