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I Did The AIDS/LifeCycle Ride And Here's What You Need To Know

Butt Butter is a real thing and it will save your life.

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Maybe you've heard of it. Maybe you haven't. But here's what you need to know.

Every year around the first week of June, several thousand people not-so-quietly jump on their bikes at the butt crack of dawn in San Francisco and begin one of the longest bike rides of their lives. Nope, this is isn't your normal daily bike commute to work or school; this isn't a quick ride to the grocery store. This is a 545 mile bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

The goal? To educate, advocate, and raise money to support the services available to those living with HIV/AIDS.

So what should you know about AIDS/LifeCycle?

Everyone is super grateful

Via Instagram: @mattysf

From the minute you sign up, you're part of a community that is ecstatic to have you. This means getting emails from your cyclist rep thanking you for joining and random strangers on the street noticing your shirt and thanking you for your support.

You will have a love/hate relationship with spandex

Via Instagram: @mike14780

On one hand, spandex is amazing because it keeps everything in place; your butt, your bits, your boobs - all firmly in place and not going anywhere.

On the other hand, your butt, your bits, and your boobs are all prominently on display for the world to see. Enjoy the view, world.

Food: eat all of it

Via Instagram: @sfchris86

Long distance cycling essentially murders calories so stock up. An average day on the ride will cause you to burn about 3,000 calories or more so cycling is essentially the best reason to eat whatever the hell you want and not feel bad about it.

I can't believe it's not butt butter!

Via Instagram: @jasonkturner

Legit, this stuff is real and after you cross the 15-20 mile marker on your ride, this will be your new best friend ever. Road bike seats are hard and the padding in bike shorts is pretty thin. Add to that hours of repetitive motion and sweat and you've got a recipe for a case of chaffing that'll make you wish you were dead.

Slather this on all the places the sun don't shine and you'll live to ride another day.

All hills are NOT created equal

Via Instagram: @jowee1221

All hills are great for training. You work on your endurance, your ability to focus, and the sense of accomplishment afterwards is huge. All that being said, some hills are great little challenges that you finish with a smile on your face. Other hills, are soul-sucking demons sent from hell with the intent purpose of trying to end your life. I'm lookin' at you Quadbuster; you too, Evil Twins.

You will break

Via Instagram: @txhellraiser76

Riding hundreds of miles on back-to-back days is hard. Like *real* hard. At a certain point either your body or your brain will hit its breaking point. Maybe your knees give out. Maybe you snap at your riding partner. Maybe you just straight up start crying. It's all good. Let it out and move on.

Things can get a little...strange

Via Instagram: @mike14780

Curious to know what a bunch of men (and ladies) look like in red dresses while they pedal their way through the hills of California? Look no further than Day 5 on the ride. Every year, Day 5 is the day where everyone dresses in red most specifically don a red dress. It's intended as a way to bring awareness as rides end up resembling one long red ribbon on the road.

So what's the point of all of this?

AIDS/LifeCycle benefits two organizations: SF AIDS Foundation and the Los Angeles LGBT Center. Money raised through this event benefits the programs and services offered at both organizations with the goal of educating people about HIV/AIDS and eradicating the stigma that exists around HIV/AIDS.

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