Santa Cruz Good Times

Sunday
Nov 23rd
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Return of the Surf City AIDS Ride

news_surfcityThe ride is back, revamped and family-friendly
Rain or shine, the Surf City AIDS Ride wants you to get your bicycle out. The annual tour-de-Cruz bicycle extravaganza returns on Oct. 3 as a full-fledged family affair, revamped to accommodate riders of varying skill levels.

The Surf City AIDS Ride began 10 years ago as the Century Ride, and is currently in its fifth year under the direction of the Santa Cruz AIDS Project (SCAP). Traditionally, it has commenced at Cabrillo College, but this year the riders will gather at the centrally located San Lorenzo Park on Dakota Avenue in Downtown Santa Cruz. Organizers say the change in the starting location will make the ride more accessible to Santa Cruz residents. Furthermore, they have plans for the park to provide a spacious and scenic venue for an all-day event. While the bicyclists endure the trek of 12, 30, 60, or 100 miles along the coast and through Santa Cruz and its neighboring counties, their cheerleaders will get to enjoy the luxury of homegrown entertainment: the park will be filled with comestibles provided by vendors, family-friendly games, and live local music. Ride organizers are encouraging all members of the community to partake in the festivities. 

The Surf City Ride does more than provide riders with a scenic tour of the Central Coast—all proceeds from the ride will benefit SCAP, for which funds are especially important this year. According to SCAP Executive Director Merle Smith, SCAP has been hit hard by federal and state budget cuts. She says the benefits from the ride will greatly contribute to the ongoing success and sustainability of the program.

Smith emphasizes that the vitality of the program is imperative, not only as a resource for those living with HIV or AIDS, but also as a prevention education provider.  For example, the program sponsors community outreach that seeks to educate teenagers about the risks of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases.  Smith says that young people too often feel that they are invincible and don’t realize that their decisions have consequences. She adds that educating is the means for promoting awareness. Awareness about the spread of the virus could help reduce the growth of AIDS in Santa Cruz County, where about 15 new cases have been recorded annually for the past six years, according to the Community Assessment Project.

Like SCAP, many potential riders are also facing hard economic times. But while the race does have some mandatory fees (these include registration and fundraising charges), organizers say the fees shouldn’t discourage participants. According to Smith, many of this year’s participants have exceeded their fundraising expectations in the community by petitioning for funds over the Internet. The 30-mile ride requires $60 to register (without fundraising) while the 60 and 100-mile rides cost $90. Meanwhile, the 12-mile ride has a sliding donation scale.

Riders come from all over the Santa Cruz area. Some are mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, or friends of people living with AIDS. Others participate for recreation and to support the SCAP cause. Jamie Morton, an art and sociology major at UC Santa Cruz, plans to participate in the 12-mile ride to test her athletic abilities. “I’ve never done a benefit ride, and I feel that it would be a positive and beneficial way to test endurance and strength,” says Morton. “I would encourage any bicycle enthusiasts to test their pedaling abilities while supporting SCAP.”

Other riders, known as “positive peddlers,” are participants living with HIV or AIDS. One positive peddler or “poz ped” who rode last year’s 60-mile route reported being astounded by both the “loving and positive attitude” of the riders and volunteers and the natural beauty of the California coastline.

Riding a bicycle, whether it’s for 12 miles or 100, makes certain demands on the body. The routes will be stocked with rest stops that will provide riders with food, beverages, and electrolyte boosters. These stops will be strategically placed to ensure a healthy energy level for the riders.

Those without the physical wherewithal to endure a day of pedaling can participate in the ride by volunteering.  A force of volunteers will run the revitalizing rest stops as well as the celebration at San Lorenzo Park. As far as SCAP is concerned, they say the more volunteers the merrier. Interested persons can either sign up to volunteer for the event online through the SCAP website or on the day of the ride. SCAP encourages volunteers to show up to support the Santa Cruz community and the ride.


To learn more about the Surf City AIDS Ride or to participate, visit scapsite.org/ride.php.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Pop Life

The pop-up dining trend is freeing culinary imaginations and creating a guerilla version of event dining around Santa Cruz

 

Over Hills and Plains, Riding a White Horse, Bow and Arrows in Hand

Saturday, early morning, the sun enters and radiates the light of Sagittarius. Three hours later, the Sagittarius new moon (0.07 degrees) occurs. “Let food be sought,” is the personality-building keynote. “Food” means experiences; all kinds, levels and types. It also means real food. Sag’s secret is their love of food. Many, if not musicians, are chefs. Some are both. The energies shift from Scorpio’s deep and transformative waters to the “hills and plains of Sagittarius.” Sag is the rider on a white horse, eyes focused on the mountain peaks of Capricorn (Initiation) ahead. Like Scorpio, Sagittarius is also the “disciple.” Adventure, luck, optimism, joy and the beginnings of gratitude are the hallmarks of Sagittarius. Sag is also one of the signs of silence. The battle lines were drawn in Libra and we were asked to choose where we stood. The Nine Tests were given in Scorpio and we emerged “warriors triumphant.” Now in Sag, we are to be the One-Pointed Disciple, riding over the plains on a white horse, bow and arrows in hand, eyes focused on the Path of Return ahead. Sagittarians are one-pointed (symbol of the arrow). Sag asks, “What is my life’s purpose?” This is their quest, from valleys, plains, meadows and hills, eyes aimed always at the mountaintop. Sag emerges from Scorpio’s deep waters, conflict and tests into the open air. Sag’s quest is humanity’s quest. Sag’s quest, however, is always accompanied by music and good food.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of November 21

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Pie Fidelity

A little Thanksgiving help, plus sip and shop locally at the Art, Wine and Gift Bazaar

 

What should be on everyone’s bucket list?

Hang gliding, because you're free as a bird. Jenni, Santa Cruz, Student/Administrative Assistant

 

Soquel Vineyards

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, so it’s time to be thinking about the wine you’re going to serve with that special dinner, be it turkey, ham, a roast, or something vegetarian or vegan.

 

The Kitchen

Chef Santos Majano talks beer-friendly food at Discretion Brewery