From May 31st to June 6th, over 3,000 people will be participating in AIDS/LifeCycle, a 545-mile bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles to raise funds for the life-saving services offered by San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the Los Angeles LGBT Center. This year, I’ll be one of them!
WHY I STARTED TO RIDE: I picked up road cycling in 2018 during what felt like a pre-quarter-life-crisis. It was at that moment that I realized I had been blindly following a vicious cycle of depression, alongside other mental health disorders, that run in my family and I needed to break that cycle. I got a lifelong restraining order against my abusive father when I was 16 but did not think about the personal impacts his violence caused me until I reached this pre-quarter-life-crisis. I aspired to start my journey of trauma recovery and self-care. I wanted to try new hobbies that promoted both health and happiness. A huge part of that was surrounding myself with uplifting social groups. I joined all types of clubs - one in particular was an outdoor rock climbing group. I met a girl there who introduced me to one of her friends who was a cyclist. One day, we were all hanging out and I blurted out how I'd like to complete a triathlon in my lifetime. Instantly, my friend said she had a bike that she would be willing to loan me. The ball had started to roll! Thanks to a previous college classmate, I was connected with Team Eden. They instantly took me under their wing and taught me everything from clipping into bike petals to proper nutrition. I ended up loving both the activity and riding group so much that I decided to finally commit and buy my own bike. Team Eden is full of amazing, positive and supportive riders. Spending a week with them as we make our way down to LA on the LifeCycle would be an extremely valuable and cherished memory!
WHY THE LIFECYCLE: Many of my peers are part of the LGBT community; I aim to involve myself with the community to be a better friend. A pivotal moment for my involvement was sparked back in 2017: someone who I cared about was battling with their sexuality and was contemplating coming out as gay. I did not know how to support them in a proper way in such a vulnerable time. I reached out my local LGBT Center and actually never received a response from them. My hope was to find an expert to both support my friend and help me learn what I could do to be supportive, but I failed. My own ignorance and a lack of resources lead to me not responding to that person in a beneficial way. In retrospect, I learned how the LGBT community is severely under-served and needs our help. I have learned from that experience and have made it a goal of mine to educate myself and support the LGBT community. I want to help the LGBT community to gain better access to services that they need. This ride helps me accomplish that goal!
We’re working together to support the LGBT Community. Will you support me by making a donation today?