We've got all the information you need to make AIDS/LifeCycle a wonderful experience. Questions about living in a mobile tent city for a week? Concerns about a week on your bike? We've got all the tips and tricks you need, gathered from years of experience!

Early Mornings
  • All noise(s) travel from tents (yes even the embarrassing ones and boring conversations), so be courteous to your neighbors as you get dressed. We aren’t all morning people!
  • Clothing 101: What should I wear to breakfast?
    • Set of warm clothes because it is cold! A warm sweatshirt and pants, socks, shoes, and a hat.
    • You should not walk around barefoot in camp.
    • The cycling or Roadie clothes you’ll wear for that day.
Breakfast
  • Get to breakfast as early as possible to avoid longer lines and get out of camp early.
  • There are often long coffee lines.
  • There is an Express Line serving ONLY oatmeal and cold cereals every day.
  • Bring toothbrush, contact lenses, etc. so you don’t have to make multiple trips to the tent/shower/faucets.
  • Read The Daily Spin, the in-camp daily newspaper (actually, it's a newsletter, but we have high hopes for it!) Be sure to look at the route to plan your day in order to complete the whole route, and the meal menu to see if you need to get additional food before arriving into lunch or camp.
Stretching classes
  • Take the time to warm up and stretch. You will save time by avoiding injuries and having to go to Sports Medicine where there may be long waits.
  • Group stretching classes take place multiple times during the morning and afternoon/evening near the Sports Medicine tent.
Taking Down Tent/Packing
  • As you dress for the day, gather what you will need for that day and pack everything else.
  • Take down and fold your tent. Bring it to the Gear Truck with your gear.
  • Be nice & help each other out with tents
    • Your tentmate might need to report for Roadie assignment while you are still sleeping, so you might have to do this alone.
    • If you see a neighbor packing up alone, help out. You might need help the next day!
  • Tent Site----Gear Trucks---Bike Parking
    • Some days, these areas are longer distances apart so try limiting the number of trips.
  • Clean up the area around your tent! This makes the Pack Up Team’s job of returning the campsite cleaner than when we came that much easier.
Luggage
  • Pack light--you will have to schlep it at least twice a day, every day.
  • Don’t forget, make sure you have everything you need before turning in your gear to the Gear Trucks, or it will be too late.  Check for your sunglasses, lip balm, sunscreen, bike shoes/helmet/gloves, ID, money, etc.
  • If you can find a bag with wheels, life will be much easier.
  • If you can find a bag with lots of pockets, you’ll be able to access belongings more quickly

The route will open at approximately 6:30 am each day, and you must be on the route by 8:30 am (except for Day 7, when the route opens at 6:00 am and you must be on the route by 8:00 am). The route will close at 7:00 pm each day, except for Day 5 when the route will close at 6:00 pm and Day 7, when it will close at 3:15 pm to get ready for Closing Ceremony.

Rest Stop hours will be posted each morning in Bike Parking and in that morning’s The Daily Spin newsletter at breakfast. Lunch will be open from approximately 9:00 am to 2:00 pm each day. If you arrive at a Rest Stop before its scheduled opening, services and support cannot be offered. If you arrive at a Rest Stop after its closure time, or attempt to ride past a closed Rest Stop, you will be asked to board a bus (SAG’d), and your bicycle will be transported by truck to camp. It is important that you pace yourself and not take too much time at Rest Stops or other stops you take along the route. Most SAG’ing happens from not pacing yourself correctly!

The SAG’ing requirement is for your safety and the safety of everyone involved with AIDS/LifeCycle. The Roadies also have long days supporting the riders, and SAG’ing helps keep those days manageable for everyone involved. We have scheduled the route times to give you the most hours possible to ride every mile if you pace yourself.

Even though you may want to continue riding and feel yourself capable of getting into camp on time, if you arrive at a Rest Stop after its closure time, transporting you and your bike is the only way we can ensure that we can provide services to all participants safely and effectively, while still getting everyone safely into camp by the end of the day—our number one priority!

Refusing to be SAG’d is cause for expulsion from the event.

Route Rules and Procedures

In order for us to use city, county and state roads, AIDS/LifeCycle must obtain permits from Caltrans and the local jurisdictions we travel through. The rules and regulations you will be asked to follow are part of these permits. There may be times that cyclists are held at a Rest Stop in order for safety procedures to be put into place for the wellbeing of all cyclists, roadies and motorists. We are required by law to abide by these rules and regulations. Please follow all instructions from law enforcement personnel, Roadies and staff. Failure to do so will jeopardize the event’s ability to take place in the future.

Failure to obey rules and instructions from law enforcement personnel, Roadies or staff is cause for immediate expulsion from the event.

Getting Started
  • Route will open at 6:30 am (except for Day 7, when it will open at 6:00 am)
  • THE EARLIER YOU LEAVE, THE MORE TIME YOU WILL HAVE THROUGHOUT YOUR DAY AND THE MORE LIKELY IT WILL BE THAT YOU WON’T NEED TO BE SAG’d!
  • The later you leave, the longer the lines will be throughout the day and the more stress you will feel trying to make it to the Rest Stops along the route in time.
  • On Day 2, it will be especially important to leave as early as possible after the route opens. In years past, many cyclists who rode out of camp late were caught in rush hour traffic and it took them A LOT longer to get through the City of Santa Cruz than the cyclists who left earlier. There will be long lines for toilets and breakfast and it will take you longer than you think to pack up your belongings and tent to take to the Gear Trucks. Be prepared by getting up early (even earlier than you think!).
Rest Stops
  • If the potty lines are short, GO. You’ll save time. HYDRATE AS WELL!
  • For sanitary reasons, always allow Rest Stop Roadies to hand you fruit, bagels and all food not individually packed.
  • If the potty lines are long:
    • Get snacks and water first, then line up for port-a-potties. You can eat and stretch while in line
    • Always take off your riding gloves before using the port-a-potty
    • Always wash hands after using the port-a-potty. We’ll have wet naps and hand sanitzer at all the stops and in camp.
  • As the day continues, Cyclists tend to stay longer in Rest Stops. Manage your time and be sure to leave plenty of time to finish the route. Most people ride more slowly as the day goes on.
  • Make sure you stretch, drink, and eat some food at each Rest Stop, but don’t dawdle.
Setting up your tent
  • If it’s a windy day, place your luggage inside the tent as you set it up and keep it in there afterwards so your tent does not blow away.
Dinner/Showering/Announcements
  • Depending on the time you arrive, decide if you should:
    • Eat, set up tent, then shower
    • Set up tent, eat, then shower
    • Set up tent, shower, then eat
    • Eat, set up tent, and go to bed and just smell
  • As you prepare to shower, gather things you will need for the next day.
  • Only vegetarians are allowed in the vegetarian dinner line.  No matter how much
    better their food may look, we only have enough vegetarian meals for those who noted it on their registration forms.
  • Arrange medications you may need later or in the morning.
Lights out
  • Have a flashlight and slip-on shoes easily accessible to you during the night for when you have to go to the potty (and yes, we all have to at some point).
  • Something flashy on the tent helps identify your tent during the evening. Keep in mind that 400 of your closest friends also had the same idea, so make it unique.
  • Quiet time begins at 9:30 pm. Remember that the noises in a tent--including conversations--carry outside of your tent. Remember to keep quiet after 9:30 pm.