Windy City Media Group Frontpage News


home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2022-12-07



AIDS: TPAN, riding against AIDS in 2012
by Ross Forman, Windy City Times

This article shared 3712 times since Wed Mar 7, 2012
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email

Gilberto Diaz was literally within shouting distance of the finish to the 2010 Ride for AIDS Chicago when disaster struck. He was just outside the rider holding area at Mile 199.5 of the two-day, 200-mile trek when his derailleur broke.

Enter Richard Cordova. He gave Diaz his bike, so Diaz could ride across the finish line.

"Seeing his face and watching him ride the last 500 yards across the finish line was one of the proudest moments of my life," Cordova said. "The Ride is about accomplishment, sacrifice, and intense pride."

Building friendships and supporting a cause, too, of course.

Cordova, 33, who lives in Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood, is now the Director of Athletic Events for the Test Positive Aware Network ( TPAN ) —the benefactor of the annual Ride for AIDS Chicago. He has worked at TPAN for almost two years and has participated in four previous Rides ( three as a rider, one as an event executive ) . The 2012 Ride will be Cordova's fifth.

The 2011 Ride had 225 Riders and raised more than $538,000. This summer, TPAN organizers are shooting for over 350 riders, $600,000 in individual donations, and $150,000 in corporate sponsorships.

"TPAN is one of the organizations that helps save and turn lives around for the better. I know this because that's exactly what they did for me," said TPAN client Evany Turk, 33, of Chicago. "The staff is friendly, welcoming, understanding and intelligent, which helps when you're in a dark place. The programs are taught well, and it gives you great motivation to know that it's being taught by someone who is going through something similar as you."

Such as, Cordova, who is HIV-positive.

"Living with HIV, it's important for me to participate in these types of endurance events," Cordova said. "Knowing that I am stronger than my disease is important to me. In addition, helping to support other ( HIV ) -positive people is important to me, too. I want all people impacted by HIV to feel as strong and empowered as I do."

The Ride for AIDS Chicago is scheduled for July 14-15, traveling from the Evanston to Elkhorne, Wisc, and back.

"An eight-person executive committee, over 37 captains and co-captains, and the staff at TPAN will make sure that fundraising goals are met and that we produce a safe, challenging, and rewarding experience for all participants," Cordova said. "We already have such an engaged, vibrant group of riders and crew members signed up this year. It's really great seeing so many people who are invested in their community."

The Riders annually cross all communities, and even include celebrities. Illinois Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon and her husband were riders in 2011, which Cordova said "is so meaningful—she definitely enhances the weight of the event."

Riders are required to raise $1,000 while crew members are encouraged to raise $500. Registration is $100, which helps offset the cost of producing the event. "We ( TPAN ) remain committed to returning 100 percent of the money raised back to the beneficiaries," Cordova said. "Corporate sponsorships, registration fees, and in-kind donations help offset the many costs of producing the event."

James Sumers was the top fundraiser in 2011, collecting more than $16,000 for TPAN.

"Each year the Ride gets bigger and better through increased participation and fundraising," said Cordova, who noted that a new, special Closing Ceremony is being planned for this year's event, "to ensure that the riders and crew members have a fun-filled, joyous and heartfelt experience."

Plus, TPAN is offering a more enhanced training program this year.

"Our structured training will cater to athletes of all skill levels," Cordova said. "Beginners and advanced riders alike will receive a 13-week training program that is fully supported with snacks, pit stops, and both emotional and mechanical support.

"The great thing about our training program is that someone can come to the event with very little training and, ( after ) 13 weeks, they can see a real change in their physical fitness. The outdoor rides build in mileage and are structured so that people can push themselves to ride a little bit faster on some of the rides. We also will do hill training, speed work, and back-to-back rides in preparation for the event. In addition, we will host various bike clinics to help prepare the riders and crew members for the Ride, including tire-changing and basics repairs."

Funds raised through the RFAC support TPAN and its partner agencies that deliver life-saving HIV services throughout the city. "Grants help support the programs at the agency, but there are always costs that the grants do not cover," Cordova said. "Unrestricted money from events like the Ride for AIDS Chicago is so crucial because it allow us to fill in the gaps."

So what if someone wants to ride, but does not own a bicycle?

The event has partnerships with Upgrade Cycle Works, Kozy's Cycle shop, and Get a Grip Cycles. Riders are eligible for discounts on bikes, parts, and service.

"One of the things I have learned in life is that if you want to go fast, then go alone. ( But ) if you want to go far, go together," said Yvette Pryor, 43, of Chicago, who will ride again in 2012. "AIDS can be lonely and isolating; no one should have to fight it alone, and through ( the ) Ride for AIDS Chicago, together, we can make a difference."

Sean Blay, 39, a Chicago resident, is riding this summer in his second consecutive RFAC. He is one of many HIV-positive riders, and was one of the seven riders last year who attached orange flags to their bicycles to signify their HIV status.

"Words cannot describe the experience I got from doing the Ride for AIDS Chicago last year and all of the support that I received from TPAN," Blay said. "It was with the great help from the volunteers and staff of TPAN that I owe much of ( joy of the 2011 Ride ) to. Not only have they provided me with a support system from the hundreds of riders and crew, but they also were there for me with emergency financial assistance when my unemployment ran out.

