Thanksgiving to World AIDS Day

Thank you. Thank you for acknowledging the power of a virus to ravage lives. Thank you for extending compassion to every human being, protec...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Bicycles, 45, lined up against the wind, rolling over 4 states, carried by ferry & bus, winding past National Monuments, moving us along.

Inclusive. Men & women. Young & not so young. HIV positive & negative. Crew & cyclists. Mothers, sons, fathers, daughters, sisters, brothers, husbands, wives, friends. Gay & straight. Scientists, office workers, students, doctors, laborers, engineers, artists, job seekers. Riding for one & riding for all.

Needing to unravel the mystery to defeat HIV.

Giving every ounce of strength, time and energy.
Open hearts, open minds, opening your pocketbooks.

! To win a victory over HIV and end AIDS.

The winning combination that was the NYCDC AIDS Research Ride,
four days in September, 2009.
Click for photo album, in progress

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Here Comes the Sun

Day 4 - Boarding the Patriot to cross the Chesapeake, then on to DC!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Tilghman Island Arrival

83 miles in 3 states - DONE!
Time for beer and Maryland Blues on George Mason University College of Science.
Sent on the go. Follow along at


After 3.5miles in NJ, 40 miles in Delaware.

Breakfast at Ferry Terminal

After 3.5miles thru NJ, we'll ferry to Lewes, Delaware. Good thing I did all that ferry training!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Puget Sound Riders Celebrate 10th Season

When the call went out to round up riders registered for the 2000 Alaska AIDS Vaccine Ride, Jon Fehrenbach answered. That year, and every year since, Jon has posted and led a perfectly calibrated schedule to prepare any cyclist for that year's AIDS ride.
Whether 1 or 45 Puget Sound Riders participate in an annual AIDS ride, all PSR are supporters - keeping company our many training rides, making donations, encouraging others and general moral support. Most importantly, in 10 riding seasons, the Puget Sound Riders have generated over $500,000 for AIDS research and service organizations in Alaska, Montana, Oregon, Washington, California and New York. That's cause for celebration and tonight, after initiating our newest PSR member (Dr.Wu), we did.

Back to the Atlantic

Sisters make it to the other beach again. Will take a pass on swimming this year.

Ready to Ride

Lunch at bird observatory then 30 miles to Cape May.

A September Ride

Rain has stopped but much of first half of route is under water and/or debris so we're bussing to 30miles out of Cape May.

High and Dry

Departing our dry cabin. Headed to PM rest stop where we'll ride into Cap May.


The National Weather Service...

Has issued a tornado watch for the entire path of today's route. VERY grateful for a dry spot to hang out on this highly typical Day2.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Rain, Rain, Go Away

Bike shoes dry by the fire.
Sent on the go. Follow along at

Are You With Me Dr. Wu?

Admit it, you knew Steely Dan would make an appearance eventually... Our beneficiary, Dr. Wu gave a motivational send off to the riders this morning, then got on his Felt and slid right into our world of "on your left", "right turn", "HOLE!" Who knew we cyclists would make such an impression on our beneficiary that he'd buy a bike, commit to train and push thru the wind and rain right with us.
There was no mystery in how my fellow riders fell protectively in front and behind Yuntao (formality drops on the road), making sure no harm could possibly come to the man who could indeed stop AIDS.
Dr. Wu finished the day in the rain with the rest of us yet still had the energy to explain his HIV research over dinner. In fact, you'll forgive me if I get back to that now...

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

First We Take Manhattan

West coast riders Jill Norris (CA ride buddy & colleague), Jon Fehrenbach and sister Tam (both Puget Sound Riders) converged east at the southern tip of Manhattan this morning for a pre-Ride NYC loop. Ferrying in with Tam & Jill were a few more NYCDC riders & crew, in for a day of sightseeing.
Cycling the West Side trail north, we ran (almost literally) into fellow PSR Elizabeth and her sister who lives nearby - small world NYC. Who knew?
We circled around Central Park then grabbed a sandwich at Zabars for a picnic at Riverside Park. Fed and caught up on voicemails, we contined north past the ESAR finish line at St. John the Devine, then on to Grant's tomb.
It was a quick trip back on the trail, hitting the Financial District at rush hour, in time to catch the 5:30 ferry to Atlantic Highlands.
AWESOME happy hour ferry ride (as I type). We'll grab dinner with friends, listen to the Prez and catch some shut eye.
Ride out at 0800!

