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Cycling has been a passion for me during various times in my life. I've always been fascinated with the possibility of propelling oneself relatively vast distances in relatively short periods of time. I suppose this is otherwise known as going fast. But it's really more than the speed. It's the scale of distances that are almost immediately accessible to you when you clamber up onto a bike. The yearly Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic (STP) that the Cascade Bicycling Club organizes is a good example. It would take a hell of a lot longer to walk those 200 miles from Seattle to Portland! It's also satisfying to think that such a simple device makes it all possible. Cycling is one place where you can intimately meet the laws of physics and turn them to your advantage.

This is the sentiment that inspired me to ride over 10,000 miles on one bike, riding in unlikely places such as the 14,000 ft peak Mt. Evans in Colorado and the Arizona desert outside of Tucson or on routine training loops such as between Seattle and Everett, Washington. Even Semester at Sea provided a couple of opportunities for cycling, once in Japan and another time from Luxor to the Valley of the Kings in Egypt. I haven't had the time or the inclination to ride much in the past few years but it seems like sooner or later the passion will surface again and I'll be out on the asphalt seeing just how much further or faster I am capable of going.

Follow this link to read about my experiences preparing for and participating in the 25th Annual Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic, which was held in 1999.

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Mark A. Martin <mark@mark-a-martin.us>

Last modified: Tue Jul 25 17:11:06 CDT 2000