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Peter Schwartz

Co-Captain, Mr. Eagle NYC 2008


Peter and Rick riding into BTC 2007 closing ceremonies

Everyone has a different reason why they ride. I started out doing this ride as a way to remember my friends that I have lost over the years, and as a way to channel all of that negative energy into something positive. It has certainly become something much larger for me, however. I now look at this and ask myself, "How can I NOT do this ride?" I see what my friends living with HIV go through on a daily basis. Some days are as normal as any other, but other days they struggle with the disease, with the meds and their side effects, with the apathy toward this crisis, and with the stigma that comes with the disease, just to name a few. So if by me riding and enduring hundreds of miles on a bicycle will raise some funds for an organization to help anyone affected by this disease; if it helps prevent someone from having to suffer the same fate, then this is all worth it.

Organizations like The Center have lost virtually all of their federal funding in the past 5+ years. On top of that, in this economy people are not able to give to charity as they have in the past further reducing The Center's funding. However, I see all of the good work that The Center does, and I see the help that a number of close personal friends have received from them, and still The Center offers its services free of charge to all that need them. In fact, many of their clients are youth in their teens and early 20s that could not afford to pay for such services. Once again, how can I not ride?!

These are my own personal reasons for riding, but as you discover that while we all have our own reasons, all of the riders are riding for the same goal. It creates such an incredible instant community of support and camaraderie that I have never experienced anywhere else.

In the 6 years that I have done this ride, I have traveled through 8 states and pedaled over 1,700 miles. I will be back on the road again this year, and every year until there is no longer a need to ride. Again ... how can I not?

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275 miles, 3 days, 1 Destination - THE END OF AIDS