Double Bay Double

Double Bay Double is a two-day bike ride to benefit the programs and services of San Francisco AIDS Foundation. It was started by one of our most loyal supporters, Chris Thomas, who wanted to do his part to fight HIV and have some fun doing it. The third annual ride happens September 21–22 this year and Chris is hoping you will join! We sat down with him to learn more about the event and what makes it so special.

Tell us about Double Bay Double.

It’s a two-day event, and it covers 210 miles. On the first day it begins in Mountain View and goes to Marina, which is just outside Monterey. So we go down the coast through Davenport and Santa Cruz, and then we go inland at Watsonville to get to Marina. On the second day, we return inland through Salinas, San Juan Bautista, and Gilroy. It’s 110 miles on the first day, including some hilly riding and some coastal riding. The second day is 100 miles and is usually a bit warmer since we’re riding away from the coast.

The scenery must be beautiful…

Indeed. It goes through an amazing variety of climates and scenery in a relatively short distance. We see everything from the coastal hills to the coast itself, and then we go through farmland and around reservoirs. It’s kind of a mini travel log of the best of California.

How does this ride benefit the work of San Francisco AIDS Foundation?

The event is produced by me for Different Spokes San Francisco. We raise funds through the support of the foundation’s Create Your Own Event program, which allows anyone to fundraise for any event in which they participate, whether it’s Double Bay Double or a 10K race happening in their city, for example. Because everything on the event is self-supported, we don’t take out any overhead from the donations. That means every penny raised goes directly to support the programs and services of San Francisco AIDS Foundation. In the first year of the ride, we raised about $10,000. Last year we raised just over $20,000. We hope to raise even more this year!

Tells us about the self-supported structure of Double Bay Double.

The riders pay for their own hotel rooms in Marina at the end of the first day. Everyone pays for their own meals. We do most rest stops at restaurants and other businesses, so we’re not staffing those locations. We have amazing volunteers who help out at some other rest stops and who drive support vehicles to assist cyclists on the road if they ever need any help.

What’s so special about this event?

We cap out the number of participants at 50. We keep it a smaller event so that people really get to know each other. It’s a very intimate experience where people bond with each other and form a special community. Existing friendships are reinforced, and new friendships are created during those two days that last well beyond the ride.

How can people register if they want to join?

There is still plenty of room for people to join us. They can visit the Double Bay Double page to get more information, register, and get their fundraising started. We’re also still looking for volunteers to help us. I would encourage anyone thinking about it to sign up. It’s a glorious event with wonderful people to support a very important cause.

Have you participated in Double Bay Double or another event to raise money for the foundation’s free HIV prevention and care services? Tell us about it in the comments below, or share a few words of encouragement for all of our fabulous supporters!

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