Biking for AIDS awareness and a cure


DURHAM, Calif. - A bike ride put on by Nor-Cal AIDS Cycle that began Thursday in Folsom Lake came through Durham Friday morning. It's the first leg in a 330-mile journey to raise money and awareness about AIDS.

"I do it because I've lost some friends [to AIDS] and I like to ride for a good cause," said Rene Reis of Sacramento. Many of the bicyclists are riding in remembrance of lost loved ones or friends who died of the disease back in the 80s and 90s. But over the last couple of decades there have been great medical advances and people are living longer with the disease. And that has some of the bicyclists concerned that there is no longer a sense of urgency in finding a cure. But there is a growing concern with infection among young people.

"One in four new cases is between the ages of 13 and 24," said Scott Lewis, who represents a food bank to assist those living with AIDS in Shasta, Trinity and Tehama counties. "And it's on an up-rise." Nor-Cal AIDS Cycle hopes to peddle its way to a half million dollars to help care for those with AIDS in the short run and find a cure in the long run.

"While you can live with the infection and take medication you could have complications that lead to other things," said Lewis. "You still have a compromised immune system so when other things come along you have a harder time fighting them." The bicyclists 330-mile trek winds up Sunday at Cesar Chavez Park in Sacramento on Sunday afternoon.