Monday, April 10, 2006

Ride 4 AIDS

After weeks of fund-raising and hitting the gym, the day for the ride was finally here. The weather was beautiful, with just a bit of cloud cover and a cool breeze. Team Woofy was there: me, Verna, Mike, Sonya, Ashley, George and Becky. At 8:00am they began sending waves of riders off. Since it was a ride and not a race, there was no concern about starting behind other riders.

The route was simple - Spanish Landing Park to Harbor Drive, up Canon to Catalina, all the way south to the Cabrillo Monument, back down to Rosecrans, south again to the Naval Submarine Base, a loop around Shelter Island, a loop around Harbor Island, then back to the start. There were some good hills, and I know that I have never had a ride that took more out of me than this one. Still, the training paid off, and we were all able to ride the whole thing. We were slow a time or two, but we never walked a single hill. Go Team Woofy!

One thing to mention… I was so focused on raising money (top fundraiser! whoo hoo!) that I didn’t really give a lot of thought to the purpose of the ride. As I neared Cabrillo, riding past Rosecrans military cemetery, I found myself thinking about friends that I have lost to AIDS. Before I knew what was happening, tears were running down my face and I could barely see to ride. I let myself cry, doing nothing to try to stop myself. My friends mattered to me, and my tears were a way to honor their memory. Then, as the sun broke through the clouds, the music on my MP3 player changed to Dream Academy’s Love Parade.

Oh the love parade goes on
Even when you're gone
It'll go on forever
The love parade
This is dedicated,
To the ones I love


It's important to remember those we have lost, and just as important to work for a cure so we don't lose anyone else. I want to thank Being Alive for making such a difference in the lives of those affected by HIV in San Diego. The work you do means so much to so many. It was an honor to play a small part in helping you.