At just 57 years young, Mark Schwartz was born and raised in San Jose, California and moved to the mountains of Markleeville, with his wife and feline children, in October 2016. 

Originally hailing from San Jose, Mark sought out a tree change a few years ago moving to the California Alps. He is the founder of the website Californiaalpscycling.bike, which is all about “spreading the gospel of cycling (all types of cycling)” and giving back to the communities in which he and other members live, work and ride. 

This includes Adopt-a-Highway litter clean-up events, bike fix-it clinics for kids, and contributions to community groups and events including the Eastern Alpine Co. Volunteer Firefighters and the Alpine Co. Friends of the Library.

Mark doesn’t have a favourite ride on FulGaz but a couple do spring to mind for the Californian. 

“I can’t call out any one particular ride as a favorite now that I’ve done so many, although the Sun Road West comes to mind as does Alpe D’Huez.”

“What I really like about FulGaz is that I can go to any place in the world and pick a ride that works for how I’m feeling that day. Flatter rides when I need a rest day or the legs are sore and climbs or rollers if I’m looking for something harder for the day.”

After riding FulGaz for a while, Mark decided to become a contributor after the 2020 edition of the Death Ride aka the Tour of the California Alps was postponed. 

Since I had experience with FulGaz I thought why not film some of those climbs so riders can enjoy from the pleasure of their own pain cave. It’s also a great way, I thought, to showcase the area” 

Mark is no stranger to tough, long days on the bike, in fact, they are some of his favourite cycling memories. 

“One of my favourite memories is back in 1998 when I did the California Aids Ride from San Francisco to LA, my wife came along and crewed one of the rest stops. Every day I rode, and she was up at the crack of dawn to get out to her stop.”

We camped every night, after our long days, and some of the sights were pretty weird. One night we were camped at the Oceano Airport, about halfway through the ride, and I thought it would be great to get a hotel that night and give us both a break from camping. A few other riders were doing that. 

When I asked my wife what she thought she said something like “If I go to a hotel I’m not coming back!” So, we gutted it out and didn’t do the hotel that night, or any night. 

We finished the 527 mile ride (37 hours on the bike) over the course of that week!

You can find Mark’s rides on FulGaz by searchingSchwartz