Biking 7 Days, 545 Miles to Find a Cure

It’s a journey that takes over 2,300 cyclists 545 miles down the coast of California every summer.

Enduring the distance, elevation changes, and elements is a testament to the individual strength of these cyclists. But collectively, no participant is alone in what is affectionately called the “Love Bubble” community. It’s proof that when people have the freedom to move, anything is possible.

This is AIDS/LifeCycle, the world’s largest charity event for HIV and AIDS. Every year, cyclists and “Roadie” volunteers raise tens of millions of dollars to fund HIV/AIDS-related services, to end the stigma, and to find a cure.

Toyota has sponsored AIDS/LifeCycle for five consecutive years, loaning the event over 280 vehicles since the sponsorship began in 2015. These Toyota vehicles – which in 2019 included 62 off-lease Tacomas, Tundras, 4Runners, RAV4s, Camrys, Corollas, and more sourced by TFS Remarketing – helped safely transport medical, media, safety, and support teams along the route.

John Martinez, TFS Field Remarketing Manager, has led the sourcing of these vehicles for the past three years. “TFS is in a unique position to lend off-lease vehicles to the ride’s beneficiaries. Matching Toyotas with the vehicle needs of AIDS/LifeCycle is an incredible integration. It truly embodies One Toyota, bringing together various business units to provide mobility solutions for the community,” said Martinez.

For the second year, Toyota team members joined the cause, each with their own unique reason for cycling. TFS Dealer Credit Financial Analyst Inia Franklin, a second-year participant on the Toyota team for AIDS/LifeCycle, rides “for those who are not able to ride for themselves.”

Franklin says, “I ride to lead by example. I ride to show that no matter your health situation, no matter your struggle, no matter what people try to say your worth is, you are loved and there is a place for you in this world.”

(From left to right) Toyota team cyclists: Chris Welch, Inia Franklin, Stephen Hughes, Cassandra Pham, and Christal Chacon.

The ride formed in response to the AIDS crisis of the late 1980s and has now grown to include over 3,000 participants from 12 different countries every single year. All ages, genders, sexual orientations, and abilities are represented. The Toyota team has included team members from across the Toyota family, with representation from TFS, TMNA, TRI and a dealership, as well as friends and family members.

Ready to strap on your helmet and get started with a ride that will change your life? Visit www.facebook.com/ToyotaALC or www.aidslifecycle.org to learn more. Email Wendy Walker at wendy.walker@toyota.com to find out more about joining Toyota’s team for 2020.