Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Arts.Advocacy+Wellness: "Braking The Cycle 2009 AIDS Ride: Meet Rider Ray Ronner"

This weekend will mark another exciting year for Braking The Cycle,
an annual Bike-Ride, which raises funds and awareness for HIV/AIDS Services of New York's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center

Last year I had the opportunity of participating in this bike-ride and I must say it was one of the bigger challenges I've faced in my life. Being on the road for 3 days, when you're at one with yourself and nature, its like an awakening of the soul; connecting you back to the simple things in life. I left the ride with so many emotions and with new found friends and new understanding of what life is really about. I shed tears and joy for my life, living with HIV, for friends who have passed on, and friends who are still journeying with the disease.

This week I had the opportunity of talking with one of the riders, Ray Ronner, who has become, over the course of 7 years, a familiar and loyal face of Braking The Cycle.

Here's what Ray had to share on his journey with Braking The Cycle:

Ray what was your passion behind Braking The Cycle?
In 1994 my ex lover committed suicide because he was at the end of his life with AIDS. He just couldn't deal any longer. After many 24's of drowning my sorrows I turned to The Center for grieve counseling. Later on in 1997 I started to get sober from drugs and alcohol and the meetings that I attended were all at The Center. In 2002 when I found out about the bike ride for The Centers HIV/AIDS services I decided that that was a good way to give back to The Center.

When did the first ride take place and what was it like?
The first ride was in 2003 and there were only 75 people involved and it was the best experience of a life time. I finally found a since of community that I was looking for.

How many rides have you participated in?
I have participated in all 7 of the rides.

Ray can you explain a typical day on the road during the actual ride.
Weather, scenery, neighborhoods, Rest points, other riders, etc.

The ride starts out with the Opening Ceremonies where we, as a
a community, come together to participate in an amazing 3 day event. We have a chance to really be there for one another. There are times when the speeches are being read that there are all sorts of emotions that come up. Without even asking there are people to give you their shoulder to cry on. As the day goes on the riders and crew support us the entire length of this journey. There have been time when riders have ridden back down a hill to help another rider get up the hill. The scenery is breathtaking and the message that we get to carry to people is amazing....

How can one sign-up?
Anyone can go to to sign up

This is a Future favorite 1 guilty pleasure.
How Guilty? Thank you Ray for taking the time to share with us at, why you ride and support Braking The Cycle.

This year's ride takes place from September 11-September 13
starting in Boston, Massachusetts and ending in New York City

Other important Facts:

Braking The Cycle, over the past 3 years, has delivered over $1.2 million to fund the HIV/AIDS Services at NYC's LGBT Center.
The ride spreads awareness through the towns and villages they visit along the way.

The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center has been at the forefront of providing services in the fight against HIV/AIDS since 1983.

  • The Center’s Mental Health and Social Services Department, its Youth Program and the related prevention and health policy programs serve more than 3,000 LGBT New Yorkers annually.
  • 1,200 LGBT adults are annually assisted on-site, 33% of whom are people living with HIV or AIDS. An additional 1000 people are provided services off-site, for a total of 7,500 contacts per year.
  • More than 1,000 teens come to the Center annually for services and leadership training in HIV prevention.
  • Numerous HIV/AIDS support and advocacy groups meet regularly at the Center. But there’s much more left to be done. Please join the effort, and help us break the cycle of HIV/AIDS.

Interested in finding out more on Braking The Cycle and how you can be part of the 2011 journey?
call 212.989.1111 or visit

For more information on services provided by NYC's LGBT Center
call 212-620-7310 or visit

You can learn more about HIV/AIDS Facts in the US

1 comment:

Kelly said...

Very great cause! Thanks for the story and the information.





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