Famous Chicken, E-Bikes, and Jumps: STP Ambassadors Totally Rock!
Our STP Ambassadors span the spectrum but they all share one thing: a desire to ride the Kaiser Permanente Seattle to Portland Presented by Alaska Airlines.
Today we shine a spotlight on Ezell’s Famous Chicken CEO Lewis Rudd, electric bike adventurer Anita Elder, and car-free bike commuter Amy Kate Horn.
Ezell’s Famous Chicken CEO Lewis Rudd is riding STP for the 32nd time at age 68.
Anita Elder is riding her first STP at age 64–on a Rad Power electric bike.
Amy Kate Horn is jumping for joy at the prospect of her first STP.
They all have different goals and reasons for riding the Kaiser Permanente Seattle to Portland Presented by Alaska Airlines, but something they all have in common is a desire to share their stories as STP Ambassadors.
We recently shared the stories of other STP Ambassadors including the Bicycle Nomad and a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt who says that “bicycling saved my life.” Today we shine a spotlight on Rudd, Elder, and Horn.
You can see stories, videos, and photos from all of our our STP Ambassadors by following @CascadeBicycle, #STP2023, and #SeattleToPortland on your favorite social media platforms.
Lewis Rudd: Ezell’s Chicken Founder Rides his 32nd STP
Who knew that fried chicken was the secret to a lifetime of fitness?
Ezell’s Famous Chicken co-founder Lewis Rudd remains in top shape at age 68 as he prepares to ride STP 2023 in one day. It will be his 32nd STP overall.
Rudd has an annual tradition of riding his age or more in miles on his birthday. On March 5, he rode more than 69 miles in cold and windy weather. “It’s a tradition I started in my thirties. The ride is a birthday gift to myself, and it gets longer every year but I’ve got no plans to stop.”
Rudd is more than a strong and fit rider. He’s a community-minded entrepreneur whose business donates to a variety of initiatives that support Black-owned businesses and elevate communities of color.
One of the projects Rudd supports is Cascade’s Major Taylor Project (MTP), which teaches bike and leadership skills to youth in Tacoma and South Seattle. For the second straight year, Cascade will serve Ezell’s Famous Chicken on April 23 at the finish line of the Ride for Major Taylor, which raises revenue for MTP.
Rudd leapt at the opportunity to become an STP Ambassador. “Bicycling has played such an important role in my life,” he says, “and I want to help get more people of color on bikes to experience the fun and fitness benefits.”
Read more about Rudd in “Seattle’s Fried Chicken King Preps for His 31st STP” and our story “Fried Chicken, Roller Skates, and Road Bikes.”
Anita Elder: E-Bike Extrovert and Bicycle Junkie
Cascade member and volunteer Anita Elder personifies the life-changing power of electric bikes. Prior to the pandemic she had barely ridden a bike in 30 years. Today, she is a self-described “bicycle junkie” who has logged thousands of miles on her two e-bikes.
“I never thought I would be this person, especially at my age,” says Elder, who is 64. “Biking has opened up a whole new chapter in my life, and I feel happier and more fulfilled than at anytime in my life.”
Elder bought her first e-bike in April of 2020 during the pandemic “bicycle boom.” She was looking for a healthy way to get outside and exercise. Initially, she worked hard to ride six to eight miles. Within three months she was completing rides of 20 miles or more. By the end of 2020, Elder had pedaled more than 1,000 miles and was feeling fitter and happier than she had in years.
Her confidence and mileage increased to more than 1,600 miles in 2021, when she participated in Cascade’s Lake Chelan Tour Lite. She bought her second e-bike, a RadMission from Rad Power Bikes, plus a spare battery for longer rides. Elder also volunteered to support STP so she could check out the 206-mile route, which she plans to ride in two days, and figure out how many batteries she would need.
This year, she registered for STP and began training. In February, Elder traveled to southern California to ride the Tour de Palm Springs. She finished the 80-mile route plus the five miles each way from her hotel in five-and-a-half hours with the use of two batteries.
Elder felt so good the next day that she went out and did another 38-mile ride. “I realized that if I got enough sleep I should have no trouble doing STP in two days.”
Elder has rides and events planned for just about every weekend from now through July including: a 10-day bike tour in the Netherlands, the Ride for Major Taylor on April 23, the 70-mile route at Cascade’s Flying Wheels ride on June 3, and Cascade’s new Winthrop Gravel Tour Lite, June 23-25.
On weekdays, Elder leads and participates in Cascade’s Free Group Rides.
“When I got my e-bike three years ago, I thought it would be a good way for me to get exercise during Covid. Now I feel that I can do anything I put my mind to, no matter my age.”
Amy Kate Horn: Jumping for the Joy of Bicycling
“Bicycling is my preferred mode of transportation, not only because it's cost efficient and ethical, but because it's a joy-inducing adventure at human scale,” says Amy Kate Horn.
“You can see, smell, and hear more than when you're in a car, and it's simple to veer off course or stop to explore.”
Horn, 47, began riding bikes regularly five years ago when she moved to the Georgetown neighborhood of Seattle. She doesn’t let the lack of bike infrastructure in Georgetown and South Seattle stop her from riding.
“My bike is my go-to vehicle for getting around the city,” Horn says. “It kills me to use a car for errands or commutes.”
As an STP Ambassador, Horn wants to represent “nonconforming, inclusive, and lighthearted people” who ride bikes for fun. She calls STP a bucket-list ride. “STP sounds both fun and challenging, and those are the goals that tend to be the most rewarding.”
Horn’s favorite bike accessory? Her rainbow LED spoke lights. Favorite thing to do while bicycling? Stopping to snap photos of herself jumping for joy.
“Jumping shows the levity I feel while bicycling. If you see me riding around Seattle, or during STP, please join me for a jump!”
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