Two rookie riders will also accept the challenge presented by the 10th annual AIDS/Lifecycle: Kristin Keiper and Bradley Pinson, who will participate under the name Music City Queens of Country.

The pair have allocated their donations to the LA Gay & Lesbian Center, an organization that offers free HIV testing and care for its members. They also provide housing, food, clothing and support for homeless GLBT youth.

This philanthropic effort is just a natural extension of the Nashville duo's devotion to GLBT causes. Keiper assists in marketing and promotions for the Human Rights Campaign's Nashville branch, and Pinson serves as a board member with the Nashville GLBT Chamber of Commerce. Both believe their connections within the community will only aid their pursuit of raising $10,000 as a team.

"We have some amazing and wonderful friends," says Keiper, the internship coordinator of Belmont University's College of Business Career Development Center. "At the end of the day they will help and support us however they can."

Citing Keiper as a premier straight ally for Nashville's GLBT population, Pinson has nothing but praise for his riding partner.

"She understands there's some 'separate but not equal' that still exists in our country," says Pinson, a financial center manager at Fifth Third Bank. "People are in shock when I tell them that we're going to ride, but then I tell them about the cause and they're incredibly supportive. The website (www.aidslifecycle.org) is the selling point. I've read so many amazing stories. I don't live with HIV, but a lot of people who are riding do, and it's inspiring to be involved with that." 

The physical benefits---both "Queens" began training in early February---are an added perk of this project. In a 545-mile ride, an intense commitment, both physical and emotional, is required to cross the finish line.

"It's been such a personal motivation for me to stay in good shape," Pinson says. "I can't imagine the sense of accomplishment that I'll feel when I finish."

"I expect there to be so much energy among all these people that it's going to be uplifting even in the exhaustion," Keiper adds.

Photo courtesy of Red Bull

Red Bull Unlocked Nashville


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Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville

Rumble Boxing Gulch, Nashville


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Post-Covid travel planning

Who would have thought that we would have to get through a pandemic in order to appreciate the small things we have, such as the ability to simply pack our bags and hit the road?

For two years, there’s been nothing left for us travel junkies to do but sit at home and try to find new destinations that we will conquer once we defeat what appears to be the biggest villain of the 21st century. But once that happens, hold your bags tight because we will be up for some of the most interesting travel experiences. Take a look at some ideas for your post-COVID traveling plans:

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