Peter's Cycle for the Cause 2017

I'll start by saying that riding Cycle for the Cause is a very powerful thing. Sure, there is the actual riding component that I love. Those of you who know the feeling of distance riding know what I mean, and those of you who don’t — well, you should go out and ride at least a half-century in a non-urban setting to experience it. However, there is the feeling you get participating in something of this scope with so many other people to benefit something so important. It sounds hokey and uncharacteristically hippy-ish coming from me, but you develop this unexpected bond and feeling of camaraderie — family, even — with the others riders and crew. I was talking to someone who rides AIDS Life Cycle in California about it, and he agreed that it is almost impossible to put the experience into words. You just had to be there. I would encourage everyone to do it at least once, as either a rider or as crew.


I am already registered to ride again next year and am more than happy to take on teammates. We can be “The Rolling Grouches.”


Going through the Ride photo album, I found myself largely in the background, so if you want go to the Cycle for the Cause Facebook page and look in the 2017 album, you can totally play Where’s Waldo for me. I’ll start you off with two from Day 0: Pre-Boarding the bus to Boston. Good luck with that!
This one is easier. Note that you should always wear your helmet.
There’s nothing prettier than a few hundred bikes lined up and ready to go. You can feel their anticipation. At least you can feel it from Lorelei, if you can find her.


Day 1: Start

Getting up at the crack of dawn has never been easy, but sometimes you have no choice. I learned that there was indeed a 5 AM.



The weather was amazing and the scenery was breathtaking, with spooky early-morning fog, which is always the best way to start the day. I didn’t take many pictures while riding, since I always hate to stop and they would look a lot like last year’s anyway; however, if you watch the videos linked at the end of this page, you will get a good idea of what it was like.

I did take the time to stop and explore one of Connecticut’s many cemeteries.


I also decided to brake for animals:

Speaking of animals. I have become very attached to this particular elk. I feel like we have a real connection. By the way, if you join me on Team Rolling Grouches, you can wear one of these fancy jerseys and be really grouchy to everyone.


A narrative of this ride would not be complete without addressing the soundtrack. There was an official Cycle for the Cause Spotify channel based on requests from all the riders and crew. I'm sure it was great but anyone who knows me also knows that I have very specific requirements for my music. I let iTunes be my DJ, using my very carefully curated library. Sometimes iTunes makes some great choices (sorry to all the meatbag DJs I know.) These three random choices were totally well-timed and thematically appropriate. So much so that I played each one twice in a row and sang along in my best voice, keeping in mind that loud is the new good.


Day 2: Red Dress Day

It’s always a fun day when riders wear red — mostly red dresses (hence the name.) When watched from above, the riders look like a flowing red ribbon moving along the highway.

There was a huge contingent of great outfits. Sadly, mine was not well-thought-out and wound up too hot for me to wear beyond the first rest stop. Better luck next year, Peter.

There seem to be a lot of pictures of me waiting for the bathroom. Take from that what you will.

Here I am stripped down to my underpinnings. Day 2 is the longest day at just over 110 miles with just under 6,000 feet of elevation (including one climb of about 700 feet at mile 85.)
After a very long day. I finally roll into the finish line for the day. I should also add that this was the only day in all 3 years of doing this that I got a flat. It was a nasty industrial staple and even my Gatorskins were no defense.


I want to give a special shout-out to Marcus, the masked-red-dressed super hero who stopped to help me out while I changed my tube.

Day 3: The Final Stretch

The early morning start on Day 3 to get an idea of scope with all the riders coming up the hill.


Day 3 is probably the most picturesque with a majority of the miles on the Westchester North and South County Trails. There was an eerie fog and silence hanging in the air for most of the morning…eerie and very soothing. It is my favorite part of the route.


This is also the segment where I traditionally get injured, but not this year. So....hooray!


You can see the surprise on my face that I am NOT injured. Thanks to Rob for capturing the moment.


Our final stop while we regroup to roll to The Center for the closing ceremony. You can find me skulking in the background all over.


In the end we raised over $1.5 million for The Center’s HIV/AIDS programs.


I want to thank everyone involved with the ride: riders, crew, and organizers. As always, I could not ride without the incredibly hard work of the crew. Honestly, I think crewing is more exhausting than riding, and they do it all with a smile.

There is plenty of really beautiful video, some of which was shot with an aerial drone. The videos give a great sense of the scope of the ride, as well as the invigorating freedom that you feel as you pedal along through 4 states. I’ve included links to those videos because I think they say more than I ever could.






Why I ride in Cycle for the Cause.

We don't have a cure for, or a vaccine against HIV yet, but we do have the tools to stop it in its tracks. The first challenge is to educate everyone to get tested and provide the practical means for that testing.

The second challenge is to provide treatment to those infected to reduce their viral load to undetectable levels. To do this, we must ensure that testing and TREATMENT are accessible and affordable to all.


Once last thing:

I am riding again in 2018 and it is never too early to donate: and a hint to go with it: Once you contribute, I'll stop sending pesky pleas for support.