Tim Irvin contacted us a few years ago to setup a Celly communication network for the annual AIDS/LifeCycle event. Since then he has used Celly to support riders during each yearly event. AIDS/LifeCycle is “a 7-day, 545 mile bike ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles that raises money and awareness for the HIV and AIDS services of the Los Angeles LGBT Center and the San Francisco AIDS Foundation.” To learn more about the event, and hear how Tim is using Celly, check out our interview below.

Tell us about yourself:

My day job is an IT Consultant, working with Internet companies to help them create and manage scaleable, secure back-end systems and networks. On the AIDS/LifeCycle, I am a 14 year veteran volunteer. My official position on the ride is Route Services Deputy. In that role I manage a group of ROADIES (volunteers) that run and support the Rest Stops that we setup along the 7-day route from San Francisco to Los Angeles. There is a Rest Stop every 15 miles, which is a spot for the cyclists to get food, water, medical care, bike tech, and a rest.

How do you use Celly for the AIDS/LifeCycle annual event?

We use Celly in two primary ways:

1. As a means of communicating among the various volunteers and staff members that have jobs along the bike route during each day. Our command center dispatch team uses Celly to send important announcements to all these staff and volunteers, and to receive updates from those teams during the day. Celly allows for a curated channel to be setup that works perfectly for both of these functions.

2. As a way of tracking the cyclist’s location along the route. Each Rest Stop updates a cell with the current cyclist count (the number of cyclists that have arrived at the stop). The other support teams (sweep that pick up riders with mechanical or medical issues, the medical support teams, the ambulance crew, the staff that monitor the ride) can watch these counts on the Cell and know where most of the riders are located, and can stage their crews appropriately.

How has Celly helped improved communication for the event?

Before Celly each team would have to call the dispatch area to inform them of their location, or to report any other status messages. The dispatch team would have to call multiple people along the route to pass along important announcements. Being able to have a web browser with a running stream of message to and from the route teams has reduced the number of phones calls needed, and has stream lined the communication between dispatch and the teams in a huge way.

Having a method for each team to receive cyclist counts without having to call or radio to the Rest Stops has streamlined the way this information is disseminated, helping everyone get their job done easier.

What new features would you like to see added to Celly?

Being able to see the current location of each person on the cell would be a huge benefit the dispatch team, also if a cell message had location information and a time stamp on the message then then that would make our job easier.


For more info about the AIDS/LifeCycle annual ride:

Have an event that you want to create a Celly communication network for? Email us at and we’ll help you get started.


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