ast month, Stacey Lakind, a Torrence, Calif, resident orig-
inally from Farmington Hills, participated in her second
California AIDS Ride. She raised over $3,300 and biked
525 miles down the California coast. Along the way, she
kept a journal.
She writes: "This is the one time during the year that I can
give back to the community. I did volunteer work at Michigan
State University, but I haven't really done anything since I moved
out to California. AIDS is a pretty easy cause to get into here.
Last year, I saw an ad for the ride and thought it was a perfect
way to see the California coast. On top of that, AIDS is a cause
I feel strongly about. I don't have any friends who have died from
the disease, but, unfortunately, I'm sure I will. Another bonus to
this ride is it really educates people, especially those living in
This ride definitely took its toll on me. I gave up my weekends
for two months to train. During the week, I rode for an hour three
times a week. I knew I could finish the ride because I did it last
year and knew what to expect.
A former Detroiter undertakes a
500-plus-mile ride for AIDS.
STACEY LAKIND SPECIAL TO THEJEWISH NEWS
Left: Suzi Stewart and Stacey
bonding along the way.
Right: Small-town stops were
prevalent along the ride.
Day 1— 94 Miles
It's 9:30 p.m., and I'm already
tucked away in my sleeping bag
in our tent. My mother, who
came on the ride as a volunteer
all the way from Farmington
Hills, is still reorganizing her be-
longings for the 10th time.
We arrived here, in San Fran-
cisco, yesterday and I met up
with my mom. I hadn't seen her
since Jan. 1. She had three bags
instead of the one we were sup-
posed to bring.
As we checked in, my mom
stood in the pledge line for me
while I went to the hour-long
safety meeting. My pledge total
added up to $3,365.
Before we left, we heard a
bunch of inspiring speeches and
then everyone held his or her
neighbors' hands when the rid-
erless bike, symbolizing a person
who died of AIDS, went by. Need-
less to say, it was emotional.
The ride out of the pavilion
was extremely exciting with all
the people cheering us on. As I
rode out, I saw my mom and
some of my friends yelling and
waving. That kind of support
makes me feel so wonderful
about what I'm doing this week.
The day was long, hot and full
of hills. I felt real strong on the
climbs. The heat really kicked in
that day with temperatures over
90 degrees. Fortunately, there
was a guy cooling us off with wa-
ter. Since it was Sunday, there
was a ton of traffic, especially on
the one-way roads.
I left San Francisco at 8 a.m.
and arrived in Santa Cruz around
5 p.m. I love this town. People held
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