[Photo Credit: BUILD LLC]

For the past few years, a regular rhythm within our summer activities has been our annual charity ride from BUILD World Headquarters in Seattle up to Vancouver, British Columbia. We’re happy to report that the 2013 Seattle to Vancouver (S2V) invitational ride was an extraordinary success. All 22 cyclists crossed the 188 mile finish line with style: there wasn’t a single crash, the weather was pristine, and we raised over $28,000 for homeless mothers and children in Seattle. What an extraordinary way to build camaraderie, support a cause and get some exercise while you’re at it. Three birds, one stone — sign us up for next year! (For a peek at previous rides, check out our posts from years one, two, and three.)

Top row L to R: Mike Abrahamson, Jeff Johnson, Andrew van Leeuwen, Kevin Eckert, Harry Arnold, Duff Bangs, T.A. McCann, Gary Plaunt, Greg Plaunt, Joe Kilbourne; Middle row L to R: Bill Reilly, Kristen McNeely, Sarah Holberg, Aaron Pambianco, Muffy Ritz, Glo Kimball; Sitting L to R: Chris Robinson, Carey Moran, Brian Boram, Bill Wiegand, Albert Shumm, Michael Smith, Bill Schlitter

[Photo Credit: BUILD LLC]

Each year the ride becomes that much more important to our community for a variety of reasons. There’s always a need for additional resources within the social-profit organizations in town, and fostering these groups is a vital part of our social responsibility. The benefits of keeping fit are central to a healthy lifestyle (we’re not getting any younger) and it feels exceptional to be in peak performance at the height of summer. It’s also a great excuse to catch up with our pals and, with everyone’s busy schedule, S2V is one of the few opportunities each year that we get to spend time with some of our favorite people. The ride grows in number each year, and we’re looking forward to the 5 year marker in 2014.

[Photo Credit: Brian Boram]

[Photo Credit: Bill Reilly]

Along with all of the charity, fitness and fun, S2V also takes a lot of action from both individuals and groups, and we’re grateful to each and every one of them. Here’s the play-by-play of how it all comes together:

We selected The Hope Center in downtown Seattle as the beneficiary for the second year in a row because their mission is so vital to the well-being of our city. For those of you not familiar with the organization, The Hope Center is a social-profit organization that provides a safe refuge for homeless mothers; they are committed to respect, dignity, hope, and compassion and we are entirely on board with those qualities. You can always give to the Hope Center on their website — bonus points for doing so in the name of S2V.

[Photo Credit: Kathleen Jones]

This year’s jersey is the product of the talented team over at JL Velo and some elbow grease from our man Charles Caldwell at BUILD World Headquarters. Being the design snobs that we are, the jersey is a considered and careful design process, and JL Velo’s David Fleischhauer did an excellent job of taking care of us — give them a shout if you’re in the market for jerseys.


[Image Credit: BUILD LLC]

One of the best parts of the ride is the day one lunch provided by Picnic in Seattle. Owner/chefs Jenny and Anson prepared delicious sandwiches, salads and snacks for the hungry crew and our noon-time appetites were highly appreciative of people who know good, healthy food. If you live in Seattle and have not visited their Phinney Ridge shop, you are missing out on a hot spot for food and wine.

[Photo Credit: BUILD LLC]

Dinner on day one is always a celebrated event and Acme Farms and Kitchen in Bellingham didn’t let us down. A private family-style dinner was just what the doctor ordered after 108 miles of pedaling and the unforgiving terrain of Chuckanut Drive.

[Photo Credit: Jeff Johnson]

[Photo Credit: Brian Boram]

A big thanks goes out to Kevin Eckert for his organizational skills, to Josiah Johnson for making the hospitality arrangements, to Brian Boram for organizing the donations, and to BUILD intern Carey Moran who stepped up at the last minute to drive the team van. Also, a big thanks to Canada for hosting us.

[Photo Credit: Bill Reilly]

[Photo Credit: Kathleen Jones]

Perhaps the most touching aspect of the entire ride is the trust that people put in us. The donations that friends, family and colleagues provided were just astounding this year. It was an absolute privilege representing these individuals; they’ve made a profound difference in our lives and they’ve caused positive change in our community. The following groups have our utmost gratitude:

The benchmark generosity that Greg & Margo Plaunt via their company Welland provided with a large donation (nearly ¼ of our total) undoubtedly spurred on our top donors, Bill Wiegand, and Paul Sturm & Flora Ling, to unforeseen levels of generosity.

Other companies that contributed at our $1000 sponsorship level include AJP Engineering, Bill Reilly Design, KMS Financial Services, RMB Vivid, Society Consulting and our very own BUILD LLC and Special Projects Division LLC.

We also had the generous support of previous individuals who were kind enough to give again this year including Albert Shum, Gavin Shearer & Elaine Chu, T. A. McCann, Ryan Linton, Leen Kashyap, Chase & Kate Jarvis, J. Michael Smith and Ten Pachi Salon.

Lastly, we welcome a series of new fundraisers including Modern Metal LLC, Harry & Caron Arnold, Helen Nelson and other thoughtful family members.

[Photo Credit: Duff Bangs]

[Photo Credit: Duff Bangs]

Cheers from Team S2V