Man Dies on First Day of California AIDS/LifeCycle, Created Over Dispute With AIDSRide Sponsor Pallotta TeamWorks
A 57-year-old man died yesterday while taking part in the first day of the inaugural AIDS/LifeCycle, a 600-mile bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles that was created this year by the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center after a dispute over returns with California AIDSRide sponsor Pallotta TeamWorks, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The man collapsed from a heart attack yesterday on Highway 1 in southern San Mateo County after a lunch break (Heredia, San Francisco Chronicle, 5/14). He had ridden about 58 miles that morning and was treated in an ambulance but was pronounced dead before he could be transferred to a nearby hospital, Gustavo Suarez, a spokesperson for SFAF, said (Associated Press, 5/14). The death is a setback for AIDS/LifeCycle, which was created after SFAF and the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center pulled out of the annual AIDSRide sponsored by Pallotta TeamWorks, claiming that the for-profit company "did not return enough money" to charities. Pallotta sued to stop the competing ride, citing breech of contract, but a Los Angeles judge dismissed the case. Yesterday's start only drew about 700 participants, compared to the 2,800 riders at last year's AIDSRide. SFAF Executive Director Pat Christen blamed the legal dispute for the low turnout. "We had a challenge to face putting on this event. After we made the decision to end it with the California AIDSRide, they took us to court and we didn't get a green light from the judge to go forward with LifeCycle until the end of January," she said. California AIDSRide-9, which will benefit 13 not-for-profit HIV/AIDS agencies in California, will begin in San Francisco on June 2 and proceed to Los Angeles. About 1,100 people are registered for that ride (San Francisco Chronicle, 5/14).This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.