Top Row L to R: Albert Shum, Andrew van Leeuwen, Mark Carson, Donald Summers, Duff Bangs, Aaron Pambianco, Jeff Johnson, Cale Wilber, Greg Plaunt
Bottom Row L to R: Pete Nelson, Lauren Link, Carey Moran, Ashley Rodgers, Peter Gray, Michael Smith, Aaron Freedman
[Photos by Sandy Ha]

At the tail end of each summer, team BUILD turns off the monitors, puts the smart phones away and gets serious about cycling, community, and charity. Our annual two-day, 187 mile Seattle to Vancouver ride is in its seventh year, and it’s been an extraordinary opportunity for us to round up our friends and get some exercise, all while raising donations for some of Seattle’s most purposeful organizations.


This year we supported Hopelink and Bikeworks, both outstanding social profit organizations based here in Seattle. Hopelink is a community action agency in the Pacific Northwest that serves homeless and low-income families, children, seniors, and people with disabilities. Columbia City based Bikeworks focuses on bicycle recycling, community engagement, and youth development. We were proud to ride for each of these groups and we raised over $19,700, which goes directly to Hopelink and Bikeworks. A huge thanks to our sponsors and donors for making this happen. They include Welland, Microsoft, AJP Engineering, Metropolitan Appliance, and BUILD LLC. If you’d like to join us in our support of these excellent organizations, you can send your donations to Hopelink and Bikeworks. Note “S2V” on your donation and you can help the cause — we won’t even make you ride 187 miles!

S2V-2016-12 by Michael Smith
[Photo by Michael Smith]

This year’s ride occurred during the Pacific Northwest’s heatwave, so a constant supply of liquids and healthy food was more important than ever. Special thanks goes out to Hopelink’s Barbara Hagel and Kim Bevier as well as Bikework’s Sarah Danilson and their volunteers for coordinating and providing lunch, snacks, and proper hydration at our Arlington pit stop. The delicious spread was greatly appreciated.


The 2016 jersey, designed by Charles Caldwell and Carey Moran here at BUILD, is a nod to the classic cycling jersey with dash of sleek modernism. Castelli Cycling produced the jerseys and delivered them ahead of schedule, despite a tight deadline.


While the ride itself can be challenging, lengthy, and, at least this year, a bit sweltering, we like to travel in style. Kudos to Bellingham’s Chrysalis Inn and the sleekly designed Sheraton Vancouver for taking excellent care of the team.


Gratitude goes out to the 2016 team leader, Aaron Pambianco, who did an excellent job taking the reins and giving the S2V founder, Kevin Eckert, a well-earned sabbatical. BUILD’s very own Sandy Ha drove the support vehicle, set the team up with a handsomely curated display of snacks at each stop, snapped a ton of photos, and was an excellent cheerleader. This year’s vehicle was appropriately named Vanna White, Wheels of Fortune.


What keeps many of us coming back year after year for the S2V ride is the community and camaraderie. Whether it’s the competition or the cooperation that gets each of us up the hills, the respect for one another is unfailing. It’s an honor to be involved with such an extraordinary group of people and the Pacific Northwest sunshine provides all the excuse we need to switch off our digital lives and get present with this tribe. We can’t thank everyone enough for their involvement, enthusiasm, and commitment. Above and beyond all that, this group is just a heck of a lot of fun to spend a weekend with.


For more photos from the ride, check out our Facebook album.

Cheers from Team BUILD