Ashley Diamond and Sara Farley meet Julie, Claire and Kelly Bosworth at Cycle Oregon 2014
Mark Bosworth, a two-time cancer survivor who was battling non-Hodgkins lymphoma, began volunteering for Cycle Oregon in 2007. He went missing on September 16, 2011 in Riddle, the last stop on that year’s Cycle Oregon Week Ride and was never found. In 2012, to honor Mark’s memory, his wife, Julie, and their daughters, Claire and Kelly, created the Mark Bosworth Fund to help new riders experience Cycle Oregon for the first time.
Just two years later, the fund has proven to be an overwhelming success. First, it provides a great deal of comfort for the Bosworth family. Julie describes the feeling of being “enveloped” by the Cycle Oregon community when she and her daughters come to the event to meet the riders each year. Second, it has become a great way commemorate a beloved father, husband, mentor, teacher, musician and avid cyclist who was an important part of the Cycle Oregon family. This year’s sponsored scholarship riders all mentioned how much they enjoyed hearing about Mark and how the community rallied around the family in 2011.
Last, but certainly not least, the fund has enabled six new riders to participate in the Week Ride. The original plan was to sponsor one person each year, but generous donations and a lot of qualified applicants made it possible to extend the reach of this great program significantly.
This year’s winners were Lillian Karabaic, Ashley Diamond and Sara Farley. If you didn’t get a chance to meet them on the ride, here’s a little bit about each of them:
Lillian first heard about the fund when it was established in 2013. As a passionate rider with a lot of experience in self-supported bike touring as well as someone heavily involved with bike advocacy, Cycle Oregon has been on the radar of this recent graduate of Reed College for some time.
Her advocacy experience includes working with SHIFT, where she helped with numerous Pedalpalooza events. She now works for the Community Cycling Center (and even helped work the charging station while on the ride).
Lillian is a big fan of wearing cycling gear that passes for street clothes so it’s easier to blend in and mingle with people while out in the wilds of Oregon on a solo tour. Her bike, a custom Ahearne touring rig named Dora, may look more like an old Schwinn than a road bike, but in reality, she’s a thoroughbred (so if you felt sorry for the poor woman in the flowing dress riding the big heavy bike up those hills, there was really no need – and if you wondered how she wafted past you like you were standing still on that one climb, now you know).
In addition to working for the CCC, Lillian helps with the BikePortland podcast. Check her out on this recent episode featuring CO executive director Alison Graves.
Ashley started her cycling career in college where she competed in several triathlons. While Ashley was in nursing school, her mother, a former Cycle Oregon participant herself, told her about the Mark Bosworth Fund and convinced her to apply for the scholarship.
The ride took place in the small window of time between graduation and certification exams. She did find the riding to be a challenge, but she loved the fact that everything else at the event is handled, which gave her the opportunity to relax and enjoy herself before heading off to ace her tests.
While Ashley isn’t sure when she’ll be able to ride Cycle Oregon again, she is sure that she’ll be donating to the Bosworth fund as soon as she gets her career underway.
At the beginning of 2013, Sara was an out of shape stay-at-home mom. She started cycling when her 10-year-old daughter suggested they go on a bike ride together. In April of that same year, she enrolled in a weight loss program and committed to getting in shape. By September 2014 she had completely transformed herself into a lean, mean cycling machine. To learn more about this inspiring metamorphosis, click here.
The Mark Bosworth Fund – What’s Next?
Julie, her family and the board of the Mark Bosworth Fund are extremely proud of everyone they have sponsored to date and are now preparing for 2015. The number of scholarship recipients depends on the amount of funding they are able to raise this year. If you’d like to make a tax-deductible donation to this extremely worthy cause, visit http://www.markbosworthfund.org/donate.html.
Applications for scholarships for Cycle Oregon 2015 will be accepted in February and March and winners will be notified in April so they’ll have plenty of time to train. The scholarship covers registration fees and Tent & Porter service. Other assistance may be made available on a case-by-case basis based on need. For more information visit http://www.markbosworthfund.org/application.html.
Mark and Julie’s youngest daughter, Claire, may be riding Cycle Oregon in 2015 (and it sounds like it might be possible to talk Julie into doing the same). Julie recently purchased the Julie Lawrence Yoga Center in downtown Portland and will be offering a yoga workshop in the spring specifically geared toward cyclists, so if you want to get a jump on your 2015 training (and help convince Julie to join us) that will be the place to be.