Mark Fountain, a biomedical equipment technician in Clinical Engineering, was named UC Davis Health's Outstanding Cyclist for 2018 at last month's Celebration of Cyclists at the West Steps of the Capitol. He was presented with a medal and a pair of coveted 2018 Bike Month socks.
A dedicated cyclist, Fountain has been riding for more years then he can count, but after a life-altering medical diagnosis, it became necessary for him to give up his driver’s license. While this would have sent some people into isolation, it gave Mark a push, and he made cycling his commute choice.
Fountain starts his commute in Orland once a week using multiple forms of public transportation. He gets a ride to Amtrak, which currently runs a bus bridge from Chico to Sacramento, and then hops off the train and bikes over to his office. During the work week, he lives with family in Carmichael, a reasonable 13-mile bike trip each way.
A medical center employee for eight years, Fountain has tracked every mile he’s ridden during that time. He is currently over 41,000 miles. As his odometer is sensitive to the cold and doesn't record well under 45 degrees, he thinks his total mileage estimate may actually be much more.
Part of Fountain's bike commute brings him along a nature-filled trail. While he likes to count the deer along the way, he is not a fan of the “suicidal bunnies” that leap out in front of him at all the wrong times. But overall, he considers his commute wonderful and appreciates the opportunity to unwind and take a few deep breaths.
When asked about encouraging others to ride, he jokingly says, “Don’t do it!” He assures potential riders that they will never want to stop once they start. They will get hooked and start riding every day. After mile 10, those endorphins really kick in, and the riding feels even better, he said.
Fountain was one of the many UC Davis Health employees who participated in the “May is Bike Month” annual campaign to promote bicycling in the area. The event challenged Sacramento-area residents to choose bicycling for all types of trips, including those related to work, school, errands and recreation throughout the six-county Sacramento region.