Jessica Mathews /

A local woman is busy training and fundraising ahead of a lengthy bike ride for a cause.

46-year-old Heather Robinson is a lifelong Fowlerville resident who recently moved to Howell. In June, she’ll join hundreds of other riders who will be bicycling 545 miles from San Francisco to LA as part of AIDS/LifeCycle 2023.

Robinson said their mission is to raise funds but also awareness about ending the stigma surrounding people with HIV/AIDS and help provide positive life-affirming experiences for those affected by it. She says they strive to grow the number of volunteers and ambassadors for the cause, and one of the major reasons they ride is also to honor those who have passed away from AIDS and AIDS-related causes.

Robinson took part in the ride for the first time last year. She’s the Assistant Junior Varsity Basketball Coach at Fowlerville High School – where she graduated and played basketball, softball, and volleyball. She told WHMI she’s always been a sports person and was looking to get back into shape when the ride just popped up across her newsfeed. Robinson noted she doesn’t have any direct ties to the AIDS community but has always supported the LGBTQ community and it just feels good to give back and do something for others.

The event runs June 4th through 10th. Robinson says they ride about 100 miles a day, with rest stops typically every 15-20 miles, and then sleep in tents at night. She says it’s not very comfortable and it gets pretty chilly at night but it’s all for the cause.

Meals and snacks are provided so all the riders have to worry about is pedaling. Robinson said she did have a few issues last year – one of her shoes fell apart and she got a couple of flat tires. She says certain tires pop in high heat but mechanics are also around to help.

Robinson said it’s all pretty intense but awesome and she’ll be training over the coming months to get ready.

Robinson is in the process of fundraising for the ride - which hasn’t been very easy so she’s planning different fundraisers and raffles and has donation jars out at some Mugg & Bopps stores. A link to donate directly is provided, and a raffle flyer is attached.