Every June for a number of years now, I had been part of a large, strange, and wonderful mobile community, AIDS/Lifecycle. I had expected to do that again in 2020, as a Roadie working with the fabulous Traffic Team helping to keep riders and roadies safe. But, of course, a lot of plans changed. There was no AIDS/Lifecycle 2020.
Rather than risk planning and preparing for an AIDS/Lifecycle 2021 which might never happen, a new plan was made so we could work together, apart. This is TogetheRide. The plan is to collectively ride 1.2 million miles, in recognition of the 1.2 million people living with HIV in the US, and to raise five million dollars to support the work of the SF AIDS Foundation and LA LGBT Center.
It ain't the same. We will miss all the hugs, lining the bikes up before course opening, our favorite (or least favorite) camps, the smiles, Lorri Jean's voice, and being tired and satisfied enough to fall asleep on the ground, in a tent, with the sound of the generator and our snoring neighbors in our ears. But we positively refuse to miss the opportunity to be of service.
Just because COVID's getting all the press, HIV hasn't gone away. The HIV-related services of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the Los Angeles LGBT Center are just as needed if not more so. Some of these services, particularly education and consultation, have national and even international reach. And those services, which have saved and are saving lives, are largely paid for by money raised through AIDS/Lifecycle.
As always, I know some can't donate. Some can donate a little. Maybe a few can donate a lot. Every gift, every word of encouragement, every passing along of this message, every prayer is welcome.
Since you've read this far, I'll give you a explanation of my fundraising goal. In years past, the minimum for riders was $3000, so I figured that was a good starting goal for me. Things are different this year. A number seen a lot around AIDS/Lifecycle is 545, the nominal Ride length. (Actual length varies year to year due to road construction, etc.) So I've picked that as my riding goal, 545 miles. (I haven't been on a bike in years.) But in dollars that seems too small a goal. So my present goal is to raise $1,545.
That's all for now. Be safe, and be well. I hope to see you before too long.