[Top row L to R: Todd Plaunt, Blair Casey, Brandon Boudreaux, Andrew van Leeuwen, Aaron Pambianco, Pete Nelson, Greg Plaunt, Kevin Eckert, Mark Carson, Duff Bangs, Cale Wilber, Jeff Johnson, James Drage
Bottom row L to R: Bill Buxton, Carey Moran, Albert Shum, Brian Boram, Bill Weigand, Michael Smith, Steven Gadingan, Kellen Rack]
Few events in life involve genuine purpose from beginning to end. The annual Seattle to Vancouver (S2V) ride is one of the few. From the initial fundraising, to the training before the ride, to the camaraderie and physical exertion during the ride, and extending to the meals and conversations among friends and colleagues after a long day of cycling, the 10th annual S2V ride was all of these things, which amounted to a magnitude more than the sum of its parts. 20 riders cycled 190 miles to be a part of something bigger than themselves and to give back to the community.
This year we had the honor of riding for Team Gleason and Seattle’s very own Bikeworks. Team Gleason provides individuals afflicted with neuromuscular diseases, like ALS, with leading-edge technology, equipment, and services; they’re creating a global conversation about ALS to ultimately find solutions and an end to the disease. Bikeworks promotes the bicycle as a vehicle for change; they work to educate and empower youth, to make bicycling accessible and affordable to Seattle riders (of all levels), and to build resilient communities.
Both organizations are committed to respect, dignity, hope, and compassion. The champions for these causes came out in droves this year, and we owe a tremendous thank you to our families, friends, colleagues, and individuals who simply believe in the value of our mission. Our heartfelt gratitude goes out to each of these donors. The 2019 S2V team raised $44,000 for Team Gleason, and $16,000 for Bikeworks, but the giving doesn’t have to end there. If you haven’t already, BUILD invites you to donate to Team Gleason here and to Bikeworks here.
As this is the 10th year of the S2V ride, it’s a mile marker in many respects, and the fundraising is paramount. To date, the Seattle to Vancouver ride has raised $268,000 for incredible, life saving, community-building causes. None of this would have been possible without the people around us taking agency.
A special thanks goes out to Blair Casey and Brandon Boudreaux who traveled up from New Orleans to represent Team Gleason, and to Steven Gadingan and Kellen Rack who represented Bikeworks—each put in the miles and then some. We have great respect for Todd Plaunt who drove the 2019 van, and Brian Boram of RMB Vivid who did a stellar job with the branding for the team jerseys and water bottles. Once again, the ride sponsors, The Welland Company, BUILD LLC, and AJP Engineering put their dollars, labor, and heart into making the ride a reality.
In the over achievers category, several cyclists extended the ride for a third day to Whistler, B.C. This challenging addition to the ride winds through some of the most spectacular scenery of the Pacific Northwest, and ends in a natural wonderland. Big respect to these riders.
[L to R: Albert Shum, Greg Plaunt, Michael Smith, Bill Weigand, Kevin Eckert, Aaron Pambianco, Blair Casey, Brandon Boudreaux]
We couldn’t be happier with the camaraderie, achievement, and support for causes that this 10th S2V ride engendered. Cheers to everyone involved (be it through pedaling, donations, or support). See you next year at S2V 2020!