— By Tim Wagoner
On my first ride for AIDS/LifeCycle (ALC) in 2009, I remember meeting a man. He was a friend of some of the other riders with whom I had been riding. He seemed to be always having fun and making jokes. I later learned that his name was Buz. For several years he and I would tease each other about “cheating on one another” as if we were lovers. He lives in San Francisco and I live in Miami. And of course we only saw each other on the rides.
And now we are both board members of this organization! Who could have imagined that seven years ago? It is no coincidence that I get to write this article about Buz, and learn more about him and share it with you all!
As told to me recently:
Buz, when and how did you learn about Positive Pedalers?
I learned about PosPeds from a friend who was a member.
Are you HIV Positive and openly out about it everywhere in your life?
On the training rides, it was repeatedly said, “There is no one left behind.” It was so true. That is what made my first year a great experience, and what made me decide to join. When I first started training, I was telling a guy at the gym how amazing the group was and how much fun I was having. He responded, “Aren’t you worried that someone will think you are positive?” That is when I realized that sigma is real, and so powerful. And at the same time, just talking about this was something that I had to do.
What is the most significant achievement you would like to be known for concerning the HIV Positive community, or more specifically for the HIV Positive Cycling community?
I am very proud to be one of the Training Ride Leaders (TRL) for the Sunday Positive Pedalers rides for ALC, here in San Francisco.
How many ALC rides have you participated in?
This will be my 10th year with ALC.
Are there other AIDS rides you participate in?
Not yet, but next year I’m going to travel to Austin, Texas and ride in the Hill Country AIDS ride. We have a new chapter there – Southern Texas Positive Pedalers and I want to ride in those hills too! http://www.hcr2016.myorgworks.com/
What is something that you are proud of that not many people know about?
Most people don’t know I used to weigh 400lbs. Through my training and riding I have disappeared most of that excess weight.
What is something that you have on your “list of to-dos” (bucket-list) that you want to do?
One of the goals I have on my bucket list is to bike into Paris, France, on the same route, that the Tour de France cyclists use when they ride into the Avenue de Champs-Elysees!
What do you do for fun, or a hobby, when you are not riding or volunteering?
Riding my bike is my only hobby, and I ride all year long.
Any pets, children, etc?
I have one cat who had her 22nd birthday on 4/2/16. No children, … yet!
I admit that whenever I see Buz, I gravitate towards him, because his energy is contagious! And it is an energy that we all want. When you are out there, training and riding, gravitate to Buz and get one of his hugs!
Thank you Buz for being there for our members!