Posted by: derekchad | June 4, 2011

Orientation Day

Although we start pedaling towards LA tomorrow, AIDS/LifeCycle really began today, on Orientation Day. Participants, both Cyclists and volunteer “Roadies” arrive from all over the world to check in and take care of last-minute logistics. Cyclists must meet their fundraising minimum and park their bikes in bike parking for tomorrow’s ride-out, and Roadies have meetings to prepare them for the hard week of work ahead. Everyone must get their tent assignment (unless they did it online ahead of time), and view the Orientation and Safety video.

With tomorrow marking the 30th anniversary of the first reported cases of AIDS, a special activity was also planned for today; several hundred of us donned red t-shirts and posed as a human ribbon to honor those we’ve lost.

For the past seven years, Orientation Day has been miserable for me. Even the two years when I was able to participate as a cyclist during my tenure at SFAF, I was still required to work on Orientation Day, and it was always very stressful. Today was a wonderful change, as I was able to go through the process with my friends and not really worry about anything. Team Mary was representin’ in our swank new jackets!

A special surprise awaited me at check-in. I received a special gold pendant honoring the fact that I’m one of the very few people who have been a part of every AIDS/LifeCycle since the beginning (as a rider for ALC1, ALC2, ALC5, ALC8, and now ALC10, and as a staff member for all the others). I’ve given alot of myself to this event over the last decade, and gotten even more in return, and it feels very nice to be recognized for that.  (The other chip is the tent chip, which is my tent address; you’re supposed to wear it around your neck so you don’t forget where to set up your tent.  It happens.)

After Orientation Day, I stopped by my friend and co-worker Justin’s house to say hi and pick up some rain gear for tomorrow. His little girls were literally bouncing off the walls with excitement and showing off for me. Justin and his wife made a very generous donation towards the ride in my behalf, which was matched by his wife’s employer, and now Justin’s lent me a great jacket, shoe covers and gloves which will help keep me warm and dry tomorrow. A special thanks to you, Ryckebusches!

Whether it rains tomorrow or not the San Francisco sky is beautiful this evening.

And now it’s time for bed…I’ve got a big day ahead of me tomorrow!



  1. A wonderful honor/recognition for a wonderful person! We’re all so proud of you Derek!

  2. Have a wonderful ride. Logan, Miyake and I are so very proud of you. Love you Monkey!!!

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