This event is about AIDS and the fact that it has not gone away. It is about the 34 million people in the world estimated to be living with HIV/AIDS. It is about the decrease in the rate of deaths from AIDS but the 48,000 new infections per year in the U.S. It is about the fact that New York is #1 in the U.S. in AIDS cases. It is about the 1355 clients the Southern Tier AIDS Program (STAP) has served since 1984 and the 1135 currently active clients who need our support and to whom we provide hope. It is about the 138 regional events and 1,527 participants STAP reached with its Prevention Services Programs who now receive more up to date information about how to stay safe and reduce risk and make healthy choices. It is about promoting and sharing understanding; the understanding that AIDS is an incurable, but preventable disease. The AIDS Ride for Life is about the stories yet to be told, the lives yet to be saved, and the dreams yet to be realized.
Why We Ride
“I am the most un-athletic person I know. Even so, I love bikes. I was convinced that if I loved biking so much I should do the Ride. Wait, me?? I couldn’t ride my bike more than a few miles. Well the Ride taught me about compassion, camaraderie, determination, and the power of encouragement. Yes, the un-athletic girl I thought I was, rolled over the finish line having ridden 100 miles in one day. In that moment I felt something that I couldn’t put my finger on, something beyond accomplishment. If you’re thinking about doing the Ride, don’t hesitate – you can do it and it will change your life!”
“I began riding a bike again at the age of 67 in the local Tri-for-the-Y. Although I felt very encouraged by my accomplishment, the idea of riding 100 miles around Cayuga Lake for the AIDS Ride for Life was daunting. The 2007 AIDS Ride for Life would be fraught with challenging weather, and I learned that if I could finish that Ride, little could stop me. I know that the people served by STAP face much harder things in life, so as long as I can continue to ride, I will. This cause is what keeps me going every year.”
"What else would I be doing on a Saturday than getting up at 3am, riding a 100 miles with 400 other people, loving the hot shower and then eating dinner with 800 of my closest friends?"
"Hundreds of Riders unloading their bikes, hundreds of people there, ready to ride 102 miles to raise money to support people with HIV/AIDS and to support education so that this horrible epidemic doesn't have to continue. I had goosebumps all over as I realized that I was in the presence of such great love and caring."