Jason Sikkila's fundraising page for the upcoming AIDS/LifeCycle event.
On June 3, Jason Sikkila will mount his bicycle in San Francisco and start peddling south. Over the course of a week, he'll bike through Santa Cruz, Paso Robles, Ventura and a handful of other towns you know primarily as "those places out by the beach," before ending up in Los Angeles, 545 miles away from where he started, on June 9. He'll be just one of the more than 2,000 people expected to make the trek this year in a now decade-long effort to raise funds for fighting—and awareness about—HIV/AIDS. Sikkila isn't joining the pack just because he needs to or because he wants to—though those are reasons too, he says—but because he is able to.
The first time that he participated in AIDS/LifeCycle, back in 2010, Sikkila recently wrote in a moving short personal essay for The Advocate's website ("What It Really Means to Be a Positive Peddler," May 11), he didn't believe the kick-off words of Lorri L. Jean, then as now the CEO of the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center, the world's largest LGBT organization with thousands of volunteers, and a frequent member of "most powerful gay and lesbian people in the country" lists. "AIDS/LifeCycle is a life-changing event," she said. "You will not complete this ride and leave here the same person you are today."