Cycling California for a Cause
Our FedEx team just finished a 545-mile bicycle ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles. This is my sixth year of riding, and the fabulous views of the California coast and valleys seem fresh and new every year. Most important, we do it for a good cause – raising funds to combat HIV/AIDS.
FedEx has supported the AIDS/Lifecycle ride for seven years now. My friend and teammate at Express, Louie Butler, has made the ride all seven years; I’m still sorry that I had to miss one. Since the first year the FedEx team has grown from Louie and me to more than 30 riders and roadies and is now supported by Express, Ground, Freight, Office, and Services.
We ran into a day of rain this year, but generally the weather was great. What was even greater was the spirit among the more than 2,200 riders from all walks of life who together raised more than $12.6 million to support HIV/AIDS services provided by the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center. Our FedEx Team contributed around $200,000, half of it in cash and in-kind service donations from FedEx, and half directly raised by our team members in supporting contributions from friends and family. Since we started, our total gifts have exceeded $1 million.
Our FedEx team has made a lot of friends on these rides. We’re glad to provide shipping services en route, including the very mundane (but appreciated) ability to send dirty clothes home. Believe me, toward the end of the ride, every pound you’re carrying can make a difference. We also handled shipping bikes at the end of the ride, thanks to support from Joe Machado and his managers from the Customer Experience Group.
Some of us still have reminders of the ride, in the form of sore muscles, but we’re already thinking of next year. So are others at FedEx who want to join in; we hope to build our team to more than 40.