Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2018-07-18
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

O'Maley in 15th Ride For AIDS Chicago with new bike, old memories
by Ross Forman, Windy City Times
2018-07-09

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Matthew O'Maley started planning for the 2018 Ride For AIDS Chicago one year ago, during a major fundraiser for the 2017 Ride—when he won a bicycle in a silent auction.

"Two of my friends who are Ride veterans had been pushing me to get back to riding," said O'Maley, 50, who lives in Chicago's Buena Park neighborhood with his partner, James, and their dog, Jackie. "It was right around my 50th birthday, and quite honestly, I had been toying with the idea for a while. I [had taken] my old bike for a spin, and while I had thousands of miles on that bike over the years and some wonderful memories, it was time to retire [it]."

O'Maley went to the "View From The Top" fundraiser last summer in Boystown and there as a bicycle available in the fundraising silent auction—and it was exact Trek Hybrid that he had been looking at.

He paid just under $1,000 for that bike.

"It's amazing how much bike technology has improved since I bought my last bike 23 years ago," he said.

He knew he had to ride in 2018.

"The bike and all the stuff that goes with it, [such as the] helmet, shoes, bags, lights, etc., take up too much space in my home to not do the Ride; [it] would be a very expensive laundry rack if I didn't get on it and go."

So, O'Maley is joining hundreds of others riding in the 15th annual Ride For AIDS Chicago which moves from July to September, taking place on Sept. 8-9, and instead of riding to Wisconsin, they will cycle to Michigan.

The Ride for AIDS Chicago is the Midwest's only back-to-back century cycling event. The traditional two-day, 200-mile event will feature an option for a special anniversary distance, with an additional 15 miles in each direction for 230-miles in total. There also is a 100-mile route.

"This actually is my second time doing this Ride. I did it back the early-2000s … and [I] wanted to go one more time," O'Maley said.

"It has been a long time since I last did a Ride, and since my mid-life crisis was in full swing as I turned 50, I decided to get back on the bike. I have some friends who have been involved in the Ride for several years, and they knew I had done Rides in the past, so they were really encouraging. Last year they succeeded in getting me to commit. When I look back at some of the most important moments in my life, the Rides I had done certainly placed near the top of that list, so it is time for me to go back. I lived through the years of going to funerals every weekend [for those who died from HIV/AIDS], of delivering meals on wheels to those [in] need, and it wasn't until I was in my 30s when I could say I had [lived] more years than I had dead friends. While things have dramatically improved for those who are HIV-positive, prevention, awareness, affordable treatment, and ultimately a cure are still needed in the community."

O'Maley, the regional director of procurement for Peninsula Hotels, said he is neither nervous nor excited for the upcoming Ride. Rather, it is comforting.

"I have done it before, and while I hope to complete the full 200 miles, I don't have anything to prove to anyone except myself," he said. "The funds raised for TPAN, raising awareness, and the community that comes from an event like the Ride are far more important to me than how many miles I ride. To me, getting back to the Ride feels [like] coming home.

O'Maley was born and raised in Rockport, Mass., and has lived in Chicago for the past 20 years. He served on the crew for an AIDS ride in the mid-2000s from Orlando to Miami—a three-day, 300-mile trek.

"It wasn't until the last day, maybe three miles from the finish-line on a road that was very familiar to us, when one of my friends pulled up beside me in tears and whispered, 'I can't believe we are actually going to finish this,'" O'Maley recalled. "Back then, all the riders were held just short of the finish-line, and once everyone was together, all the riders rode across the finish-line together. I remember everything about that day, [including] the music that was playing, the color [of the] shirt I was wearing, and an emotional rollercoaster like no other—sadness for those we lost, hope for a better future, accomplishment and pride in doing something I never thought I could do, and a sense of community among the riders and crew that I never expected.

O'Maley has participated in multiple other AIDS rides, such as one from Boston to New York City; Minneapolis to Chicago; and Fairbanks to Anchorage—and all were filled with memories, not just challenges.

He is on Team TPAN for the 2018 Ride and hoping to fundraise $2,000.

