AIDS LifeCycle 9 - June 2010

Part I


It wasn’t the greatest of starts to the trip.  Sat in the front seat of my car service, the bike box squeezed into the rear seat, my frustration at AT&T was beginning to boil over.  See at this point, it had become apparent that I wasn’t making my flight from JFK to San Francisco so I was looking for other options, or at least attempting to with the dreadful cell service I was suffering.

Turned out the only choice I had was to fly to Sacramento, not exactly close to where I needed to be, in fact a hundred miles away.  I got there in the end of course, courtesy of the kindness from an old friend, Simon, who got in his car to collect me and my bike.

I’ve always enjoyed San Francisco, God’s Country I like to refer to the Bay Area as.  And I’ve always seen a lot of bicycles which makes me like the city even more.  Don’t even get my started on the Mexican food.  Delicious.

I’d travelled with my bike to take part in the AIDS LifeCycle, the 9th, but my first.  An annual bike ride taking place over seven days in June taking riders from San Francisco to Los Angeles and not by the most direct route either.  I’d heard stories of hills with names like ‘the quad buster’ and ‘the evil twins’ but I was going in to it feeling prepared and calm, even cocky perhaps.

My friend Andy ‘Captain Undercrackers’ Hallett had ‘volunteered’ to come along for the ride after I’d signed up to take part on a whim back in January. 

Since then I’d thrown myself into the fundraising.  In order to take part, riders had to guarantee a minimum fundraising of $3,000.  Initially I had worried that I’d have to make up a shortfall but it was with great pride I arrived in California as one of the top fifteen fundraisers overall for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation.

Andy and I breezed through orientation day where we viewed a mandatory safety video, were given our tent assignment and met our wonderful rider representative TIm.  We also had to leave our bikes, overnight, to be stored at the Cow Palace waiting for our return the following morning to begin the adventure.

Click here for part II of the story and more photographs.

5th : Orientation | 6th : San Francisco - Santa Cruz | 7th Santa Cruz - King City