James Craig moved to Chicago last July after 15 years living in Pittsburgh and the first friend he made here was Peter Garaffo, who talked to Craig about joining the annual Ride For AIDS Chicagoa two-day, 200-mile charity bicycle ride that benefits the Test Positive Aware Network ( TPAN ).
"I thought [the Ride] would be a great way to meet people," Craig said. "After meeting more riders, hearing their stories, I realized this is more than a social bike event. I ride because there are people who cannot. I ride because Peter Garaffo showed me how big of an impact this Ride makes. I ride because it is my responsibility, as a citizen of Chicago to support my community."
Craig is making his Ride debut when the event is held July 11-12, and he's cycling for Team TPAN.
"I am so excited to be training and riding with Team TPAN; I've [met] some of the most amazing people," he said. "My goal for the 2015 Ride is to help educate and inform people of the work that TPAN and [the] RFAC provides. I also want to be sure that I get the most of this experience through teamwork, community outreach, and fundraising for the Chicago community."
He has already raised $1,500 for TPAN.
"Since my friends and family have heard that I'm doing the RFAC, they have all been extremely supportive," Craig said. "Most of my friends and family know that when I fall in love with an idea, I fall hard for it. That's how I got into running marathons. When I registered for [the] RFAC, it became a new love/passion for me. My friends and family see that this is something that will provide me a way to support my community."
To donate to Craig's effort, go to bit.ly/1D4SGGi .
Relationship status: Single
Musically speaking: "I have a playlist for every marathon and half marathon that I've run. Madonna, Robyn, Jonte, Rye Rye and Rihanna are always at the top of my playlists."
Job title: Financial aid officer for a university
Favorite drink: Maker's Manhattan
Favorite TV show: Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
Favorite pro athlete: Blake Griffin
Favorite pizza topping: Tomato slices"It sounds basic, but it's perfect."
Little-known fact: "I have an intense obsession with roller-coasters."