The 11th annual AIDS/LifeCycle is fast approaching! From June 3 to June 9, 2,500 cyclists will ride their bicycles from San Francisco to Los Angeles to raise awareness and funding for HIV/AIDS services at the LA Gay & Lesbian Center and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation.
SheWired has compiled some inspirational tales from women who are heading out on the open road with nothing but a metal frame and two wheels to get them from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Here are Veronica and Nicky.
I will be turning 72 years old on this ride and I am riding to show people that age is just a number and you can do what you set out to do. I will be riding from San Franciso to Los Angeles on a bicycle to help in the fight to end AIDS.
This is a big challenge, but I am up to doing it. I am riding to help raise vital funds for HIV/AIDS treatment, prevention and awareness. I am also riding because I can!
For far to long this disease has been reeking havoc and it is time it stopped. I want to be a part of the movement to help eradicate this disease by my participation in this event.
I can hardly wait to share the stories from the road with you.
My name is Nicky Hackman. I am 29 and currently living in Sierra Madre CA. I recently became a "cyclist" because of this amazing organization – the AIDS/LifeCycle.
A couple years ago I ran into one of my best friends Kendall from middle in school in NC at HERE lounge in West Hollywood. Her and I both from California originally had moved there in our teens. When we saw each other we became very close once again. She had heard about the AIDS/LifeCycle ride last year and called me to see if I wanted to help raise money for people suffering from AIDS. I replied with a big ol' HELL YES. I have done the Susan G Komen race before, but never anything as crazy as the AIDS/LifeCycle ride. To be honest with you, I had no idea what I was getting myself into but I am sure glad I have because it has changed my life. For reals.
The main reason I'm doing this ride is because I had a very close friend named Jessica Hart die from AIDS when we were both very young. She was my best friend as a child and we both adored each other very much. One day she got really sick and ended up in the hospital with pneumonia. While at the hospital she had various tests done and the doctors found she was infected with the AIDS virus. Jessica was born with it. She got really sick really quick. And the whole time she was sick, going blind, in pain, she never complained. She was positive all the time. Though I didn't quite understand at the time why Jessica got so sick and died I knew there was something I could do to help one day.
Thus bringing me to doing this bike ride. 545 miles!!! Holy moly. When I signed up for this I only had a single-speed bike. So for about three months I trained on that bike. I did 70 miles on that bike on one ride and it was soooo hard.
I contacted a local bike shop named Blackswift Bicycles that was referred to me by a cyclist friend of mine. We designed a bike and he custom built it for me. Now I have a great time riding :) It is baby blue, steel frame bike, with Campi components. Training has been a challenge. I have always worked out but cycling is a different thing. Now my legs are super strong. And hopefully strong enough for this ride on June 3rd.
This whole experience has changed my life. The fundraising has taught me so much. I feel so lucky to have the friends and family that I have who supported me throughout this whole experience. I realize there’s so much we as human beings can do to help those who need it. All it takes is the dedication and taking a little time out of each day. I will forever be doing something like this and am already thinking of something I can do when this whole thing is over. I plan on riding forever and if I can ride to help those in need I will do it in a heartbeat. I'm even thinking about getting a bicycle tattoo. :)
Well here's for Jessica Hart and all those who have lost their lives and for those who are sick now!!!!