Racing Across America on a Recumbent Bike

This is the time of year when bicyclists in Texas start getting cabin fever. Sure, there are six more months of subzero winter days for all the Yankees, but we've had our full quota of freezes (8) and snowy days (2) and indoor workouts (23 - OK, it's dark out there!), and we're ready to ride, baby!

And if we can't actually ride outside, yet, we can at least read about riding. Better yet, we can read about epic riding, the kind that takes a special type of obsession (don't confuse it with craziness; well, OK, if you insist) to pull off. The kind that causes an apparently otherwise sane woman to decide to ride from sea to shining sea on a recumbent bicycle, and not just ride, but race. As in, ride as hard as you can for as long as you can or until your front tire dips into one or the other of the oceans that's opposite from where you started, whichever comes first.

"Oh, there's no one who would do that sort of thing," I can hear you thinking. (Not really. We respect your thoughts here at the Gazette and would never - hardly ever - appropriate them for our own uses.) But you probably haven't heard of Sandy Earl, of Eugene, Oregon (State Motto: "Noah Was A Wimp"), an employee of Bike Friday (they make the cutest little bikes that you can fold up and put in your Hummer's glove box) and Officially Obsessed Person of the Recumbent Persuasion. Sandy is in training for the Race Across America (Event Motto: "Lose Weight on 14,000 Calories a Day!"; Event Sub-Motto: "Fudging Our Acronym Since 1982") which will take place in June. Her goal is to become the first woman to ride RAAM on a recumbent bicycle, and she's blogging about her preparations.

You don't have to be a cyclist to enjoy her journal. She's a very entertaining writer, and is approaching her upcoming ordeal challenge with humor and grace. I recommend bookmarking her blog, or adding it to your feed reader, or whatever it is you do to keep up with websites of enduring quality and deep wisdom. (Remind me again why you're here reading this?)

RAAM has always been a event of mythic proportions for me. I've never ridden more than 106 miles in one day (106 agonizing, demoralizing, hallucination-engendering miles, but that's another story), and I'm frankly in awe of anyone for whom that distance is a before-lunch training jaunt. Plus, my preferred bicycle is a recumbent so I can relate to the position if not the exertion. Anyway, some amazing stories of courage and achievement come out of every edition of RAAM, and I'm guessing that Sandy's will be added to that history this year. Give her some love, won't you?


Thanks for the Sandy post! Let's get her to the East Coast.

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This page contains a single entry by Eric published on January 18, 2010 2:41 PM.

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