In May last year, I completed the NorCal Aids Cycle for the fourth time. That’s 330 miles in 3 1/2 day! I had a wee more physical preparation last year as I didn’t wait until the month before the ride to commit (which also means to train) like in 2014. We were a small group with about 80 riders and 50 crew, as compared to 150 riders and 100 crew the first yearI rode in 2012. The total group, riders and crew was small, though we raised nearly as much money as we did in 2014 year!!
In August 2015 we distributed $197,000 of the $332,000 dollars we raised, between the 16 beneficiary organizations that we rode for this year. The rest of the monies raised for distribution were distributed as winter grant money. Seventy two percent of the funds raised by the NCAC participants went to our beneficiaries, making NCAC the largest HIV/AIDS fundraiser in the Sacramento and Northern California area. If you Google various other charity events, you can see that many groups out there raising money for charities distribute only a small portion of the money they raise – some as low as 25%! We are able to do this by keeping our overhead low, doing fundraisers (second annual Crab Feed a huge success!), and because of the generous support we receive from our sponsors, and from the very generous donations that we each receive from our friends, family, and colleagues each year. Without you, we would not be able to do this.
There were many new faces, including some teens, riding in 2015 and lots of enthusiasm and NCAC love to share. NCAC is like a big family with open arms. There is love and support for all riders and crew,yt and each member recognizes that we are a family because of who we are, and what we are doing. All of us are riding for a reason, for some it is because we have friends or family members with HIV/AIDS, for others it is because we have lost friends, family members and partners to HIV/AIDS. Others may be living with HIV/AIDS, and some are riding not because they have been directly affected by HIV/AIDS, it’s because they want to make a difference by helping the agencies supporting those affected by HIV/AIDS. Whatever it is that brings individuals to do this event, whether you have ridden the ride all 11 years, or this will be your first year, I can guarantee that you will leave feeling a part of a wonderful, supporting family.
NCAC was started 12 years ago and each year the route has been pretty much the same. We started in Folsom, rode to Gridley the first day, rode on to Williams the second day, Woodland the third day, and ended the ride midday the 4th day on the steps of the Capitol in Sacramento.
We had several new enthusiastic board members last year and NCAC under went some big changes. The first big change for this year is that NCAC 2016 will be following a new route. The ride will begin in West Sacramento and head to Auburn the first day. Camp will be in Auburn for all three nights, with rides starting from there each day. Sunday morning we will leave Auburn, and end the event on the steps of the Capitol at 1200 PM. If you have heard about NCAC and have been thinking about riding, are looking for a group to ride with, and a well organized ride to train for, check out our website: norcalaidscycle.org and see what we are all about. The ride itself is fun and challenging, and there is nothing better than doing something that will make a difference is the life of someone you don’t even know. Open up your heart and mind and think about it. If you have questions about the ride you can respond to this blog, or email me through my blog at firstname.lastname@example.org. Cycling abilities range from those riding a bike for the first time in many years, to those with many years and miles of cycling under their belts, and everything in between.
This year’s ride starts May 12th and ends May 16th. If you are not able to ride this year, please consider joining us next year in 2017, and think about making a contribution to support NCAC 2016 at my donor site. You will be surprised at how good you feel knowing your made a difference in the life of someone you don’t even know!