Dallas man headed to California to ride AIDS LifeCycle in memory of loved ones
When AIDS LifeCycle leaves San Francisco for Los Angeles, Dallas will be represented by Cam Posani, riding in his second event, and Linda Griffith, who will be preparing meals for the riders and crew.
Now in its 23rd year, AIDS LifeCycle bike ride benefits the Los Angeles LGBT Center and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation that brings visibility to HIV prevention and care.
Posani is riding in memory of his brother, John Anthony Posani, and his partner, Rene Saxon, as well as his friends John and Chris, all of whom were lost to AIDS.
Dallas used to have its own AIDS rides — first, the Texas Tanqueray AIDS Ride from Houston to Dallas, and then the Lone Star Rides through North Texas.
Those rides failed to attract enough riders to become profitable enough to continue.
The Texas Tanqueray rides drew about 700 riders, but had huge expenses. While the Lone Star Rides attracted just a couple of hundred riders, expenses were much lower and returned about $100,000 to local beneficiaries each year.
AIDS LifeCycle is more successful. With 2,500 riders from around the country, AIDS LifeCycle raised $15 million in 2015, making it the world’s largest AIDS fundraiser.
Posani said he’s been biking all his life, but not until he saw a poster for AIDS LifeCycle a couple of years ago did he consider participating in a group ride.
To get himself in shape, Posani said he’s been riding some every day, although not as much as he’d like. His goal this year is to finish more of the ride than he did last time.
The 545-mile route travels along on the magnificent coastal Highway 1 as well as through parts of central California. That route is part of what attracts people from around the world to participate.
Posani said riders call one particularly challenging hill on the route “the quad buster.” He said he walked his bike part of that climb, but others rode up and down the hill four or five times before continuing toward L.A.
But, Posani said, he has a great excuse for only doing 385 of the 545 miles and passing up the mountainous climbs: “At 64, I’m not the young stud I used to be.”
During the inland portion of the ride, Posani said the song “Strawberry Fields” kept going through his mind. As he watched migrant workers picking strawberries at the farms lining the route, he gained a new appreciation for how hard agricultural workers work.
Griffith will be serving meals along the route. That means she’ll be getting up about 3 a.m. to prepare food for the crew that leaves early to mark the route each morning and then for the 2,500 riders so they’ll be ready to leave camp at sunrise.
And once breakfast’s done, they’ll break camp and race to the lunch pit stop.
Cam Posani’s fundraising page can be found at AIDSLifeCycle.org.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 27, 2016.