AIDS Lifecycle: Every year, this landmark ride through beautiful California delivers a life-changing experience for thousands of participants from all backgrounds and fitness levels united by a common desire to do something heroic. Whether you’re considering your first ride or are a seasoned veteran, we want you with us on AIDS/LifeCycle 2017. You belong here.
- Seven days and each is different: You’ll ride an average of 80 miles a day over varying terrain.
- One day, you’ll be riding a flat route along the coast or through artichoke and strawberry fields, the next you might be riding through fog banks and foothills.
- No matter what, you can count on the constant presence of our Roadies on the route, who help keep everyone safe and sound.
- Stunning views, historic destinations, and even the chance to spot doo
Day 1: San Francisco to Santa Cruz
Begins at Cow Palace ends at Harvey West Park (approx. 82 miles). The route on Day 1 offers some of the best scenery and cycling roads that San Mateo County has to offer. The stunning coastal views from hilltops to the ocean are truly Northern California at its best! Tailwinds prevail as we pedal along scenic CA Hwy 1 on our way to camp. Highlight of the day: The lunch stop on Day 1 offers a spectacular and breathtaking view of the ocean so be sure to take some selfies!
Day 2: Santa Cruz to King City
Begins at Harvey West Park ends at San Lorenzo County Park (approx. 109.5 miles). Rise and shine early on Day 2 to beat the morning rush hour commuters and get an early start on your second day in the saddle! This is a long mileage day with relatively flat terrain that will take us through the Salinas Valley, also known as Steinbeck Country. The lushness of vineyards, strawberry and artichoke fields stretch as far as the eye can see in all directions. Highlights of the day include The Otter Pop guys at the Water Stop (which is at the Soledad Mission; make sure you stop into the mission where you can reflect on The Ride’s purpose and sign their altar cloth for a loved one), fried artichokes, and the Cookie Lady.
To alleviate congestion, and the challenge of riding out of Santa Cruz during heavy commute time, the route will open at 6:15am on Day 2, barring any route or rest stop issues. Bike Parking will be open beginning at 5:45 to help facilitate getting cyclists on the route earlier.
Day 3: King City to Paso Robles
Begins atSan Lorenzo County Park ends at Mid State Fairgrounds (approx. 65.3 miles). Quadbuster. Don’t let the name scare you. You are sure to make it to the top with your fellow cyclists (and perhaps a special guest) cheering you on and up! But Quadbuster is only a small part of the route on Day 3. Lunch is at the small town of Bradley, which has embraced the ride with open arms. You will pedal on remote roads passing only a few small quaint stores, mostly later in the day. Rolling hills through beautiful countryside will take you into camp.
Day 4: Paso Robles to Santa Maria
Begins at Mid State Fairgrounds ends at Preisker Park (approx. 91.4 miles). The route on Day 4 has a little bit of everything…a feast for the eyes with stunning vistas and ocean views that give way to sprawling fields of farmland and even some quaint seaside towns. The route will wind along some remote and seldom-traveled roads as well as some congested town streets. Before lunch, you will conquer the infamous Evil Twins. The views from the top of that second sister hill are nothing short of spectacular and you may even find yourself forgetting that you are pedaling uphill. From there, you will ride back out to the coast and through the city of Pismo Beach (Do I smell Cinnamon Rolls?) and on into camp. Highlight of the day: Half Way to LA!! At the top of the second sister hill, you will come upon a vista point turnout where you will have the opportunity to have your picture taken with the Half Way to LA sign! Don’t forget your camera on this day!! (Note: but don’t dally too long–you still have a lot of miles to cover!)
Day 5: Santa Maria to Lompoc
Begins at Preisker Park ends at Ryon Memorial Park (approx. 43 miles). As soon as you roll out of your tent, you will realize that this is not just another day in the saddle. Today, it is an AIDS/Life tradition to ride in our AIDS awareness red best. You will look like a fabulous red ribbon on wheels as you head out of Camp 4 on our way south towards Rest Stop 1 at Pioneer Park. We’ll be on a route through Santa Maria and the ‘All American City’ has worked hard to create some really nice bike lanes. Enjoy them! As you approach the switchbacks after Rest Stop 2 that originally inspired early AIDS riders to don red, be sure to look up at the hills to get your own peek at the red ribbon bicycle parade. The route on this day affords beautiful vistas and light traffic. As you enter Lompoc, keep your eyes peeled after lunch for wildflowers! The mileage may be a little shorter today but there is certainly no shortage of beauty and fun.
Day 6: Lompoc to Ventura
Begins at Ryon Memorial Park at San Buenaventura State Beach (approx. 88.1 miles). Day 6 begins on one of the prettiest roads on the entire route. You will pedal through vast expansive ranchlands with wildflower-covered hills on both sides! As you ride toward the coast through the gorgeous Gaviota Pass, you will be on US101. This is a well-travelled freeway and caution should be practiced at all times along this portion of the route. After lunch, you will pass through the heart of Santa Barbara, Montecito and Carpinteria, and on into Ventura, where we camp at San Buenaventura State Beach. Highlight of the day: Day 6 is your best bet for dolphin sightings!! Cast an eye to the sea and perhaps you will glimpse those playful creatures jumping in and out of the water as they frolic just off the coast.
Day 7: Ventura to Los Angeles
Begins at San Buenaventura State Beach at Fairfax High School (approx. 67.2 miles).Almost there! Today, your trip south will take you through Ventura, Oxnard and Port Hueneme (pronounced Why-Knee-Me) and Malibu. You will see the military planes on display as you ride past the Naval Air Station on your way to Highway 1, also known as the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH). Once on PCH, it’s a straight shot down the coastline for about 30 miles. Enjoy the southern California sights of surfers and beach goers as you pedal through Malibu on your way toward LA. You will complete your journey with a turn away from the coast and nice pedal through Santa Monica on your way to the Closing Ceremonies site. Highlight of the day: The streets are peppered along the route on Day 7 with friends, family, and well-wishers. Enjoy your hero’s welcome … you deserve it.
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Trip in 2017
June 4th – 10th
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