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On the road again

June 7, 2011

This week I’m climbing on my bicycle in San Francisco and pedaling…to Los Angeles. I’ve done it several times now. Each time, usually around the halfway point, Pismo Beach, I say to myself, “There’s gotta be an easier way to get down to LA.” And each time, I answer myself: “Yep. There are easier ways. But none as rewarding.”

I’m riding with 2,500 of my closest friends in AIDS/Lifecycle 10, the tenth anniversary of this 550-mile seven-day trip that raises money to combat HIV/AIDS. I say “closest friends” because riders really do feel a kinship around the common cause they support.

As a FedEx team member (by which I mean both an employee of FedEx Express and one of the 26 riders wearing the FedEx colors on this year’s ride), I’m proud that my company is a sponsor of AIDS/Lifecycle for the sixth consecutive year and a presenting sponsor again this year.

Most of us riding on the FedEx team, like many FedEx team members around the world, have been touched by HIV/AIDS in one way or another, through experiences of friends or family. We all share the hope of seeing this scourge wiped off the earth in our lifetime, and we all share the belief that our contributions, added to those of all the other riders and their supporters, can help make that dream a reality.

It’s sobering for me to realize that the first known case of HIV/AIDS surfaced thirty years ago, and that this ride to help eradicate it has been going on a decade already. If I forget, my knees will remind me somewhere along the California coast that time is indeed marching on, even though these rides have given me a healthier outlook on life. But time has also brought real progress against HIV/AIDS, and it’s fundraising efforts like this one that have helped make that possible.

And I know when my creaky knees crank me into camp at the end of each day of the ride, I’ll be greeted by the brightly colored FedEx “Special Delivery” van staffed by our volunteer FedEx “roadies,” sharing pictures of the day’s ride and making things generally more enjoyable for all the riders.

Every day, FedEx delivers packages to many thousands of customers. I like to think that as I ride down the coast – quite a bit slower than our packages travel – that I’m helping deliver hope.


    endora says:

    hi – saw your posting on the ALC twitter page and had to click on your Fedex blog page. I remember you from last year’s ride. Thanks for riding again and again. it’s true – once reality hits on the fourth or fifth day. that question “why am i doing this?” oh yeah thousands of people who live with AIDS need our support. this affects all of us and gives us riders something to ride for and have a greater cause to stand behind.
    be safe. see you on next year’s ride.
    much love

    Pamela Pope says:

    Even If I can’t join you in cycling, can I buy one of those shirts, would that help because I dig that shirt.

    Shawnee says:

    You are an inspiration and have the support from team ICTA in Wichita, Ks…RIDE ON!

    Diane Washington says:

    I would like to purchase a t-shirt to help fight AIDS

    Doretta Bailey says:

    Go Louie, I’m proud of you and what you are doing for the HIV/AIDS community. I’m an amateur rider but I too would like to purchase one of those shirts, especially if it is going towards the cause. Miss you and the Bay Area.

    Armen Nunez says:

    Keep on ridin Louie!!!
    Proud to be on the same team.
    Like they say,”Pain is all in the mind”
    It’s funny though that my mind keeps telling me it’s still hurts.

    Be safe out there.

    Jerry Mitchell says:

    I agree – great shirt. Where can I get one? Also, great cause…wish I were in San Fran or LA to ride with you.

    scott brown says:

    this looks like a fantastic charity ride . i am involved in a lot of cycle events in the uk for various charitys . is it possible as a fedex employee to get a fedex cycle shirt ? also is this event a yearly event and if so how do i get involved in taking part or donating. regards scott.

    Osman Wong says:

    It seems like wonderful!Federal Express not only delivers packages but also delivers hope!!!Well done!!Keep moving!!!

    Paulette says:

    Way to go Louie!! Say you on the bridge in Santa Cruz…keep on riding it is a great cause.

    Nicole says:

    Go Louie! I wish I could be there riding with you guys this year. Thank you for riding year after year and drawing attention to such a great cause. You are truly an inspiration!

    Tracy Burdeshaw says:

    I would like to know what company made the jerseys and jackets. Is there a way to make a purchase and also help raise funds for your ride?
    Shaun Merrill not sure what your issue is but if it is a FedEx Express issue, maybe you are asking the wrong people the wrong question. If you really do have an issue with a shipment and need help, I will be glad to look into it.

    ken says:

    i am interesting in purchasing a jersey and jacket. Where can thy be ordered?

    Carm Meafua says:

    Good Luck on the ride! I sure do miss being there with the team. Give my best to the entire team. Go FedEx!!!

    Denise says:

    What a great cause! My husband is a cyclist and also a FedEx employee and would like to join next year. What are the dates the ride happens? Great shirts!

    Doretta Bailey says:

    Hi Carm…..I miss you!!!! I’m surprise you were not a part of that fund raiser..LOL

    Sibylle says:

    Hello from Germany – i wish you all a unvorgettable ride!I wish i could come as well. I´m a cyclist,going to Italy, swiss alps, austria bcse this countries are our “neeghbors” but this event would be great to join!maybe we should make it international.I love your shirts-can i buy one? have a great time ! kind rgds Sibylle

    Jan Hardy says:

    Yes this is a wonderful ride. Since 1995 I have participated in this ride 15 times. By myself I have raised $85,000. Would like to continue this ride next year with my fellow Fed Ex employees until they release the cure. I lost my youngest brother to this virus May 16, 1990. Find the Cure, Release the Cure.
    Peace and Blessings,
    Jan Hardy
    LAX Hub

    Peter Scott says:

    Good luck to everyone on the ride. I am also interested in purchasing a jersey and jacket which I will wear proudly when I race in Ironman Canada this August.

    Brucester says:

    Good luck & much success

    Jesus Cuenca says:

    Welcome home riders! I was fortunate enough to ride ALC 5-7. ALC 7 I rode with Team FedEx and was a greater experience knowing the involvement we had in the event.

    If anyone is interested in riding or roadie ALC 11 let me know.

    PS:If anyone would be interested in forming a ALC 11 team?

    Dena M. Clements says:

    **I SAW YOU IN PISMO BEACH!!!** I am a Western Region trainer and I was teaching a class in Santa Maria. I couldn’t help but notice the miles and miles of cyclists! When I saw the FedEx purple I was so proud! Thank you!

    Normand Alain says:

    High five Louie! I lost my uncle to AIDS a few years a go, I ride too. So I would like to participate to your cause. Is it possible to purchase the Fedex cycling shirt and donate at the same time?

    Rosemary Paden says:

    Way to go Louie! This is really awesome. You have my support from Memphis!

    Lupe Lilomaiava says:

    Wooohoooo!!! Go Louie Gooooo!!! The best of luck to you and all the riders. I’ll be rooting for yall all the way out here in Texas.

    Louie Butler says:

    Thanks for all the well wishes. The ride was awesome again this year. I did not realize we had so many avid cyclist at FedEx! Unfortunately we do not have any extra jerseys. I have already signed up to participate in next years ride and would love to have more FedEx employees participate. If you would like to join us next year, please let me know! There are two ways to participate; as a cylcist or a roadie! Thanks again, Louie

    Doretta Bailey says:

    You are welcome Louie….but I got first dibbs on your jersey…LOL

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