For a quarter century, AIDS/LifeCycle, an annual weeklong bicycle ride along the California coast, has been raising funds for those living with or at risk for HIV/AIDS. This year, participants raised a record-breaking $16.6 million for the cause.
More than 2,300 cyclists and 650 volunteer roadies are participating in this year’s 25th annual ride, according to an event press release. Roadies provide water, snacks, medical support and more at rest stops every 15 to 20 miles along the route, as you can see in the Instagram posts below (search @aidslifecycle for many more official posts).
The 2018 ride kicked off Sunday, June 3, from the Cow Palace Convention Center outside San Francisco.
Since its inception in 2002, AIDS/LifeCycle, the largest HIV/AIDS fundraiser in the world, has raised over $251 million through its seven-day, 545-mile ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles.
According to the AIDS/LifeCycle website, the money raised will benefit the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the HIV/AIDS services at the Los Angeles LGBT Center.
“Our tireless riders and roadies have once again risen to the occasion, raising millions of dollars to make a difference in the fight against HIV and AIDS,” said Los Angeles LGBT Center CEO Lorri L. Jean in the press release. “Thanks to their hard work and the generosity of their donors, we will continue to be able to provide free or low-cost HIV testing and medical services—caring for those most in need and reducing the incidence of HIV infection.”
According to the Los Angeles LGBT Center website, during the seven days it takes riders to reach Los Angeles, more than 700 people in the United States will contract HIV. There are currently more than 1.2 million people living with HIV throughout the nation.
“The enduring commitment of the AIDS/LifeCycle community demonstrates the tenacity we need to end the HIV epidemic for all communities,” said San Francisco AIDS Foundation CEO Joe Hollendoner. “Because of awareness and funds raised by AIDS/LifeCycle participants, San Francisco AIDS Foundation is able to provide 25,000 clients with services that prevent new infections and promote the health of those living with HIV, all free of charge.”
The riders will reach their final destination, the Finish Line Festival, in Grand Park, Los Angeles, on Saturday, June 9.
To learn more about the fundraising bike ride and how to join next year, visit AIDSLifeCycle.org.