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2021 Ride Across Wisconsin

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2021 Ride Across Wisconsin

Old 08-03-21, 06:49 PM
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tigat
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2021 Ride Across Wisconsin

I was one of the riders in the first Ride Across Wisconsin in 2015, and rode it for the following three years. At the time, I was riding 10,000 miles per year, and by the time the RAW came about in August I had logged three or four centuries each year. Although the 175 to 180 mile route in a day was always a challenge, great company and the amazing event made it worthwhile.

In 2019, the RAW moved from a start in Dubuque Iowa to a start in La Crosse Wisconsin and a finish in Green Bay, and the one day option turned into 225 miles. I grew up in La Crosse and I was committed, right up to the point when I crashed and broke my bike and some fingers on my only hand the week before.

We all know about 2020.

The 2021 RAW was rearranged into a 4 day event (although the one day option remained) and I had no intention of joining. All of the folks I had ridden with before were passing. My mileage is half of what it was and my long ride of the year was a 75 mile gravel event. But then a friend in Colorado expressed an interest, and he had two young guys wanting to jump in as well. I had trouble imagining how the magic of earlier rides might be captured, but Wisconsin always seems to shine through in this quiet but genuine way.

Long story short, we went, we rode, and we rolled 229 miles in about 13 and a half hours, with way too much time and string cheese at the stops In many ways, the RAW was a shadow of it's prior iterations - sparsely stocked rest stops and little chance to group up with new friends. In the most important sense, however, it was the same - great routing through beautiful countryside cheered on by awesome staff from the Wisconsin Bike Fed, welcoming towns, and an epic challenge for the riders.

I had thought that the finish line at the first RAW might end up as the highlight of my cycling endeavors. When our group of four arrived in Green Bay to the cheers of 100s (we were the first of 6 riders to do the whole of Wisconsin on Friday), I was every bit as touched.

For those of you familiar with my story, you will know that my riding is in part about recovering from loss and moving forward with hope. In a way, the RAW experience this year had the same vibe - one of a community cautiously emerging from the shadows and joining together, mindful of what we have lost but hopeful for the days ahead.

I am proud to have been a part of it.
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Old 08-03-21, 09:50 PM
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So you still got it?
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Old 08-04-21, 05:52 AM
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Originally Posted by big john View Post
So you still got it?
Shadow of my former self. This was hard. I shamelessly let the young guys do much of the work.
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Old 08-04-21, 06:25 AM
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Pretty substantial shadow, just to be able to draft over 200 miles in 13.5 hours!
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Old 08-04-21, 06:51 AM
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Like to see pictures if you have any
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Old 08-04-21, 07:26 AM
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Originally Posted by tigat View Post
Shadow of my former self. This was hard. I shamelessly let the young guys do much of the work.
Well, I've never attempted a double century so to me, it sounds like you're doing ok.
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Old 08-04-21, 08:56 AM
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Originally Posted by gthomson View Post
Like to see pictures if you have any
Here are a few.





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Old 08-04-21, 10:47 AM
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So awesome! Sounds like something I’d enjoy doing. I’m always looking for something new and different.
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Old 08-04-21, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by jppe View Post
So awesome! Sounds like something Id enjoy doing. Im always looking for something new and different.
Maybe next year. I'll let you know if we've got a gang. Could use your help on the front.
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Old 08-05-21, 12:32 AM
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All my centuries are metric........ so that would take me ... 4 days with no drafting

Congrats on a fantastic accomplishment.
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Old 08-05-21, 06:33 AM
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From sunrise to sunset, great set of pictures to capture the day. Looks like a great ride as well. Did you choose a gravel bike or road bike?
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Old 08-05-21, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by gthomson View Post
From sunrise to sunset, great set of pictures to capture the day. Looks like a great ride as well. Did you choose a gravel bike or road bike?
Thanks. There was only about 20 miles of pretty tame gravel on the route, some of it on a detour along the La Crosse River Trail (picture approaching the bridge). I went with tubeless 32s on my Domane. The other 3 guys were on 28s - two of them on new Emondas and one on a Specialized Roubaix - he apparently didn't get the "when in Wisconsin you might want to ride a Trek" memo.
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Old 08-07-21, 05:59 AM
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Even in my youth I could not have done this ride.
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Old 08-07-21, 12:57 PM
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A former BF member we cannot speak of by name did this ride. We currently refer to him as Lord Voldetunes. Anyway, he remembers this group with the long haired rider and the Triple Bypass jersey. He sends his congratulations on completing the journey. He was on a Yellow Colnago wearing a Storming Of Thunder Ridge jersey.
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Old 08-08-21, 07:29 AM
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Tell him thanks for me.
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