Hot and Sweaty: On the Road with Queers and Allies to Fight HIV/AIDS

AIDS/LifeCycle RideI’ve only been in camp for one hour, and I’ve already lost my tent. It sounds ridiculous, but it’s easy to lose track of your surroundings amidst 3,200 people and a sea of blue-hued domes.

Thankfully, I re-orient myself and the panic subsides enough to truly soak it all in: This is the 10th AIDS/LifeCycle ride that brings 3,200 cyclists and volunteers on a trek from San Francisco to Los Angeles all in the name of HIV/AIDS services.

Riders at the AIDS/LifeCycle RideThings are even more meaning this year, as this past Sunday, June 5, marked the 30th anniversary of the very first diagnosed case of what would become know as AIDS. Many of the riders have taken this to heart, bringing even more passion to their fundraising efforts. Together, they managed to raise over $13 million for HIV/AIDS services provided by the SF AIDS Foundation and the LA Gay and Lesbian Center – making this the largest HIV/AIDS fundraiser on the planet.

The passion is palatable. The riders do their hard work before the event, training and fundraising, and then follow through with an incredible physical effort – 575 miles of hills and valleys. There are also nearly one thousand volunteer “roadies,” whose unbridled enthusiasm creates a wonderful energy every single moment of the ride.

I’m going to be blogging every day for the rest of the week, and posting photos and videos along with the words. There’s so much more than just my stuff, so head over to to the presscorps to get the scoop from the other eight journalists embedded on the ride.

And remember to get tested – the CDC recently found that 20% of gay American males have HIV, and a whopping 50% don’t even know it. All it takes is one time.

Unicorn Booty‘s Nick Vivion is following the tight Spandex lines of the AIDS/LifeCycle Ride from SF to LA