This year marks the first time that four new riders will experience the Cycle Oregon Week Ride courtesy of the Mark Bosworth Fund. Since the Fund’s existence, three riders have participated annually in honor of Mark, Cycle Oregon volunteer and avid cyclist who was last seen in the town of Riddle, Oregon on the final night of Cycle Oregon’s 2011 Week Ride.
Despite a massive search-and-rescue effort, there are no clear clues what happened to Mark. Following his disappearance, Mark’s family decided to honor him by setting up the Mark Bosworth Fund to give an annual scholarship to one person to ride Cycle Oregon. Successful fundraising efforts actually allowed three Fund-supported riders to participate in 2013, 2014, and 2015.
The four 2016 Mark Bosworth Fund winners include Hagen Hammons of Sandy Springs, Georgia; Monique Ybarra of Hillsboro, Oregon; Oscar Fernandez of Portland, Oregon; and Trina Kanewa of Springfield, Oregon.
“It is truly an honor to be able to ride on behalf of the Mark Bosworth Fund,” says Hammons, a transportation planner and designer who took a class on geographic information systems taught by Mark at Portland State. “Mark encouraged me when I envisioned a rail-with-trail facility in my family-home region of south Louisiana. I am riding to honor his legacy as a bicycle transportation and tourism advocate, as well as for my own personal motivation and love of the Oregon landscape.”
Ybarra, a student at Portland State, is eager to tackle Bear Camp Road—a steep climb happening on Day 5. “I’m riding Cycle Oregon for the mental and physical challenge of completing a weeklong cycling event,” she says.
Fernandez, a university studies instructor at Portland State, is looking forward to joining his cyclist friends who are Cycle Oregon vets. “I know that cycling across Oregon with them—and with yet unknown future friends—will enrich our lives as we share our love for cycling and for Oregon’s natural beauty,” he says.
For Kanewa, who operates a housekeeping service when she’s not on her bike, the Bosworth scholarship is allowing her to fulfill a long-time goal. “Riding Cycle Oregon has been a dream ever since I got clean and sober, and I started cycling to replace old habits with healthy ones,” she says. “Cycling has become my meditation.”
UPDATE: Cycle Oregon sponsor Johnson RV is donating two rides to the Mark Bosworth Fund, which will allow two more riders to participate in the Week Ride on scholarship. Stay tuned for an announcement.