Those traveling through Santa Barbara highways on June 6 should keep an eye out for cyclists along the roadside. Motorists should always keep an eye out for bikers, of course, but these are riding to raise money for AIDS patients and research. Having started in San Francisco on June 1, about 3000 cyclists have been riding south 545 miles to Los Angeles as part of the AIDS/Life Cycle. On Friday June 6, cyclists will pass through Santa Barbara. They are scheduled to depart from Lompoc River Park at 6:30 a.m. riding on Highways 1, 101, 225 and some city and county roads, finally finishing the day at San Buenaventura State Beach Park in Ventura at 7 p.m. (Click here to see a map that event organizers are updating as the ride progresses.).
The weeklong ride is co-produced by the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. The AIDS/Life Cycle is the only AIDS ride in California that is produced by the benefiting organizations. Each rider raises a minimum of $2500 to support the services and programs offered by the two non-profit organizations. The record 3,000 cyclists participating this year are expected to raise approximately $11 million to help fight and research HIV and AIDS. The mission of the ride is to increase awareness and support for the needs of people living with HIV and AIDS. For the past seven years, the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation have combined their efforts through the AIDS/Life Cycle in order to fundraise over $40 million in proceeds for their cause.