March 28, 2024

Cycling With Pride

Insights United States
Diversity & Inclusion

In 2022, Patrick Bradbury participated in his first-ever AIDS/LifeCycle (ALC) fundraising ride — a route that covers more than half of California’s coastline over the course of one week.

In the past, Patrick, who is based out of Arch’s San Francisco office, supported friends of the LGBTQ+ community who participated in the event by making donations to their teams’ fundraising pages, but he yearned to do more.

At the start of the pandemic, Patrick and his husband, Amyel, took up cycling as a way to get outside. The habit stuck. “We started cycling quite a bit more as the months went on,” he said.

After a year of cycling throughout their neighborhood and local area, the couple decided to participate in the 2021 AIDS/LifeCycle ride, but their ambition was cut short when the event was canceled due to the pandemic.

“When we heard that the event was finally happening [in 2022] we jumped right in,” Patrick said. They were not only eager to reach their goal of completing the seven-day trek between two of California’s major cities, but also to raise funds for two organizations that had experienced a drastic drop in donations.

“It [had] been two years since their last fundraiser, which is the biggest fundraiser for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and Los Angeles LGBT Center. That’s why we prioritized it, because they really needed to make up for the last couple years.”

Arch helped Patrick raise the $3,000 he needed to participate. When Patrick committed to the race earlier in the year, he donated $1,000 to jumpstart his team’s donations. Thanks to Arch’s 2:1 match offering in March, he was able to meet the minimum requirement early.

Leading up to the race, Patrick raised over $7,000, contributing to the $17.8 million raised by riders and volunteers — which became a fundraising record for ALC.

The event included 2,200 riders and more than 600 volunteers (which ALC calls “roadies”). Starting in San Francisco, riders made their way through popular California cities like Santa Cruz, Paso Robles and Ventura, before reaching their destination in Los Angeles. In the seven-day span, the participants climbed more than 23,000 feet — about 4,000 feet higher than Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Africa.

The journey was as mentally taxing as it is physically for the riders as many, including Patrick, opted to camp at each of the stops along the way. Each checkpoint was at a state or local park, an apt spot to pitch a tent and catch a couple hours of sleep. “We splurged on some nice sleeping pads to try to make it more comfortable,” Patrick chuckled.

The short rests, grueling hills and California heat were nothing compared to the support Patrick felt with each mile he pedaled.

“What really made the ride worthwhile was the people, not only was everyone there to raise money for such a great cause, but everyone was super positive and supportive of each other. While the week was challenging at times, the community made it a wonderful experience,” he said.

Patrick continues to support the ALC and will be participating in the race again this year.


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