By Michelle Ma

sam ames alcI know, bikes get stolen all the time in Oakland and the rest of the Bay Area. What makes this one special? This bicycle was a gift to our friend Sam so that she could ride the AIDS LifeCycle for the very first time. This bike was meant for a purpose.

Sam was inspired to ride the LifeCycle this year after witnessing the experiences of her coworkers at the National Center of Lesbian Rights, where she works as a LGBTIQA civil rights attorney. Despite falls, a sprained ankle, and an insane work schedule, Sam has always gotten right back on the bike, with a determination and resilience that has inspired all of her friends.

But then her bicycle was stolen out of her car.

Sam cannot replace this bike. The bike was a gift to her because there was no way that Sam could afford one of her own (at least not one of this quality, anyway) and she really, really wanted to do this ride. With the gift of the bike, she was able to invest every spare cent in gear, training, and fundraising.

Maybe the world is sending her a sign that she’s just meant to sit this one out, but I don’t think so. I think we can find the bike. It’s a 50cm Cannondale Synapse, with the original men’s seat replaced with a women’s seat, an ALC accessory bag on the front and tag on the back. If you see it, please contact me at and/or Sam at

You can also donate to Sam’s ALC fundraiser here:

And here is the Craigslist post by Sam, looking for her bike:

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