Early this morning in San Francisco, NoMoreDownLow’s co-host Janora McDuffie, began her 545-mile trek back to Los Angeles as one of only a hand full of African American LGBT people of color participating in the 10th Annual AIDS LifeCycle Ride. There are over 3,000 participants in this year’s event from all over the world. This year marks the 30th year, (I chose not to say anniversary), of the discovery of AIDS. For the next 7-days, Janora, representing team Federal Express, will put herself through the paces of peddling up steep hills and flying down coasting into the valleys in a effort to raise awareness about the rising rates of HIV infection among women of color.
Supporting Janora on this challenge is her best friend Mya, who is also riding, NoMoreDownLow’s, Executive Producer, Earnest Winborne, and co-producer Calvin Fleming, who have both volunteered as PR and media captains for the event.
The ride began around 6:45 a.m., pacific daylight time on today, June 5th, and headed south overlooking the postcard picture perfect Pacific Coast Highway, Route 101.
Janora arrived at the lunch stop just past the 5-hour mark in good spirits, despite harboring tremendous fear just weeks before the ride. As you may have seen from the past two episodes of NoMoreDownLow, Janora has working hard to prepare for the challenge. But how does one really prepare for a 7-day bike ride? And to add fuel to her anxiety, her bike, which was donated by a very special friend, accidently fell from her car on the 10 freeway in LA, just weeks before the event. The trauma of this caused her to have second thoughts about participate and following thought on her goal of raising $6,000 for HIV & AIDS services for the LA Gay and Lesbian Center and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. But, as seen in Episode #108, veteran Life Cyclist, Doreen Gonzales, donated a bike Janora.
And so the journey begins. Stay tuned to NoMoreDownLow all this week as we update you on Janora’s progress as she rides to draw attention to the issue of African American Women and HIV.