Each year, thousands of people get on their bicycles to make an unforgettable journey. They bike 545 miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles in the AIDS/LifeCycle, all to raise awareness and funds for HIV/AIDS.
The AIDS/LifeCycle first began in 1993 as the California AIDS Ride. Since then, the ride has raised more than $200 million for the cause.
This year’s journey began over the weekend on Sunday (2 June) with many hopping on their bikes for the ride.
One person who’s doing it this year is Olympian Gus Kenworthy. He’s sharing his experience on Instagram, detailing how it is to ride hundreds of miles for a good cause.
He’s sporting his pride on the journey, which is already taking its toll on him.
‘Sorry I didn’t post last night, we rode 110 miles yesterday and I was literally (yes, literally) dead,’ he wrote on Instagram. ‘Anyway, today is called “the quad buster” which is lolz because my quads are already busted. 192 miles down, 353 to go…’
Another person biking is Frankie Grande, though he showed his pride through quite a different outfit than Kenworthy.
‘I literally couldn’t be prouder,’ he wrote of the ride so far.
Photos from the first day showed a lot of people having a great time on their bicycles.
There are moments for breaks on the ride, as well as photo-ops. This group wore matching, bright pink outfits and they even matched one of the rider’s beard!
Riders are cheered on by observers who take photos, applaud them, and also offer them sustenance such as water and strawberries. Some of the observers also don exciting outfits.
The AIDS/LifeCycle has so far raised over $16.7 million — more than its ever raised in the entirety of its existence. Raised funds support the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the HIV/AIDS-related services of the Los Angeles LGBT Center.
‘The awareness and funds raised by the AIDS/LifeCycle community are critical components of ending the HIV epidemic—once and for all—for everyone,’ said San Francisco AIDS Foundation CEO Joe Hollendoner.
‘Because of the tenacity and enduring commitment of AIDS/LifeCycle participants, San Francisco AIDS Foundation is able to provide 25,000 clients with services that prevent new transmissions and promote the health of those living with HIV, all free of charge.’
Los Angeles LGBT Center CEO Lorri L. Jean added the funds provide ‘vital medical care and services to people living with HIV and to provide prevention tools, including PrEP, to those most at risk of becoming infected’.