One of the 150 ACT III volunteers is very special to NBC 15.
Mike McKinney, veteran AIDS rider and NBC 15 colleague, is once again volunteering to help out with this year's ride. He's a member of the crew.
After announcing his battle with colon cancer last year, Mike says he has more energy now than he's had in a while. Partly because of the excitement this weekend brings and even more because of all the dedicated faces he's seen come out to bring awareness to and help defeat AIDS.
"Like it?" asks Mike as he points to his vehicle, "It's the boogy disco machine!"
Mike is back at it again, this time with a disco ball.
"My job is to take care of all these great riders, to make sure they're pumped up, make sure they're happy, keep an eye on them cause sometimes they can got hot and dehydrated, make sure they're pumping. It's going to be difficult but I want to make sure they have that encouragement that they have right there," he says as he points to cheering in the background at a rest stop along the trail, "Make sure they have that encouragement for the length of the ride."
As a three year veteran rider, Mike knows how important the crew is for morale.
He's been involved in the AIDS Network Cycles Together Ride since the get go.
"You go through different emotions every ride and that's why I keep on doing it," he says. Then I ask, "How long are you going to keep on doing it?" And he says confidently, "Until we find a cure."
And he says with a little faith he really believes we can move mountains.
"I'm realistic that if we put the money and the manpower behind fighting an end to AIDS, then we can do it in my lifetime."
Mike says it's so good to be back and stronger because he misses being around.
If you'd like to help cheer on your favorite rider, you can find station locations on our website.