RAAM 2012

A few years back when I was really into cycling, I heard about the Race Across America (RAAM). It’s a 3000 mile (almost 5000km) race across the USA, but it’s different than most other well known bicycle races, such as the Tour de France.

The Tour de France has various stages that are scheduled over a 21-day period. RAAM has one giant stage – ride across the country as fast as you can. Riders in the Race Across America are usually on their own, or in small packs. You don’t see huge pelotons, since riders are spaced out so much more.

RAAM is very underappreciated race. It doesn’t have the big sponsorship backing that most of the Tour de France teams have, so you see a lot of family, friends and volunteers supporting the cyclists across their ridiculous ride. People that complete RAAM are true endurance athletes. They ride … Read the rest

Montreal Bike Trip – Day 4

We got up early, knowing this was our last day on the road. We were riding at 8am, and got to Cornwall by 9:30. Spencer’s spoke supply was getting low, and he misplaced his spoke wrench the day before, so we stopped in at Bicycle World in Cornwall to pick up what we needed. Bicycle World was the best bike store I’ve ever been to. The people were super nice, and they even let us in a few minutes before their usual opening time, since they knew we were on a big trip.

Bicycle World in Cornwall

Bicycle World in Cornwall

We stopped for lunch at a McDonald’s not far from the Quebec border. Shortly after lunch, we hit the border and took a few pictures. We met a nice French cyclist who rode with us for a bit and gave us some tips on the construction we’d encounter. We took Route Verte #5, … Read the rest

Montreal Bike Trip – Day 3

We woke up on Day 3, had the hottest campsite showers ever and were on the road by 9:30am.

Packing up the morning of Day 3

Packing up the morning of Day 3

Around lunch time, we stopped for Spencer to fix a spoke and we were surprised to see our friends Chris and Sandra pull up in front of us. They were in the Brockville area for the weekend, so we met up with them again once we got into Brockville and had some lunch.

In the late afternoon, the rain started up again. It got really dark and windy just as we got to Crysler Park, which is somewhere around Morrisburg. We took cover at the pavilion there for about an hour while we waited out the storm. The rain slowed down, so we took off and eventually made it onto this really cool forest trail. The rain started coming down hard again and it … Read the rest

Montreal Bike Trip – Day 2

Day 2 started out kinda shitty. We got up fairly early to a rainy morning. I was feeling pretty bad, not physically, but mentally. I didn’t want to start my morning off riding in the rain. I think I was even secretly thinking we could take the day off and get to Montreal a day late.

Spencer was down to his last spoke, which broke on the way out of Pat’s cottage. We stopped off at a tourist booth to wait while Spencer took Pat’s bike across the bridge to Belleville to find a bike shop. Spencer returned at around 10:30am with some replacement spokes, fixed up his bike and we were off by 11am.

Tourist booth near Pats cottage

Tourist booth near Pat's cottage

Throughout the whole morning, the conditions were pretty bad. We were riding on fairly busy roads that didn’t have very good shoulders. The rain was coming and going, and we … Read the rest

Montreal Bike Trip – Day 1

Been lazy busy this past week…

As mentioned previously, we started off the day by meeting up at Spencer’s house for a little pre-ride sendoff party. We presented the money to Wyatt’s aunt, took some pictures and said our goodbyes.

Wyatt's aunt, grandmother and cousin with us boys

The first day was by far the worst day. I was really discouraged a lot of the time, and felt like quitting and going home a few times. I just couldn’t picture doing this for three more days.

We were on the road for 13 hours, making it to Pat’s cottage at around 8:30pm. We covered 173km, which was the longest distance any of us had ever ridden in a single day.

I had two flat tires and Spencer broke four spokes, with no spares left.

Fixing the first spoke of the day.  4 minutes into the trip.

When we finally made it to the cottage, I was really tired and could hardly breathe. It felt like my lungs were shutting down … Read the rest