Following Randy Mouri Across the USA

UPDATE June 1: Randy has been posting photos to his Picasa page. See them here.

Sunday evening, longtime D.C. randonneur and all around nice guy Randy Mouri and the rest of the PAC Tour Elite group were nestled in their beds in Greenville, Ohio. They had completed their 14th consecutive day on the bike since leaving San Diego, with just five to go before they finish their coast-to-coast ride this Thursday in Williamsburg, Va.

It has been a blast to follow Randy’s progress across the country. The group has been riding an average 162 miles per day, with a number of longer days of up to 220 miles. Riders are updating three blogs during the trip, including Randy, who is posting to his My Quest for RAAM 2011 site. Randy is also posting to his Twitter account, rtmouri.

Randy (left) and pals take an unexpected sag because of dangerous winds. Courtesy Randy Mouri.

The others are Rob Welsh’s Rob’s Elite Tour 2010 and Jim Slauson’s Bicycleheavens blogs. MG and I have been reading both with great interest. Rob and Randy ride a lot together, so we get a few extra updates on Randy’s progress through Rob’s blog.

Jim is riding tandem with Lara Sullivan, who rode two fleches in the D.C. region in 2008. We sympathize with the mechanical troubles Jim and Lara have had to overcome on the tour. Knowing a little bit about multi-day tandem riding and touring ourselves, Jim and Lara’s progress is quite inspiring! MG and I wonder what it would be like to try to ride tandem across the country in 19 days, though we’re going to work on PBP next year before contemplating a PAC Tour.

As his blog name says, Randy is using the PAC Tour Elite to prepare for a RAAM 2011 entry. By all accounts he has gotten stronger, which is no surprise to anyone of us who has ridden with him. We’re really glad to see Randy conquering this lastest step in his RAAM preparation. Go Randy!

An excerpt from Randy on May 22:

As you may have read on Rob’s blog, Day 7 was the second time in PAC Tour history that all riders had to be sagged during a ride. There is a little bit of discrepancy in the details. Rob was in one van with Lon Haldeman and I was in the other van with Susan Notorangelo. Rob’s information says that this was the second time that riders were sagged for safety reasons. The information that I received was that this was the first time for safety reasons, but the second time in history. The first time was because the tour took riders via ferry across a bay, but when the riders arrived the ferry service was closed. So all of the riders had to be sagged around the bay.

In our case, we had high gusting winds (over 60mph) coming from unpredictable directions. Needless to say, after two of the riders went down, they decided to sag us in. In the sag vehicle you can see Susan Notorangelo (RAAM legend; married to Lon Haldeman) in the back with Lara Sullivan from Ely, MI. Then you have (from left to right) yours truly, Jon Batek from Batavia, IL, Max Hogan from Camarillo, CA and Jim Slauson from San Antonio, TX. Jim Captains the a tandem with Lara.

Most riders signing up for a tour of this intensity want to ride every mile. But after experiencing this particular descent, no one complained too much about missing the second half of the ride. For me, it was an opportunity to try to recover a little more for another long ride (193 miles) tomorrow morning. We’re starting an hour earlier 5:30am to allow for the added distance. We’ll see how things go.

Saddle sores are still uncomfortable, but not getting any worse. We probably go through a couple tubes each day. It’s funny how the women pull down their shorts like the guys to lather up. It’s like family out here and everyone is going through similar things (discomfort). Some riders are obviously in better shape than others. I started out on the “not so good shape” side, but am slowly creeping up. As long as I can keep the saddle sores at bay and the neck feeling good, I should finish fine. But it’s still one day at a time. I’m still working on placing captions with the photos. Sorry for the delay, but keep checking.


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