An Inland Empire bicyclist is training for the 545-mile 2013 Ride to End AIDS, from San Francisco to Los Angeles, and she is seeking sponsors.
Breanna "Breezy" Rondilone, 22, of Riverside, describes herself as a 22-year-old vegan cyclist, activist, musician and organizer.
The AIDS/Lifecycle Ride to End AIDS, scheduled June 2 to June 8, starts at the Cow Palace in Daly City and ends on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles.
The route passes through Santa Cruz, King City, Paso Robles, Santa Maria, Lompoc, Ventura and Malibu to benefit the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center, agencies that lead efforts to provide ciritical services for people living with HIV.
"I know a lot of people in the gay and lesbian community, and everybody's affected by AIDS, it's a part of our lives," Breezy said in an interview with Redlands-Loma Linda Patch. "I really appreciate what the LA Gay & Lesbian Center does for people with AIDS and I think it's important to try and help them out."
The ride is six months away but Breezy is making an early start recruiting sponsors in the buildup to Christmas.
"At the beginning of the holiday season a lot of people are feeling generous and looking for ways to help, so we're definitely hoping to tap into that," Breezy said. "It's never too early to support the riders because we can earn incentives, such as wind vests, jerseys and gear that's helpful for people on long rides."
Breezy was raised in Riverside and the Newport Beach area. She says she began riding in March 2012 and she rides fixed-gear only, but she's still managed three or four centuries - round-trip rides from Riverside to Huntington Beach, each totaling more than a hundred miles at the end of the day.
In early November she went to an Inland Empire kickoff party for the 2013 AIDS/Lifecycle event at Empire Bikes in Chino Hills. A supervisor at the shop was impressed that she's done so much on a fixed and offered her a road bike with multiple gears - the kind of bike that can ease the strain of cranking more than 500 miles in a week.
"He gave me a orange-and-yellow Trek 1000SL," Breezy said. "It's really nice, needs a few adjustments. I'm looking forward to putting a lot of miles on it."
Breezy is an acoustic folk guitarist and singer, and she's planning a benefit show Dec. 14 at Back to the Grind Coffee Shop on University Avenue in Riverside.
According to AIDS/LifeCycle, an estimated 7,000 Californians will become infected with AIDS in the coming year.
"Nearly 1 in 10 of the nation's HIV-positive people lives in California and the state ranks second in the nation in cumulative AIDS cases at nearly 160,000, surpassed only by New York," AIDS/LifeCycle officials say.
Since the AIDS epidemic began in 1981, more than 31,000 people in the Los Angeles area have died of AIDS-related causes, according to AIDS/LifeCycle.
In San Francisco, more than 28,000 residents have been diagnosed with AIDS since 1981, according to AIDS/LifeCycle.
To view a map of the route for the 2013 Ride to End AIDS see the image attached to this report or visit www.aidslifecycle.org/life-on-the-event/route.
To make a donation to help sponsor Breezy's ride, click the following link www.tofighthiv.org/site=personal.