Stuntman And Lover Of Cheese

by Dan Bostonweeks

AIDS/LifeCycle 6: Day 5 - Santa Maria to Lompoc

Every year on the AIDS/LifeCycle they have one day that is significantly shorter in duration than the others. That is Day 5. It is 43 miles and the tradition is to dress in red (or, wear a red dress depending on whom you talk to). Day 5 is also a very hilly day and the collective effect of a couple of thousand cyclists dressed in red is like a red ribbon flowing down the road. Today my ankle was in a lot more pain than it’s ever been in before. There was one point in Vandenburg Air Force Base that I wanted to get off the bike and throw it off the hill and call it quits. I didn’t, I knew I couldn’t because that’s not why I was there. Thousands of people living with HIV and AIDS don’t give up and neither can I. Our entire group stayed together for most of the day. I was the slowest one so I caught up with the folks at the lunch stop, where we didn’t eat lunch. From there we all rode together to Lompoc and into town to eat at the Budget Dinner. We had a great assortment of burgers and pancakes and like last year it was a great time. After lunch Sal, Kevin, and I rode further into town to find the Walgreen’s to pick up some needed supplies for the group. Getting back to camp so early, even with the detour into town, is always a great time. At dinner we got to witness a rocket launch from Vandenburg. We saw it before we heard it. It was nice to be able to witness something like that.