Bicycle Pacific Northwest is an opportunity to experience 2,000 miles of the Pacific Northwest by traversing its length by bicycle from Fairbanks, Alaska to San Francisco, California this June + July 2010. The adventure will take our team of riders through the largest temperate rainforest in the world - home to a rich diversity of plants and animals and is considered the last true wilderness region in the US. There is a sense of urgency however - we are riding with the goal of raising money and awareness to benefit the recent Gulf Coast Oil spill. In the midst of one of our worst environmental disaster to date, we will be collaborating with The Center for Biological Diversity, an organization involved in the spill response, as the beneficiary of the ride effort. It is with great anticipation that we look forward to the enriching experiences we will come in contact with and hope to present this adventure whose charity may benefit from the public's growing interest in our ride.

Why We Ride:

- To make ourselves and others aware of the beauty of the Pacific North-West.
- To present a thorough account of our travels so that others may vicariously ride along.
- To encourage the possibility of a healthier life without the environmental impact of a car.
- To discover that an adventure motivated by self-will yields unparalleled satisfaction.

The Riders:

George Makrinos (riding from Fairbanks, AK to San Francisco, CA)
Alexandria, VA suburb of Washington DC
Adjunct Faculty, Virginia Tech
Architect, PGAL Architects
Musician, Waac Band guitarist
Virginia Tech, Master of Architecture 2004

Past Rides:
2003 - Hokkaido, Japan - 3438km in 35 days
2008 - San Francisco to Washington DC - 3480mi in 60 days
2009 - Athens, Greece to London, England - 3695km in 60 days

'My first cycle tour fulfilled a dream to cross America from San Francisco to Washington DC. Along the way, I had the opportunity to get to know better America and myself. Because I had come to enjoy cycle touring so much, I envisioned a final destination further down the road and began dreaming about circling the globe. The next year, I set out on my 30th birthday from my mother's home town in Greece to cycle across Europe to London. The result of my past two tours were a thorough appreciation for the opportunities presented in an adventure by bicycle. My hope is that this travel will continue to encourage others to take one step closer to fulfilling their dreams.'

George continues to cultivate a love for architecture, music, and travel by actively engaging these interests in his life. He resides in Alexandria, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, D.C., where he practices architecture with the firm PGAL and writes and performs music with The Waac Band. In addition, he is adjunct professor of computer applications at Virginia Tech where he received his Master of Architecture degree in 2004.

Brian Bolen (riding from Seattle, WA to San Francisco, CA)
Alexandria, VA suburb of Washington DC
Musician, Waac Band keyboardist
Landscape Architect, Parker Rodriguez Inc.
Virginia Tech, Master of Landscape Architecture 2008
BA University of Tennessee, 2004

'I contribute much of my positive adolescent development in life to the opportunities and lessons gained through exploring nature through healthy educational programs. My parents were very influential in providing multiple outlets through which I could enjoy new meaningful experiences. Beginning at an early age, these opportunities shaped me socially and independently to make better decisions throughout life. I found the exploration of our national parks and other wilderness areas to be the most memorable settings in which I have come to learn, appreciate, and grow.'

Brian grew up in eastern Tennessee in the foothills of the nearby Smoky Mountains. It was there that he developed a deep appreciation of nature, art and music. At an early age, this enthusiasm encouraged him to learn the piano, which he continues to actively pursue in public venues around his current town. He strives to explore as many parks in the American national park system as a lifetime can offer. Brian resides in Alexandria, Virginia, where he works as a landscape architect with the firm Parker Rodriguez, Inc. He is most passionate about protecting our wilderness areas, promoting music and artistic outreach programs and advancing science for the betterment of humanity.

Leo Salom (riding from Seattle, WA to Eugene, OR)
Alexandria, VA suburb of Washington DC
Adjunct Faculty, Virginia Tech
Architect, Ritter Architects
Virginia Tech, Master of Architecture 2004

Contact: Teorema4@hotmail.com

'I grew up under the hot Cuban and Miami sun, a bilingual code switcher that dreamed in words and hatched plots to escape into imaginary worlds on copper penny model boats and cardboard framed skyscrapers. Two passions continue to seed these dreams, literature and making stuff; books, buildings, lamps, bicycles, stories, poems and any other kind of poetic endeavor I can cook up. Today, I practice architecture at Ritter Architects, a small firm in Alexandria Virginia and teach a course at Virginia Tech on the relationship between the computer aided drawing and the process of imagination.'

Four years ago I was introduced to the art of cycling and have remained an avid cyclist since. This year I will join my two good friends for a portion of of their long ride.

Sean Bolen (riding from Seattle, WA to Portland, OR)
Knoxville, TN
Kimberly-Clark Cost Analyst
University of Tennessee, Business 2002

Contact: seanpbolen@yahoo.com

'On January 4th of this year I had an invasive surgery where the doctors were to remove a portion of my colon. I went twelve days without food and lost fifteen pounds. I had tubes in both arms, a catheter, three drains in my stomach cavity, a colostomy bag and a NG tube that ran through my nose and down where it pumped green fluid from my stomach to a vat beside my bed. In twelve days my legs had already began to atrophy and walking was difficult. Those days were painful, but not as difficult as they could have been. In June of 2005 I was struck with Guillain Berre, a rare neurological disorder which paralyzed me. I couldn’t close my mouth for a month, I couldn’t close my eyes. I had to learn to walk again, how to talk again. I was told that running would be out of the question, that even walking again might be impossible.

Against the odds, I clawed my way out of Guillain Berre. With three surgeries this year, having thirteen weeks off from work, with fresh scars all over my stomach, I have committed and trained for this trek. I am doing this for me. I am doing this for my daughters. I am doing this because life can beat us. It can bruise us. It can break us. So to answer the question as to why I am going on this trek… I am doing this because I refuse to remain broken.'