"TPAN helped me apply for rental assistance through the AIDS Foundation of Chicago when I couldn't pay my rent and, most important, they were able to help me get back up on my feet in finding a job through a job fair this past year.

"TPAN has done so much, not only me, but for thousands of others throughout the Chicagoland area. Last year when I did this ride, I was living with 349 T-cells. This year I am riding with over 780 T-cells, thanks ( in part to ) TPAN and the efforts that they support with the money raised from this ride. This is a truly amazing experience and I owe my future to what TPAN has given thus far."

For more information about the Ride for AIDS Chicago, to register, or to donate, go to: or call Richard Cordova at ( 773 ) 989-9400 x230.

So what goes into the two-day Ride For AIDS Chicago?


8 cases of bananas

2 cases of oranges

2 cases of apples

8 cases of granola bars

14 cases of bagels

4 cases of peanut butter

60 pounds of pretzels

1300 gallons of water

60 pounds of pasta at dinner


48 tubes of sunscreen

20 bottles of bug spray


85 Inner Tubes used

3 Derailleur cables

2 Road brake cables

1 Mountain brake cable

3 Spokes

This article shared 3712 times since Wed Mar 7, 2012
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Gay News

The NBJC commemorates National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, re-releases toolkit
--From a press release - WASHINGTON — For National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD) today, February 7, the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) has re-released a toolkit that includes information about testing, treatment, and tips ...

Gay News

LGBT poverty dropped to 17% during the COVID-19 pandemic
--From a press release - Economic well-being increased most among LGBT people of color and in households with children A new study by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law finds a dramatic decrease in the number of LGBT and ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Gun measure, Buttigieg, NBJC's criticism, anti-trans bills
Equality Florida condemned the filing of a bill, announced by Republican Florida House Speaker Paul Renner, that would eliminate training and permitting requirements for the concealed carrying of firearms. In a press statement, Equality Florida Press ...

Gay News

SHOWBIZ Jerrod Carmichael, Alan Cumming, Andre Leon Talley, AIDS drama
Openly gay stand-up comic and recent Golden Globes host Jerrod Carmichael is set to star in a comedy documentary series for HBO, according to Entertainment Weekly. The yet-untitled series will center on Carmichael's personal life, following ...

Gay News

HRC on end of Mpox Public Health Emergency: Today we enter a new phase in a continuing fight
--From a press release - WASHINGTON — Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) — the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization — marked the end of the Mpox Public ...

Gay News

ELECTIONS 2023 Jessie Fuentes: 26th Ward candidate talks mental health, LGBTQ+ Chicagoans
This is part of a series of interviews Windy City Times is running on LGBTQ+ candidates in the 2023 municipal elections taking place Feb. 28. The 2023 race to represent Chicago's 26th Ward—which includes parts of ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Missing student, Utah bill, Atlanta Pride, crime items, Castro bar
A New York City law student has been missing for weeks—and his brother said his last known location was The Q, a gay bar in Manhattan's Hell's Kitchen neighborhood, NBC News reported. Jordan Taylor, 29, a ...

Gay News

Quigley commends progress in FDA LGBTQI+ blood donation draft guidance
--From a press release - Washington, DC — Today, U.S. Representative Mike Quigley (IL-05), Vice-Chair of the Congressional Equality Caucus, released the following statement commending long-awaited updates to the FDA's blood donation guidance for LGBTQI+ ...

Gay News

FDA to relax rules of blood donations for gay, bisexual men
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is reportedly slated to lift restrictions on blood donations from sexually active gay and bisexual men. However, there's at least one stipulation, The Advocate reported: A gay or bisexual ...

Gay News

TPAN announces merger with Vivent Health
Local HIV/AIDS organization TPAN announced Jan. 19 that it would be merging with Milwaukee-based Vivent Health. The merger is expected to be finalized by March 1, according to both organizations. Vivent Health, so named in 2019, ...

Gay News

One in five older LGBT adults experienced poverty during the COVID-19 pandemic
--From a press release - A new report from the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law found that during the COVID-19 pandemic LGBT adults aged 50 and older were more likely to have household incomes below the federal poverty level ...

Gay News

Controversial conversion therapy doc has its Chicago premiere
Chronicle Cinema presented the celebrated and controversial documentary film Conversion in its Chicago premiere on Jan. 12. The nearly sold-out premiere, which took place at the Landmark Century Centre Cinema, also featured a red-carpet experience and ...

Gay News

NATIONAL Asylum-seekers, equality updates, cannabis, HIV and COVID
Advocacy groups that specifically work with LGBTQI+ asylum-seekers and migrants criticized the Biden administration's expansion of the use of "expedited removal" of Cubans, Nicaraguans, Haitians and Venezuelans who enter the ...

Gay News

Pritzker signs bill protecting healthcare providers
Gov. JB Pritzker signed a bill explicitly offering protections to Illinois healthcare providers working on reproductive and/or gender-affirming care issues for their patients on Jan. 13. The bill, HB4664, also protects out-of-state clinicians who come to ...

Gay News

Illinois General Assembly passes legislation to protect reproductive and gender-affirming healthcare, leaders respond
--From a news release - From Equality Illinois Statement from Equality Illinois Deputy Director Mony Ruiz-Velasco on passage by the Illinois General Assembly of essential legislation to protect patients, providers, and families seeking and providing ...


Copyright © 2023 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.






About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.