Editor's note: Sven Hasselberg of San Diego is participating in this year's AIDS/Lifecycle, an annual bicycle ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles that raises money for HIV/AIDS services. This will be Hassleberg's first year participating and he will chronicle his journey with a blog on SDGLN. Hassleberg will post in advance of the ride, sharing stories about fundraising and preparation, and will also submit a daily post from the road during the event, June 2-8.
Last year, SDGLN chronicled Sean Suydam's AIDS/LifeCycle journey, and Eddie Reynoso's ride in 2011. Check back regularly for more updates from Hassleberg's journey.
Memorial Day weekend AIDS/LifeCycle fundraiser planned
Friday, May 24
I am holding a raffle fundraiser at Fiesta Cantina at 8 pm on Sunday, May 26. There will be $2 Jello shots and prizes to be given away. We will also be doing 2 drinks for the price of 1 starting at 10:30 pm. Please support this event and help me raise funds for this important cause!
Fiesta Cantina is located at 142 University Ave. in Hillcrest.
Monday, May 20
My name is Sven Hasselberg. I'm a 28-year-old bartender from Hillcrest, and consider myself to be a fairly laid-back, easy-going guy. When I'm not at work, I can usually be found hanging out in my backyard on a lounge chair. I also thoroughly enjoy the living room couch, and occasionally the bar stools at any one of our local watering holes. With that being said, I'm ready for a change and that's why I signed up for the 2013 AIDS/Lifecycle, a 545-mile charity bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles. The ride benefits people living with HIV/AIDS through the San Fransisco AIDS Foundation and the L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center.
I first learned about the AIDS/LifeCycle years ago while indulging in an hour-long YouTube bender - one of those times when I got linked from video to video all day long without any real idea as to why I was still watching. Toward the end of my spree, I discovered a video shot by a participant of the ride. His story really inspired me to learn more about the event and the people involved.
It didn't take long to learn that this was something I really wanted to do, so naturally I forgot all about it. Every year the ride would come and go, and every year I found an excuse as to why I couldn't do it. This year I've stopped making excuses for myself. I don't have much time, most people spend all year preparing, I signed on only this last month. Like I said though, no excuses this time around.
People do this ride for many different reasons. I'm doing it for me - to prove to myself that I can do what I set my mind to; that I have what it takes to break away from my every day routines and try something way outside my comfort zone; that I can give back to my community instead of just taking from it. I am also doing this for my friends and family, to hopefully inspire them to try something crazy, something different, something painful but so rewarding. And most importantly I'm doing it for everyone in our community who has been affected by HIV/AIDS. I don't yet know why this is the most important reason, but I'm ready for this ride and these people to teach me.
Hassleberg's AIDS/LifeCycle fundraising page can be found HERE.