Riding STP and Celebrating the Diversity of our Bicycling Community

Riding my electric cargo bike is my favorite thing

Paul Tolmé

  • Cascade is teaming up with multiple bike clubs and organizations to make the 44th STP the most diverse, supportive, and welcoming ever.
  • Partner clubs and groups include Bike Works, Ampersand Bikes Club, Asha for Education, NorthStar Cycling Club, Outspoken Cycling Club, and more.

Two special moments from the 2022 Kaiser Permanente Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic presented by Alaska Airlines remain etched in the memory of Rebeca Perez Martinez nearly eight months after she completed the 206-mile ride over two days.

The first came on day one of STP, which Martinez rode with a group from the NorthStar Cycling Club. They were about 25 miles from their camping spot, and everyone was tired after a long day in the saddle, but the mood was high.

“We had the road to ourselves, the sun was setting, and we were all so quiet and tired but the good energy was still there, the connection between us was still there, and it was that energy that helped us get to our campsite safely,” Martinez says.

Northstar riders at the Astoria Bridge-photo by Zorn Taylor

Northstar and ABC riders celebrating as they enter Portland. Photo by Zorn Taylor.

Her other favorite memory is of bicycling across the Finish Line the next day. 

“The constant support, laughter, love, and patience among all of us is something I am going to carry in my heart for a long time,” Martinez says. 

Martinez and the NorthStar Cycling Club group rode STP as part of the STP Affinity Bike Clubs Partnership. It’s an effort to include and invite more people of different races, ethnicities, genders, sexualities, and physical abilities to participate in STP–and feel welcomed in the wider bicycling community.

In 2023, Cascade is again joining forces with multiple bike clubs and nonprofits to expand and diversify the ridership in STP, which will be held July 15-16. 

“The STP Affinity Bike Clubs Partnership is aimed at letting folks know that STP is for everyone,” says Executive Director Lee Lambert. “We want to create a sense of belonging that makes everyone feel welcomed and celebrated on STP.”

Below are some of the organizations and clubs participating this year. “If you are a member of an affinity based bike club, contact Cascade because we would be excited to work with you,” Lambert says. 

Asha for Education

Asha for Education raises money to help children in India obtain an education, with a goal of advancing socio-economic equity. The group’s Seattle chapter  annually organizes a team of volunteers to train for and ride STP as a fundraiser.


Asha for Education team members Jaanya and Parthik Teli crossing the finish at STP 2022. 

“We have 85-plus riders signed up for our STP training rides this year, the largest number ever,” says Seema Chaudhary, an Asha volunteer who helps organize the group’s STP training rides. 

Asha training rides are similar to Cascade’s CTS program. Weekend training rides start at 15 miles in March and build up to 80 miles over four months, culminating with participation in the 100-mile Flying Wheels Summer Century in June. 

Seema and Ashay Chaudhary with STP Finishers badges

Seema and Ashay Chaudhary with STP Finisher badges.

"Training for and riding STP is a highlight of the year for us,” Chaudhary says. “The months of training unites our Asha volunteers around a healthy goal, brings us together as a community, and allows us to make new friends. Plus, we raise money to support our educational projects in India. It's a real win-win for everyone."

We got to know Asha last year when Asha volunteer Parthik Teli trained for and completed STP with his eight-year-old daughter.

Gruppetto Cycling Club

Cascade Board Member Gabe Castillo founded Gruppetto Cycling Club in 1997 after doing his first STP. This year, he is preparing to ride STP for the 25th time.

Gabe Castillo at the finish of STP 2022

Castillo is Filipino American, and Gruppetto has grown into a hub for riders of Filipino and Asian heritage. The group was even featured on national TV last year during Asian Pacific American Heritage Month in May. 

Castillo says he wants to grow interest in the healthful and community building aspects of bicycling within the Asian and Pacific Islander communities. “We are all trying to celebrate our culture and get our people to be more involved in bicycling.”


Gruppetto riders enjoy some Space Needle views during their 2022 Asian Pacific American Heritage Month ride. 
Ampersand Bikes Club

The Ampersand Bikes Club, or ABC, hosts monthly Ramen Rides for people of Asian, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander heritage.

As they did in 2022, ABC is doing STP training rides with NorthStar Cycling Club members that are led by Bike Works staff members.


ABC riders are all smiles during a Ramen Ride. Photo Kae-Lin Wang.
NorthStar Cycling Club

NorthStar Cycling Club organizes rides for Black, Brown, and Indigenous people in the Pacific Northwest, with a goal of “knocking down the barriers to cycling, building community, and uplifting BIPOC riders to support their physical and mental health,” according to the group’s website.


NorthStar and Ampersand Bikes Club riders take a breather during STP 2022.

NorthStar holds no-drop, easy pace, Sunday Service rides most Sundays.  

Bike Works

Bike Works is a bedrock of the Seattle-area bicycling community that promotes the bicycle as a vehicle for change to empower youth and build resilient communities. 

In 2022 and again this year, Bike Works has included STP training and support in its Adult Programming. In addition to leading training rides, Bike Works provides sag support for ABC and NorthStar consisting of eight staff members, three vehicles, and food. 

“This collaboration and the hard work of our staff represents Bike Works' commitment to racial equity, access, and creating authentic community,” says Ed Ewing, Bike Works Executive Director. “This is also our commitment to Cascade Bicycle Club in its efforts to create access for all.”

Bike Works supported a huge group of Ampersand and NorthStar riders in 2022

As they did last year, staff members are leading training rides to support ABC and NorthStar. “Last year we had an average of a dozen folks per ride, and I'm expecting the same if not more this year,” says Jim Labayen, the adult education manager at Bike Works. “We started at 25 miles, and will be doing a century by June.” 

Martinez was among the riders who participated in these training rides, and she is “very grateful”  for the time that the Bike Works ride leaders devoted. Training and participating in STP with a supportive group of peers and friends “made a huge difference,” she says. 

“Riding with people that I trust and love made the hard parts of the ride more manageable,” Martinez says. “There is nothing like riding with your community, and riding with other melanated folks made the experience a lot more safe for all of us."

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

The mission of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is to cure cystic fibrosis–a genetic disorder that affects the lungs, pancreas, and other organs–and provide all people with CF the opportunity to lead long, fulfilling lives by funding research and advancing high-quality care.

As it did in 2022, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation will again field a team of riders to do STP.

Outspoken Cycle Club

Outspoken is Western Washington's queer cycle club. “Our mission is to build community and empower connection among queer and allied people through cycling in a safe, fun, and healthy way,” says Keith McDaniel.


“All our rides are no-drop,” McDaniel says. “The goal is for everyone to finish each ride they attend as a part of our peloton.” Outspoken holds road, gravel, and mountain bike rides, varying from short weekly rides to multi-day excursions.

In 2022, Team Outspoken fielded 25 riders and raised money to benefit AIDS/LifeCycle in the fight to end AIDS. “The club is actively seeking additional opportunities to support queer causes here in Western Washington,” McDaniel says.

Register for STP, and Reach Out to Partner with Cascade 

Lambert hopes that, by partnering with these groups and more, “we will have the most diverse and inclusive STP ever this year.”

“People who have never ridden STP think pedaling 206 miles over two days sounds impossibly hard. But the beauty of bicycles and of STP is that, with a little training and practice, you can cover a lot of ground if you just roll along slowly and steadily and feed off of the positive energy of the folks around you.” 




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