Father, son will cycle together in 15th annual Ride For AIDS Chicago

Sat. July 7, 2018 6:52 AM by Ross Forman

Chicagoan Steven Acosta will ride the special 230-mile Ride, benefitting TPAN

Chicago, IL - Steven Acosta is excited, not nervous, for his second time participating in the Ride For AIDS Chicago, two-day, 230-mile bicycle ride benefitting the Test Positive Aware Network (TPAN).

He knows the tears will flow when he crosses the finish-line, particularly for family reasons.

"We have new riders on Team Impulse Chicago; it will be an amazing feeling to cross the finish-line together," said Acosta, 34, who lives in Lakeview and is the team captain. "My dad cycles and when he saw I did the Ride last year, he was jealous and has been (anxious) to do a long-distance ride. I put a lot of thought into it and officially invited my dad to join Team Impulse Chicago this year with my friends.

"Thinking about doing 230 miles with my dad seems like an experience I will cherish my whole life. Cycling has given me a new bond with my dad."

The Ride For AIDS Chicago marks its 15th anniversary and moves from July to September, taking place Sept. 8-9. And, instead of heading to Wisconsin, riders will instead travel east to Michigan via a picturesque cycling backdrop, many paths along Lake Michigan.

The Ride for AIDS Chicago is the Midwest's only back-to-back century cycling event. For this year only, cyclists have the option of registering to complete the Anniversary Distance, which adds an additional 15 miles in each direction. There also is a 100-mile route.

Orlando Acosta, 60, who lives in Pompano Beach, Fla., is a much better rider than Steven, the son said. Both are excited for the late-summer event.

"I know that he's going to want to do it as fast as he can, and I will have to remind him this is not a race, (especially since) he is very competitive," Steven said of his dad. "Cycling has created a new bond with my dad and I am looking forward to cherishing this moment, (though) I probably will cry in the end. But it will be one of those free moments where nothing can stop you and you are on cloud-nine."

Acosta, who is a Vice-President Retail Training Manager for MB Financial Bank, is on the executive committee for the Ride.

"The (2017) Ride was emotional in the fact that I actually rode 200 miles for (the) first time, (though) I injured both index fingers and thumbs. My gloves were too tight, and I was feeling pain, but not knowing exactly why," he said. "I felt inspired to do more (after the 2017 Ride). It was a great accomplishment, and great to know that I raised money and rode for others who cannot.

"The most memorable moment of the (2017) Ride was making new friends, (such as) George Titterton, (who) rides, loves orchids and scuba diving – just like me. It was great to make new friendships through an event like the Ride."

Acosta said the 200-mile 2017 Ride "was not as challenging as it seems." Thus, he encourages others to participate.

Acosta, on a Specialized road bike, even cycles to work at times. MB Financial Bank is a sponsor of the Ride.

"I ride (in the fight against) HIV/AIDS and want to help those in need," said Acosta, whose financial fundraising goal for 2018 is $1,500.

"This is such an easy way to give back to the community – ride 230 miles and encourage others to donate. Donate your time for those that need help. I like to give back and volunteer. This seems to fit (the things I like, such as) cycling and raising money (in the fight against) HIV/AIDS."

Plus, Acosta added, "There is someone close to me (who) died of AIDS many years ago. (In addition to) that, I ride for the community."

Acosta said Peter Garaffo took me under his wings last year. Now Acosta is doing the same – helping others the way Garaffo helped him.

The 15th annual Ride For AIDS Chicago will be held Sept. 8-9, including a special 230-mile version to commemorate the milestone anniversary, for the event that benefits the Test Positive Aware Network (TPAN). The annual "View From The Top" fundraiser will be held Sunday, July 15, from 3-8 p.m., to benefit Team TPAN and Windy City Cycling – with a breathtaking view of Boystown and the city of Chicago, along with raffle prizes, silent auctions, sexy go-go dancers, and more.

Click here to support Steven Acosta and TPAN. 

To buy tickets to the "View From The Top" fundraiser, which will be held Sunday, July 15, from 3-8 p.m, at 3526 N. Halsted St. in Boystown, click here