After too many years of riding a desk and not riding my bike, I found myself overweight and out of shape. My wife gave me a weight loss challenge to loose 40 pounds... and I accepted. So, I dusted off my bike and started riding again. Within 3 months I had already lost over 20 pounds and somehow talked myself into participating in the first annual Ride Across Wisconsin (RAW). The 175 mile ride was a crazy adventure involving mechanical issues, a crash and 4 flat tires. Although there were some less than savory moments, after finishing, I quite frankly wanted more.
I completed my wife's weight loss challenge later that fall and felt like I needed to find a way to keep myeself in shape over the winter. So, I hired a coach, Davis Bentley, who not only cracked the proverbial whip to keep me in shape, but also guided me through my first year of cycle racing. After the race season, I participated in RAW a second time. Upon finishing, and this time without any of last years problems, I knew I wanted to concentrate on long rides. So, I coordinated with my coach and switch my focus to ultra-endurance cycling.
If you tell the typical pleasure cyclist you are looking for a +200 mile bike ride, they'll likely kringe just at the thought of such a thing. And, while RAW is certainly a long ride, I craved for an even greater challenge. I found several ultra-distance rides (thanks largely to the UltraMarathon Cycling Association), and it wasn't long into my search before I found what is argubly one of the most epic out there... the Race Across America (RAAM). A +3,000 mile, coast to coast bike ride, in 12 days. Less than 200 poeople have officially finished RAAM as a solo racer; so, to say it is challenging would be an understatement. I have several ultra-distance events that I would very much like to do, but my focus is now set... I will compete in RAAM.