Like many on the Trek Travel team, Mark has traveled the world to pursue his passions. He chased the snow to Jackson Hole and dipped his toes in Lake Tahoe. He stood at the top of Europe’s distinguished climbs and walked the terraced hillsides of Vietnam. Ultimately he put down roots in the city he knew as a child and trusted his keen eye and eloquent tongue to serve him well in a marketing career. He’s a family man with a thirst for adventure, and this is his story.
Tell us your story in 140 characters or less.
Born in Kenosha, WI. Badger grad, ski bum, marketer, love Lake Tahoe, found my wife in Jackson Hole, had a baby, passionate about all things bike.
How long have you been riding bikes?
As long as I can remember. My first memory is of my dad taking the training wheels off and letting me go, in a restaurant parking lot, to crash on my own. I did the standard newspaper delivery route on bikes, had a “BMX gang” called the Freestyle Frogs, and then found mountain bikes. I was the kid through high school who rode mountain bikes when everyone else was driving cars. Embarrassingly, I even took my high school photograph posed next to my bike. Riding bikes has always given me a great escape. It’s a true passion, a place where I find joy every time I hop on the pedals.
How did you end up at Trek Travel?
After college I was a ski bum in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and my roommate at the time received a Trek Travel catalog. Little did I know, Trek Travel had just started one year prior. I thought it looked like a fun job and decided to apply. That was almost 10 years ago. Since that day I’ve worn a lot of different hats, from guiding to trip designer to logistics guide to now Marketing Manager.
What is the most rewarding part about your job?
Showing people the world by bike. It’s part of our mission statement, but I fully believe seeing a new place on a bicycle is incredible. The bicycle gives you momentum to travel around, and you have the wind in your face and all of your senses are experiencing something new. Being the marketing guy, I am fortunate that it is my job to share this experience of places with other people. And then there is the whole part of being partners with the best bike company in the world.
Which Trek Travel trip is top on your bucket list and why?
Classic Climbs of the Dolomites. In all my years guiding I never made it to Italy. And while my wife surely would love if I said Tuscany, there is something about the mountains of the Dolomites that I find stunning. Sheer cliffs, steep climbs, and great food all combine to create the perfect experience.
Tell us about your best travel adventure.
Probably the first time I traveled with my then-girlfriend, now-wife for the first time to Vietnam. We found out we were really good travel partners and that helped seal the deal!
Tell us about your best day on a bicycle.
Every day I ride my bike is a good day. I can’t say I have only one “best” day as there have been many. Climbing Mount Ventoux right before the Tour de France riders came through, getting lost along the coast of Spain only to find a small café for a cup of coffee, mountain biking the 401 trail in Crested Butte surrounded by wildflowers, or just riding the bike path here in Madison with my wife…I love them all. They are all equal, just different to me.
What does a perfect day look like to you?
Leisurely morning drinking a couple cappuccinos while reading the news, playing with my daughter, going for a mountain bike ride (preferably in the mountains), drinking a couple beers at a local brew pub after, and hanging out with my wife for dinner once the baby is asleep.
What is your favorite travel destination and what excites you most about it?
Right now I’m leaning towards Central and South America, having recently traveled to Peru and Nicaragua. I have been impressed by the people, the food and the history of both these destinations and I’m looking forward to exploring more countries south of the equator soon.
- Bike You Own: Remedy 9. This bike allows me to explore anywhere I want to go.
- Post-Ride Beverage: West Coast IPA. Not overly hoppy, but very drinkable. Think Lagunitas.
- Restaurant: Teton Thai because of all the great memories.
- Hotel: Amangani in Jackson Hole. Best hotel I’ve ever stayed in.
- Sport Other Than Cycling: Skiing. No brainer.