Friday, May 6, 2011

AIDS LifeCycle Series!

hey guys, this is the long awaited post. it'll be the first of three that i have planned, maybe some of you will be inspired to send in your stories too.

this post has been delayed because our lovely first person featured, kristen ("klaw"), broke her arm the day before the post was going to go up. she was on her bike and a pedestrian suddenly walked out in front of her.

but she's feeling better now, and we decided that showing that she's ready to get back on the bike might be just as inspirational as her ALC ride! now...on to the post! be sure to check out her "addendum."

This is your first time riding Aids LifeCycle. Why did you want to do this ride?

Yes! It's my first time! I've wanted to do it for a long time but was in graduate school out of state or starting a new job and could not put in the time. The primary reason that I am riding is because there are few opportunities in life to challenge yourself physically and emotionally for purely selfless reasons, I am so excited to be a part of this! Many people believe that HIV/AIDS are no longer an issue. Contrary to popular belief, HIV/AIDS has not gone away. Many continue to die of AIDS related illness and those who are lucky enough to afford antivirals are reminded each day about their communicable disease. HIV/Aids is a social justice issue effecting a disproportionate number of people of color and low-income people. As Stephen Colbert says the vaccine to HIV/AIDS is to be white and rich. I hope that the money I raise and the knowledge people gain because of LifeCycle will foster prevention and treatment for ALL people. Plus how cool is it that I get to spend my 31st bday (June 9) with 3,000 other people riding to end AIDS! Someday I hope we can all ride in celebration of ending AIDS!

photo by joel muller

Before you started training, did you consider yourself a long-distance cyclist? Why or why not? If no, what prompted you to start training?

I've always had pretty good endurance but never considered myself a long distance rider and I NEVER thought I'd be peddling around in spandex. LifeCycle prompted me to cycle more and the support and encouragement from my family and friends has helped a lot!

How is your training going? Do you train by yourself, with friends or with trainings provided by LifeCycle?

My training is pretty mixed. I like to do the training rides supported by LifeCycle. I've done a few rides with friends and will be doing my first long-distance ride alone this weekend. I'll let you know how it goes. I'll be riding from my dad's to Hornitos and back, it's about 60 miles roundtrip. Hornitos is a old mining/ghost town, can't wait to take photos!

Over the course of my training I have seen some amazing parts of the North and East Bay. I am feeling pretty lucky to be able to live here! Oh! And riding around the city is great training. I rode against the wind last night and avoided my "granny gears" to help train my quads. Oh and I do a spin class one to two times a week. My legs are getting HUGE!

$3,000 seems like a lot of money to raise in this economy. How has it been fundraising? Any special events?

I had three fundraising events. The first was at Mission Workshop. Together, Shannon Hinkle and I raised over $2,000! Thanks MWS and everyone who donated raffle/auction prizes and more importantly the people who came to support us! The second fundraiser was a wine pairing dinner party at Dadsky KLAW's house. My dear friend Mary Burroughs killed it with her amazing culinary skills and food donations. Attendees donated $20 a plate and brought wine to pair with an assigned course. This was a ton of fun and I raised $400! The last event I did was bar tending at Tonic Bar in San Francisco. This bar is amazing and so generous - they let us keep all the tips we made. Go there and support them, they support so many charitable causes! I raised close to $300 in three-hours of bar tending. Other than that my friends and family donated generous amounts! It is amazing to me how generous people are, many came out of the woodwork to donate money and others (Gwen Lutz, Alison Barahona, Patty Barahona, Kim Johnson, Darius Pearson and many others) donated time and raffle prizes to help us out! Thank you everyone!!!

Have you met any fun or interesting characters in the course of your fundraising?

MING! Through the lovely Caltexican (ed note: oh hai) I met Ming, my new tentmate and gemini twin! Although this wasn't through fundraising I am super excited about this new friendship, and we will be doing some foodie fundraising soon! I'm really excited to eat cake with him on our birthdays too! I also became closer to Amy Powell who helped me so much! I owe her tons!!! Without her dedication I would not have raised the money I did. Thanks Amy, drinks on me!

photo by volker neumann

Addendum: So it looks like I will not be riding this year. Unfortunately I have fractured the radius in my left arm. It is close to the elbow and not the wrist, which is better. I am still training in spin classes and raising money in the chance that I am healed and my orthopedic doc tells me I can ride. The silver lining is that all of the money I raise can be rolled over to next year when I will be riding with the CYLRAB ladies ;)

I would like to thank everyone for their support! This has been super life changing already. Look for me in the bike lanes in about 2-4 weeks! ding ding

Thanks so much klaw for sharing your story! hope you all enjoyed it! happy friday!


  1. "next year when I will be riding with the CYLRAB ladies ;)"

    When did I get into this? : )

    Here is to your arm healing in time to ride!!

  2. heehee thanks for posting this ladies! i'm just sending out a little positive peer pressure! love you all! oxoxox