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940th athlete rides for a cure

Air Force Reservist Master Sgt. David Miller (right), from the 940th Civil Engineer Squadron at Beale Air Force Base, Calif., and his friend Travon Robinson, whose brother died of AIDS, are training for the AIDS/LifeCycle 6 bicyle ride June 3-9, 2007. The event is a seven-day 545 mile ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles to help raise money for people with HIV/AIDS, and raise awareness and increase knowledge about the disease. (Courtesy Photo)

Air Force Reservist Master Sgt. David Miller (right), from the 940th Civil Engineer Squadron at Beale Air Force Base, Calif., and his friend Travon Robinson, whose brother died of AIDS, are training for the AIDS/LifeCycle 6 bicyle ride June 3-9, 2007. The event is a seven-day 545 mile ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles to help raise money for people with HIV/AIDS, and raise awareness and increase knowledge about the disease. (Courtesy Photo)

BEALE AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- An Air Force Reservist's many hours of training and preparation will help fight a terrible disease that has affected this Airman personally.

Master Sgt. David Miller, a Heating Ventilating Air Conditioning and Refrigeration supervisor with the 940th Civil Engineer Squadron, has a close friend whose brother died of AIDS several years ago. This life changing event motivated Sergeant Miller to use his athletic ability to help others with HIV and AIDS by training for the AIDS/LifeCycle 6 bicycle ride.

AIDS/LifeCycle is a seven-day 545 mile ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles June 3-9, 2007, to help provide critical services to people with HIV and AIDS. The ride also raises awareness and increases knowledge about the diseases, according to the AIDS/LifeCycle Web site.

Sergeant Miller's journey to play a part in the AIDS/LifeCycle bike ride began when his friend approached him at a triathlon and said he wanted to get physically fit.

"He told me that he wanted to get into shape so that he could participate in a ride that would help people with AIDS," Sergeant Miller said. "He had never ridden a bike for more than five miles. He also told me how his brother had died of AIDS, and how his family could not afford the medication to help him."

As Sergeant Miller started training his friend he began to develop an interest in helping others who have HIV and AIDS and wanted to take part in the AIDS/LifeCycle ride.

"The more I talked with my friend the more I realized that I should be a part of this," the sergeant said.

Sergeant Miller's training regiment for the AIDS/LifeCycle involves riding between 100 to 150 miles per week. He also trains to combat the fatigue involved in long bike rides.

"I spend three days a week on my bike, and I also do weight training. I focus on core training, which involves the abs, legs and back," said Sergeant Miller. "It helps your riding to have strong legs, back and abs."

He also receives valuable training tips and advice from a "Cycle Buddy."

"A Cycle Buddy is someone from the AIDS/LifeCycle organization. They tell you what you need to do to prepare for the event," said Sergeant Miller. "They tell you what mileage you should be riding, how to properly hydrate, and how to eat on a bike. They have helped me out a lot."

Sergeant Miller's motivation in training properly for this event lies in his desire to help others.

"I'm very excited and feel fortunate that I'm blessed with the ability to ride long distances," Sergeant Miller said.

He believes that HIV/AIDS is a disease that has been largely ignored by most people.

"AIDS affects nearly every community world wide," Sergeant Miller said. "AIDS is a pandemic that affects millions of people."

Sergeant Miller's goal is to raise $2,500 for the bike ride and so far he has $1,605.05, according to his home page on the official AIDS/LifeCycle Web site.

"If anyone is interested in helping out with the cause they can contact me, or donate money to my Web site on AIDS/LifeCycle. They can also ride in the event as well, or look on the Web site for opportunities to help," he said.

The sergeant is excited to be part of this event and to help those with HIV and AIDS.

"I'm looking forward to the bike ride," Sergeant Miller said. "It's going to be a beautiful ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles."

For more information or to make a donation, go to the AIDS/LifeCycle Web site at http://www.aidslifecycle.org/  Donations can also be made directly to Sergeant Miller's Web site at www.aidslifecycle.org/4715