BRAKING AIDS Ride Adapts to COVID-19 Pandemic

Photo by Alan Barnett

For many years, the BRAKING AIDS Ride—a three-day, 300-mile bicycle ride from Cooperstown, New York, into the heart of Manhattan that raises much-needed funds for Housing Works—has had to adapt to the reality of limits imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

For starters, BRAKING AIDS has been shrunk from three days to a one-day ride, from 300 miles to 62 miles, on September 13, 2020. There will be both an on-street ride of a metric century (62 miles) north out of the City and into scenic Westchester County along paved, wooded, off-road bike paths and through scenic parkland all the way to Briarcliff Manor. Riders will then head back to the City for lunch and the Closing Ceremony. The ride will be monitored by crew members, including medical personnel. The registration fee is $95 and riders must raise a minimum of $2,000 by September 11.

This year there is also a “Virtual Ride,” for riders not wanting to ride this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There is no registration fee to sign up for the Virtual Ride. There is still a physical component, chosen by the rider. Organizers suggest a physical challenge that aligns with Housing Work’s goal of ending the AIDS epidemic in New York in 2020! Can you train up to 200 miles over two days? Or two sets of 20 miles each day? Whatever you choose, you can make it part of your fundraising appeal to show commitment to Housing Works’ mission. Virtual riders must raise a minimum of $1,000 before September 1.

Last year, the BRAKING AIDS Ride raised $242,650 in support of Housing Works’ array of supportive services. In the thirty years since its inception, Housing Works, whose mission is to end the dual crises of homelessness and AIDS in New York City, has provided services to more than 20,000 homeless and/or low-income New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS, including housing, healthcare, case management, meals, nutritional counseling, substance use treatment, legal assistance, and job training.

For more information about the advocacy and services offered by Housing Works, please visit For more information and to register for the BRAKING AIDS Ride, please log on to

—Reporting by Hank Trout

Hank Trout, Senior Editor, edited Drummer, Malebox, and Folsom magazines in the early 1980s. A long-term survivor of HIV/AIDS (diagnosed in 1989), he is a forty-year resident of San Francisco, where he lives with his husband Rick. Follow him on Twitter @HankTroutWriter.