In my second year of college, a college professor of mine introduced the class to the AIDS LifeCycle, which is a 545 mile bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles that happens each year throughout the first week of June. The ride lasted seven days, and you camped out through various cities such as Santa Maria, Lompoc, Pismo, and Ventura. When I first heard about it, I knew I definitely wanted to do it.
At first, I did it for the challenge. Who can say the have cycled the California coastline? But throughout the six months that had passed in between registering and day 1, I fell in love with the passion for the AIDS/HIV efforts. Each participant is required to raise a minimum of $2,500 which goes to support facilities in both San Francisco and Los Angeles that help and treat patients who are affected with the virus. These two cities are the largest in the nation with growing rates of new infections each year, and we have yet to find a cure.
I cannot write a review that would accurately describe what kind of transformation happens on this kind of experience. It's kind one of those things where just have to do it to get it and understood. But I would like to say that despite the hills, and long days on a bike (longest day was 110 miles), riding was the least difficult part of the entire trip. Waking up in the morning, pitching your own tent, talking with HIV patients about the struggles, and living in solidarity for a week with them on the road as one unit and community is an overwhelming realization, but I highly recommend considering doing this ride.
I'm a Filipino-American living life as a post undergrad making a start here in beautiful Los Angeles. I love the weather and diversity here and enjoy everything this city has to offer. I'm excited to … more
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