Monday, September 7, 2009

It's Show Time!

"Although this is the second NYCDC AIDS Ride, which was founded to raise money for the George Mason University professor and researcher, it will be the first time Wu cycles alongside the roughly 50 others who are riding from New York City to Washington to support his efforts."

Check out yesterday's entire Washington Post article about the exciting new cyclist joining this year's ride, then bookmark this blog for daily updates on everything from the state of my calf muscles, ice cream stops and flat tire counts to how Dr. Wu likes his PB&J and how quickly his lab will halt HIV.

Post your thoughts & questions for the lab team as blog post comments or message me on Facebook or Twitter, where @AIDSRider GG (that's me) will tweet along with the entire cast of NYCDC AIDS Research Ride characters @AIDSRides.

As always, thanks for the support bringing us ever closer to a cure for AIDS.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Riding With, Once Again

Tammie is jetting to the US Open as I type. No doubt, her suitcase contains a dozen cute tennis outfits, a good pair of sneakers, more than one autograph pen and absolutely no sunscreen. Though packed right next to that are her cycling shoes, 4 pair of bike shorts (3 borrowed from me) and just the right assortment of jerseys to keep her from getting strange biker tan lines. You see, right after finally getting to witness the US Open in person, my sister Tammie is joining me on the NYCDC AIDS Research Ride.

Lest you think my younger sister is merely a sun-worshipping autograph hound, it's important you know that without her influence a certain middle-aged mom of two young kids likely would not have gotten on a bicycle, let alone attempted a multi-day ride. In the late 90s, Tammie was the cyclist. She'd told me for years about her 2-3 day treks around the Puget Sound but that was something for the "recreation professional" in the family, not me. Then I saw a news blurb about a group of cyclists finishing a multi-day AIDS ride at our Nation's Capitol.

Tammie and I sandwiched our brother Bret in birth order. We'd lost Bret to AIDS earlier that year, so when I saw the news story, everything just clicked. I called Tammie immediately, saying I wanted to start riding with her, "One day an AIDS ride will come to our neighborhood and I want to be ready."

The following summer we rode a local MS150 for practice - on a 10-speed no less. Our primary goal was to finish each day on our bikes and not get swept in because we were too slow. We accomplished that and were pretty proud of our 10mph average too!

The very next summer, an AIDS ride came to our neck of the woods. Tammie & I rode together in the 1997 and 1998 Ride for a Reason, then the AIDS Vaccine Rides in Alaska (2000) and Montana (2001). Since then, Tammie plays tennis, cards, bunko, kayaks, sails, swims - you name it, she plays it - but I'm not sure the bike has touched the ground.

One of the reasons my fellow, active Puget Sound Riders chose to take it down a few notches and register for the shorter, flatter ride from NYC-DC this year was to draw back some of our teammates who'd been off their bikes for a while, including Tumblin' Tam - a nickname earned on the finish line of the 1998 Ride for a Reason.

I couldn't be happier she accepted the challenge and I'll be back to wearing this picture on my ride jersies, captioned,"Riding with and for Bret Granato
July 21, 1959 - May 5, 1995"

And to think we'll end this 4 day journey by pedaling together into the Nation's Capitol exactly how I'd been inspired 14yrs ago --- priceless!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Shiny Bright at Heart

Something about pulling down the duffel and rummaging for Ziploc bags brings on the urge to polish my steed. So I did. Though unlike years past, it wasn't in preparation for packing. The bike I'll ride from NYC to DC next week is already on the east coast. For the first time in 7 AIDS rides and nearly 20,000 miles, Stellar will stay home.

Under the setting sun, I lovingly scrubbed the season's rainy road grime off her frame and chain, buffed every paint scratch and noted how the mylar decal held long past her shiny new sibling's. All polished and clean, she went to hang next to her California cousin, under Kyle's racing numbers as if they could influence her into faster speeds.

Stellar has plenty more miles left in her but will welcome a break, much like her rider welcomes next week's flatter, shorter ride. She'll be back with a vengeance early next season when there's a chance of rain in the forecast, snow beside the road and the warmth of early spring sun in the air. We may get a bit rusty but there'll be no packing it in for these ol' gals. Not while there's a battle left to be won.