The people behind the riders in the ACT 6 AIDS Ride - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

The people behind the riders in the ACT 6 AIDS Ride

Encouragement and support is what keeps many of the ACT 6 riders focused on their objectives; raise money and awareness for AIDS and HIV related issues by finishing their ride.

Much of that encouragement comes from crew members. These are people you find at the pit stops along the way. People who don't ride a bike, but are essential to the success of the ACT 6 ride.

27 News caught up with the pit crew at Indian Lake Park in Cross Plains. They're setting up decorations with Friday's theme, getting out the food and prepping for the riders so they can get in, get out and move on.

Each has their own reason for getting involved. This is Peg Pritchett's first year on the crew.

"Crew is the vital backbone of the whole ride and I thought it would be a good way to get started in the whole organization of the ride."

A ride that has riders knocking out roughly 60 or 70 miles per day. That time on the road can be tough -- especially with the sun beating down. But the challenges these riders face don't stack up to the challenges of those they are working to support.

Bob Bowers has been living with HIV for better than two decades.

He's a crew member who supports riders every step of the way.

I just do it to lend my face. It shows them that not only somebody appreciates their efforts but i'm somebody thriving with the disease, I'm a direct reflection of their hard work on these rides."

This beefy, tattooed, heterosexual got infected after sharing a contaminated needle - and shows up to deliver an important message...

"That HIV and AIDS is not a gay disease. This virus if you will does not discrimminate. We do a good job at it but this virus doesn't. It's not who you are, it's what you do that puts you at risk for this disease."

Those on the road appreciate Bob's enthusiasm and his support as he and other crew members keep riders encouraged and focused..

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