"More than any one specific person, it is the experience of living in the late-1980s and early-1990s—that terror and fear, the constant of this epidemic wiping out an entire generation of LGBTQIA+ people that drives me. I wouldn't wish that experience on anyone and will do my damnedest to make sure we don't return to that point."

O'Maley also for 18 years has volunteered with The Night Ministry's Homeless Youth programs. "The issue of homeless youth disproportionately affects the LGBTQIA+ community, and with that comes a host of issues including HIV/AIDS," he said.

The 2018 View From The Top fundraiser, benefitting the Ride's Team TPAN and hosted by SKIN Productions, will be Sunday, July 15, in Boystown, featuring DJs, raffles, silent auctions, go-go dancers and more.

"I have gone to this event, arranged donations in the past, and won a few raffles over the last couple of years. This year, participating [in the Ride] as a rider, [the View From The Top fundraiser] has taken on a new importance to me. Every year this event raises more money than in the past, and we hope to do it again this year.

DJs Alyson Calagna and Jesse Mercado are volunteering their time and services for the fundraiser.

"There are 1,000 clichés that are all appropriate for something like this, but it really boils down to compassion, empathy, community, action, dedication, determination and love. Find what you're passionate about, and do something. Do a walk, a run, a ride, write a check, volunteer your time. I am 50, completely non-athletic, and let's call it 'full figured' … if I can do this, so can you. This fight is not over," O'Maley said.

The Ride For AIDS Chicago major fundraiser for the Test Positive Aware Network ( TPAN ), the annual "View From The Top" fundraiser, is Sunday, July 15, from 3-8 p.m. at 3526 N. Halsted St. in Boystown. To buy tickets, go to: http://support.tpan.com/site/Calendar/1718852406?view=Detail&id=100081


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

WORLD Surrogacy law, World Cup, message to Trump & Putin 2018-07-17 - The Israeli Parliament ( The Knesset ) approved an amendment to the Israeli Law on Surrogacy, but kept a portion that stipulates same-sex ...


Gay News

Gay Games attendees from Chicago set uniforms 2018-07-08 - More than 170 people from the Chicago area are heading to Paris, France to compete in Gay Games 10. All Chicago-area participants ...


Gay News

HRC reports LGBTQ student-athletes still closeted 2018-07-04 - The Human Rights Campaign ( HRC ) Foundation and the University of Connecticut released a groundbreaking report, "Play to Win: Improving the Lives ...


Gay News

ESPN's Body Issue features first same-sex couple 2018-07-04 - For the first time since ESPN Magazine released its first Body Issue in 2009, the magazine will feature a same-sex couple on the ...


Gay News

Martin only current U.S. out male pro athlete 2018-07-04 - The world of professional soccer made news last week as Minnesota United player Collin Martin came out as gay. The midfielder made the ...


Gay News

The legacy continues, Gay Games running Aug. 4-12 in Paris 2018-07-04 - Gay Games 10 will be one of the largest in the history of the quadrennial event that dates back to its 1982 launch ...


Gay News

PRIDE COVERAGE 2018 Teams compete at Pride Bowl XI 2018-06-27 - The Chicago Metropolitan Sports Association's Pride Bowl XI took place June 22-23 on Chicago's Montrose Lakeside Fields. The results were as follows: —"A" ...


Gay News

Proud to Run marks 37 years with theme 'Run Foward' 2018-06-24 - Proud To Run celebrated 37 years with its annual 5K run/walk and 10K run June 23 at The Grove just north of Montrose ...


Gay News

White Sox to hold first ballpark-wide Pride Night Aug. 31 2018-06-22 - CHICAGO — The Chicago White Sox will hold their first ballpark-wide Pride Night in association with the club's "BasebALL: One Game for All" ...


Gay News

World TeamTennis returning to Chicago 2018-06-20 - World TeamTennis ( WTT ) will make its return to Chicago on Friday, July 27, for WTT Chicago presented by Magellan when the ...


 



Copyright © 2018 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.