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Craig HerreraThe ride is over and I am now at home reminiscing about last week and the incredible time we all had on AIDS/LifeCycle 7.

I can’t believe it’s over, it seems so long ago and I miss the community we formed along the 545 plus miles we traveled on our bicycles with 2500 other riders and 500 roadies (volunteers). I already miss being on my bike and making new friends! All that mattered to me last week was riding my bike and thinking about the people we were helping by raising a record $11.6 million. I wish I could express in words how much love and support we felt along the way. I’ll express it this way… what a different world we would live in if we only could get along like the 3000 people did on this ride. A world where people of all ages, religions, sex, sexual-orientation, cultural backgrounds and yes, politics beliefs, could all come together and get along while working for a great endeavor. Last year was my first time on the ride and I thought this year might not top my first, but it was just as wonderful and I already signed up to ride again in 2009. Paul also signed up and the rest of the Hooligans were all talking about signing up for next year too.

The final ride into LA was very exciting! It was bitter-sweet for me because I was excited to be riding the final 61 miles, yet I was sad knowing it would soon be over. The final lunch break was in a park overlooking the ocean in Malibu. The final 20 miles were along the Pacific Coast Highway and as we pedaled along the final 3 miles, the streets were lined with cheering crowds waving hand-made signs and whistling for us. I got goose-bumps up and down my entire body, I saw the welcome home sign and tears filled my eyes. It was simply overwhelming. The sense of accomplishment, the fact we just cycled 545 miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles in seven days and the hope we all had along the way all flashed in my mind at once and so many emotions filled my heart and mind. But this ride was not about my sense of accomplishment or personal achievement, this ride was about the people who will benefit from the money raised, this ride is about the love we all shared for humanity, this ride is about the good that can come from people loving and understanding each other without being judgmental, this ride was about what people can do when they come together and this ride is above all, love and support!

I hope you enjoyed my blog and pictures and got a sense of just what happens when 3000 people from 48 states and 12 countries come together for one goal, to help others. Now, I’ll return to my regular daily routine and cut back on the calories. 🙂

So until next year and until there is a cure to this terrible disease, I’ll vow to ride as long as I am healthy and as long as there is HIV and AIDS. Thank you for following my blog, supporting Herrera’s Hooligans, (Paul, Mitch, Julie, Jean, Gary and myself) and for all of your thoughts and prayers! Thank you to the many new and old friends who shared in this journey, thank you to the people who supported us along the road and thank you to the organizers of the AIDS/LifeCycle, I love you!

Craig Herrera
NBC11 WeatherPlus Meteorologist

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2 Responses to “Back Home”

  1. Michael Says:

    Craig – I’ve been reading your posts everyday. Thanks for sharing this with everyone. One of my best friends was riding, and it was nice to have some updates to get an idea of what he was experiencing. You’re such an inspiration for doing this ride. I’ve always been a fan of yours, but this takes it up a notch 🙂

  2. Craig Says:

    Hi Michael!
    Thank you so much for your comment and your support! It was an amazing experience and I really am missing it today!
    I hope your friend had a memorable experience and safe trip. I’m sure he will fill you in on the love and support we all felt on the ride!
    Thank you for following my blog and I hope you got a small feeling for the trip, it really was the experience of a lifetime and I will ride again next year.
    Your kind words mean a lot to me, thanks again!

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