Spotlight for Mark Williams

How long have you been cycling? I got my first “racing” bike 45 years ago but started riding seriously 35 years ago.

What’s your favorite thing about riding? Long rides alone or with friends through the countryside provide both mental and physical benefits.

How many miles a year do you typically ride? 5,000–6,000, including virtual/trainer miles.

What is your greatest cycling accomplishment? Creating and directing the Kirkland Cyclocross Race with the help and expertise of Margaret Thompson, Janice Williams, and Rich Rutishauser, as well as many other club members. In its final year, it was the NYS Championship Race. Thanks to all who helped over the years, it was always praised by the USA Cycling officials and the racers. 

My greatest competitive accomplishments in cycling have been 5th, 7th, and 8th place finishes in the 2019 National Senior Games and 2nd place in the 2019 NYS Cyclocross Championship.

Why did you join MVBC, and what have you enjoyed most? A friend brought me to the Time Trials when I first started riding seriously. I’ve been enjoying the competition (and riding) with friends ever since.

What’s your favorite road to ride on? The road over the Port de Balès from Mauléon-Barousse in the Pyrénées. The narrow road up is 12 miles with a 5.9% average grade, and it rewards you with sublime scenery and quaint villages. There’s a sign at each kilometer that shows the altitude, distance to the summit, and the grade percentage for that next kilometer. The descent is wide open with hairpin turns and breathtaking views.

What is your favorite route*? Any quiet country roads in the hills.

What’s the best advice you have for a new rider? If you want to improve, ride with people who are faster, stronger, and more knowledgeable about the sport than you.

*Mark’s favorite routes: 44 miles (hilly);  41 miles (mostly flat).