The Friends for Life Bike Rally is a thing we do around here.
Indeed, going way back, doing the rally was part of my half of the fittest by fifty challenge that got the whole blog rolling.
And in 2019, the last prepandemic year, it was year 6.
But like everyone else I don’t know how to think about 2020 and 2021, years of virtual riding with just a little bit of fundraising. They’re the hazy years. They happened. I’ll give them that. Were they year 7 and 8? I don’t think so. Maybe? I don’t know.
So this year is either year 7 or year 9. Depending.
I’ve even been putting off writing this post because everything still feels so tentative.
I’m just back from my first in person Philosophy conference and I felt the same way about that. I booked a ticket, I paid my registration, I got a room at the hotel but part of me was convinced that it wasn’t going to happen. I told myself that even if the conference got moved online, I’d still fly to Vancouver and take part virtually from my room at the Westin Bayshore.
But people, it happened. It really did. And it was amazing to see friends and research collaborators after more than two years apart. The energy at the Pacific APA was so good. We all kept smiling, hugging, talking and then looking around shocked that this was happening.
I’ve come home inspired by my discipline, by the work that we do as feminist philosophers. I was working on a paper on the flight home! Well, an abstract for a paper, but still.
So likewise I was been reluctant to start training, to start fundraising, because who knows maybe the bike rally won’t really happen?
Gradually though it’s starting to dawn on me that it will happen. This academic conference I’m just back from inspired me. The energy from that in person event has me excited about the other events I’m looking forward to, including the bike rally.
We will be riding to Montreal again with a community of cyclists to raise money for the Toronto People With AIDS Foundation. We will!
Please help us out and make this feel real. Help us make a difference in the lives of people living with AIDS.
“The Bike Rally will take place August 7-12th 2022. Get involved as a 6-Day Rider or Crew (Toronto to Montreal), 3-Day Rider (Kingston to Montreal), or 1-Day Rider (Toronto to Port Hope). The Friends for Life Bike Rally is the only volunteer-led ride that brings people together for an inclusive, supportive, and life-changing challenge that inspires much-needed help for people living with HIV/AIDS in Toronto, Kingston and Montréal. The Friends For Life Bike Rally raises funds for three AIDS Service Organizations located along the cycling route, with the founding organization and primary beneficiary being PWA (Toronto People With AIDS Foundation). Participants from the Kingston area support HIV/AIDS Regional Services, while proceeds from Québec participants support AIDS Community Care Montréal. The money raised by the Bike Rally funds programs provided by each agency and include financial assistance, therapeutic care, access to affordable medications, harm reduction, food programs, and much more.”