My passion for long-distance bicycling began back in 1980 when I completed my first century. In 1981 I completed my first double-century. Ten years later, after many more "doubles", a 700-mile qualifier race for Race Across America, organizing the 220-mile, one-day Race Across Wisconsin, and doing a solo tour across America, I walked away from the sport. This blog is about my return to cycling twenty years later, and my plan to break a Wisconsin state record. Thank God for second chances.
Above is a picture of the very first 220 mile/one day "Race Across Wisconsin", back in 1984. One dark, early morning in August, three crazy men took off from the shores of the Mississippi River in La Crosse (Wisconsin). The day was tough, and the terrain was nothing short of challenging. Rich, the cyclist in the middle of the pic, eventually dropped out some where around the 150 mile mark. Brian (on the right) and I finished the race. This was taken on the east shore of the Wisconsin River at an unscheduled rest stop. Rich and Brian had caught back up with me after making a much too early attempt to break away, so we figured it was also a great excuse for a photo op.
I organized and directed the RAW (Race Across Wisconsin) for 4 years, from 1984-1987. 1987 gave us our largest field of 66 racers, everyone with their own personal support crew, with some riders traveling from as far away as California. Ages ranged from a 17 year-old high school senior from Keil, WI, to 60 year-old retired United States Marine.
Over the next week I'll be putting in some long miles along with speedwork. Then I'll begin my taper for a "double-century" on June 24th, my first in over 20 years. The crew and I will go over the first 200 miles of the route for the August record attempt.
Please pray for safety and encouragement for our journey.