On the road again
This week I'm climbing on my bicycle in San Francisco and pedaling…to Los Angeles. I’ve done it several times now. Each time, usually around the halfway point, Pismo Beach, I say to myself, “There’s gotta be an easier way to get down to LA.” And each time, I answer myself: “Yep. There are easier ways. But none as rewarding.”
I’m riding with 2,500 of my closest friends in AIDS/Lifecycle 10, the tenth anniversary of this 550-mile seven-day trip that raises money to combat HIV/AIDS. I say “closest friends” because riders really do feel a kinship around the common cause they support.
As a FedEx team member (by which I mean both an employee of FedEx Express and one of the 26 riders wearing the FedEx colors on this year’s ride), I’m proud that my company is a sponsor of AIDS/Lifecycle for the sixth consecutive year and a presenting sponsor again this year.
Most of us riding on the FedEx team, like many FedEx team members around the world, have been touched by HIV/AIDS in one way or another, through experiences of friends or family. We all share the hope of seeing this scourge wiped off the earth in our lifetime, and we all share the belief that our contributions, added to those of all the other riders and their supporters, can help make that dream a reality.
It’s sobering for me to realize that the first known case of HIV/AIDS surfaced thirty years ago, and that this ride to help eradicate it has been going on a decade already. If I forget, my knees will remind me somewhere along the California coast that time is indeed marching on, even though these rides have given me a healthier outlook on life. But time has also brought real progress against HIV/AIDS, and it’s fundraising efforts like this one that have helped make that possible.
And I know when my creaky knees crank me into camp at the end of each day of the ride, I’ll be greeted by the brightly colored FedEx “Special Delivery” van staffed by our volunteer FedEx “roadies,” sharing pictures of the day’s ride and making things generally more enjoyable for all the riders.
Every day, FedEx delivers packages to many thousands of customers. I like to think that as I ride down the coast – quite a bit slower than our packages travel – that I’m helping deliver hope.