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Positive Pedalers


Positive Pedalers

Positive Pedalers logo

The Positive Pedalers are a group of people living with HIV/AIDS committed to eliminating the stigma of disease through our positive public example.

The group is based on the west coast where it has been an active and influential part of many AIDS cycling events. It's a beginning for us here on Cycle for the Cause. I would hope that we can learn from them and grow, build and expand our own pos pedaler program.

For more information on the organization visit http://www.pospeds.org

One of the aims of the organization is to expand awareness and recognition of people living with HIV/AIDS. If you are interested in riding with a Poz Pedaler flag during Cycle for the Cause, please let Blake (bstrasser@globalimpactpro.com) or me know. Feel free to contact either or both of us with questions as well.

The information below was taken from the Positive Pedaler program on the AIDS Life Cycle website.

See ya on the Ride!!!!

Rick Weber
Rider #57

Health Problems Encountered on the Event

  • The most common problems or complications experienced on the event by HIV+ participants are diarrhea, nausea, indigestion and headaches.
  • Diarrhea: expect to get it! Many things can contribute to diarrhea during the ride: heat, stress, change in foods, etc. As all these things can add to existing GI side effects. Be prepared! Take Imodium or Lomotil with you!
  • Nausea and indigestion: Before the ride, think about what upsets your stomach. Vitamins? Certain vegetables? Spices? Some of your meds? Avoid foods that do this.
  • Taking meds with food can help reduce nausea and indigestion, See "HIV Medications" section below. Ibuprofen should ALWAYS be taken with food.
  • Tips: cool foods help calm your stomach. Hard candies sometimes help. Get out of the sun -- rest as much as you can. A cool rag on head and/or wrist can help to alleviate heat.
  • Headache: dehydration can cause headache, take some ibuprofen or acetaminophen with you. Also, stopping caffeine abruptly can cause headache, so if you drink coffee regularly, drink it on the ride.
  • Besides the meds, the sun, the new food, and the stress can contribute to existing side effects.
  • Bottom line: if you're not feeling right, tell somebody and get help. Talk to other Positive Pedalers, your room mate or riding partner. Nothing is more important than staying well.
  • Medications, sun wind, new food, poor sleep, physical, mental or emotional exhaustion, and stepping away from your normal support system are some factors that contribute to stress and can cause health complications or complicate existing ones.
  • Cold sores (HSVI; herpes simplex I): The sun, stress and exhaustion can trigger cold sore outbreaks and at times very extensive and painful episodes. If you are currently receiving prophylactic medical treatment for cold sores, talk to your physician about what to do in the event of an outbreak. S/he may recommend you change your medication dosage. If you have periodic outbreaks and are not currently on medication, talk with your doctor about whether you should be taking medication (Valtrex, valacyclovir or acyclovir) prophylactically for the event. By the way, this is a problem commonly experienced by our participants who do not have HIV. This is also a problem easily shared with others, so be careful of whom you kiss if you have an outbreak.
  • If you experience new or existing health problems that worsen, see the Medical Team before the problem becomes a significant one. In many cases, the Medical Team can make recommendations before the health problem sidelines you.

HIV Medications - Recommendations and Tips

  • You're out of your normal setting -- how will you remember to take your meds? Make a plan before you leave. Discuss treatment options and tips for adherence with your medical provider and/or other Positive Pedalers.
  • Keep a list of all your medications and doses with you.
  • Talk with your physician about the ride. Do a check-in about any special needs before you leave.
  • Make sure you have your medical providers' telephone numbers along with your health insurance information.
  • It is best not to start a new medication regimen within one month before the ride, if it can be avoided.
  • Keep medications out of direct sunlight as much as possible.
  • Medication sets may be easier to deal with on this event than individual pill bottles. These are readily available at pharmacies or often from medical providers.
  • Antiretrovirals that need to be refrigerated will be safely stored with the Medical Team. Please stop by the medical table on Registration Eve to make arrangements.
  • If you have special needs or feeling "off", always check in with the Medical Team at the hotel or at any oasis.
  • Many of the physicians on the Medical Team re sophisticated with HIV related questions and medications. Don't hesitate to engage the medical staff with your questions or concerns.
  • Specific Medication Tips
    • DDI/Videx should be taken on an empty stomach.
    • Crixivan should not be taken with a fatty meal, unless taken with Norvir
    • Saquanivir (Fortovase): Grapefruit juice increases saquinavir blood levels. Grapefruit juice should not be consumed during the event. Just a NOTE: Fortovase may be off the market by the time ALC5 occurs.
    • Reyataz, Aptivus, and Kaletra (all 3 in the capsule form) need to be with food.
    • Kaletra tablets (newly approved) and Lexivia can be with or without food.
    • Sustiva should be taken on an empty stomach and generally just before bedtime.


  • Sun causes dehydration -- drink water & electrolyte replacement fluids!
  • Septra/Bactrim and some antibiotics, such as doxycycline and tetracycline, cause sun sensitivities -- wear high SPF sunscreen on all exposed body parts and reapply regularly -- you're sweating the sunscreen off too.
  • Use plenty of sunscreen with SPF even if you're not taking antibiotics.
  • Sunscreen an exposed head -- bring along caps and bandanas if there's not much hair up there.


  • If you have the opportunity to wash your hands, use warm water and wash for 15 seconds.
  • Wash hands or use Purell/antibiotic lotion/sanitizer after using the porta potties and bathroom whenever possible -- carry your own supply in case it is not available at your stop. Sanitizers should be available at each Oasis.
  • Wash hands before all meals.

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