About Rowena

Hello, my name is Ro, and I believe that it is possible for you to turn your ordinary life into an extraordinary life - to find true happiness, while remaining, selfless, mindful and compassionate towards other living beings. Here at my blog, I interview and post articles by musicians, writers, world travelers, humanitarians and other amazing individuals who are doing just that. I also share with you various anecdotes about my own totally awesome existence as a musician, composer, journalist, environmentalist, and compassionati. My hope is to connect with you, enlighten you, inspire you and lead you down the path to true happiness. Compassion is always in fashion and it starts with you loving that most important of people, yourself.

October 12, 2010

Braking The Cycle: by Terry Christopher

Terry Christopher
This is a guest post by New York City based singer-songwriter Terry Christopher about the 3 day, 300 mile bike riding event known as  Braking the Cycle.  Terry has participated in this great event 3 years in a row and his heartfelt description of the experience and words of encouragement to all of us to involve ourselves each in our own way in humanitarian efforts are truly poignant and inspiring!  - Ro.

3 years ago I watched yet another friend lose his life due to HIV/AIDS and the complications. I was just far enough outside this circle of friends to be affected personally but on the fringe enough to watch from a 3rd person perspective, the vacuum effect of ones passing and the devastation of the loss of life. I hadn't experienced this so much in my face for quite some time and it was shocking, mortifying and quite honestly pissed me right the Hell off that people were still dying from this disease. I took it as a call to action.

In 2008, 2009, and just two weeks ago, I was part of a special group of people who take their loss, their frustration, their anger and even some their own HIV+ status out on the road to become a visible symbol on the road riding our bikes for 300 miles through 4 states in 3 days in Braking the Cycle. It's grueling, it's challenging, it's frustrating, it's painful and so is living with and fighting HIV.

I call us Road Warriors. Each of us is called and driven by different reasons. We each bring with us stories of those we have lost, those who we no longer can pick up the phone to call, or shoot an e-mail to because they simply are not here with us. Some come because they have friends who are currently living successful, full but challenged lives as someone who is HIV+ or are an HIV+ Rider themselves. Whatever the motivation and regardless of the circumstances, we train for months on end serving up our weekends/early mornings/evenings as opportunities to get in shape to face the 3 day event called, Braking The Cycle.

We share the road with each other and cheer each other on mile after mile. We pull into a rest/break area called an Oasis to reload the water bottles, grab some grub, make a needed 'relief' stop to climb back on our two wheeled modes to transport to journey another few miles down the line to repeat that process. We do that upwards of 8 or 9 times a day for 3 days. We are supported by an amazing volunteer crew who make it their personal business to assist us Riders in any way they can from keeping us safe, guided, directed to feed, housed, and out the next day. It is simply a remarkable life changing and affirming experience.

What awaits us at the end is a homecoming in front of the LGBT Center that salutes each of us that has ridden, gives acknowledgment to the Herculean task that we have just completed while honoring the memories of thousands for whom we dedicate our Ride. This year through various events, fundraisers, e-mail campaigns and Facebook postings, the 125 Riders of Braking The Cycle raised a whopping $318,000.00 as of closing ceremony on Sunday, September 26th, 2010.

Every community has causes at its core that are needing people like those of us who ride in Braking The Cycle. Do an AIDS Ride, commit to a Breast Cancer Walk, sign up for a Suicide Prevention fundraiser. Become a part of the calling for the greater good of all us. If each of us found a cause or causes, charitable organization to champion and volunteer for passionately, annually and at times, exhaustively, I believe we would see a collective growth in humanitarian efforts like that never seen before. Live the life you want to live for yourself and for others. Be a pilot in your life and live presently as opposed to passively and as a passenger.

Terry Christopher

Please visit the provided link to get a glimpse into the 3 day/300 mile event that is Braking The Cycle!


Notes from Ro:

You more information about Braking the Cycle click here Braking the Cycle

For more information about singer- songwriter Terry Christopher and his award winning music please click on Terry Christopher .    

I would also like to personally recommend the following CD to benefit Braking the Cycle:  United for the Ride Vol I.



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