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8-year-old girl participating in 200-mile Seattle to Portland bike ride

Janyaa Teli missed summer camp and even some friends' birthday parties to train for the ride. She is raising money for a non-profit that supports education in India.

SEATTLE — The Seattle to Portland (STP) bike ride is back in person this weekend after years of virtual rides due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thousands are gearing up to take on the 200-mile journey. Among them is 8-year-old Janyaa Teli.

When Teli told her parents she wanted to participate in the event, they tried out 12-mile, 20-mile and 30-mile bike rides to see if she was serious. 

"We saw that she was very much dedicated," said Ankita Teli, her mother.

Janyaa and her dad continued to practice riding. They went to bed early and woke up early to ride. Janyaa skipped summer camp and even some friends' birthday parties to train so she could be ready for the STP bike ride.

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Janyaa is also raising money for charity along the way. She is one of several dozen riders for the Asha for Education Seattle chapter, raising money to support schooling for children in India.

“It’s very important to our family to look out for other people and to be involved in the community," her parents said.

The STP is an annual ride hosted by The Cascade Bicycle Club in Seattle. Spokesperson Paul Tolme said the ride has only been canceled three times in the event's 40-year history. 

“Twice during the pandemic and, of course, back when Mount St. Helens erupted in 1980," Tolme said. "So we are thrilled to be back on the bikes this weekend."

The ride is 206 miles long, and most riders complete the course over two days.

More than 6,000 riders are expected to depart from Husky stadium for the 43rd STP early Saturday.

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