Note from Founder: There are not many rides out there that can claim epic or almost epic status. Yes true there area some out there that are truly "epic/dumb crazy rides" but those really are not what we are talking about. I am talking about epic rides that are amazingly well planned and organized. Ones that the average joe doesn't do but could with the right determination. Rides that we look at and say "I could do that" but it would hurt. This is one of those. I really wish I had planned and trained to participate in the first RAW - "Ride Across Wisconsin" the 175 mile one day ride put on by the Wisconsin Bike Fed. After watching Angry Monkey Racers Carl Bakker and Joe King have a fantastic time on this ride it made me jealous. I missed out but can't wait to try this one out. This is one of those rides that AMR is all about, really uniting the Cycling passions with some fantastic friends and epic journeys. Proud of Carl and Joe King and their accomplishment as well as Bob Morris a former AMR and a number of good friends who participated this year. Read and enjoy Carl's experience below. -Brandon.
What a day! After days of changing forecasts and impending storms, the day dawned with wet pavement and consistent drizzle. Our group of 12 rolled out with the rest, but at a nice easy pace. We kept it casual for the first 10 miles, but then suffered the first of 4 flats. After a quick repair and a little ‘standing breakfast’, we were back on the bike and rolling along well. 2 miles later we suffered the second untimely flat…but again, we were up and moving right away. With the team clipping along at 18-19 mph, the real trouble began as we started to catch others; the group quickly swelled to around 50 riders. By mile 65, we were braking forcefully on the downhills (and with the rain, slick roads, and grime/splatter flying in our faces, it made for some white-knuckled descents) and having to stand on the uphills, as the group would slow to a halt at each climb.
After the rest stop at mile 65, A few of us decided enough was enough, and we let the big group go. From there on, our group of 5 stuck together and decided to enjoy the ride and support each other. Somewhere in the mid-70’s, we hit a flatland that lasted a blessed 45 miles (with a few well-supported rest stops in there) before steadily rising upward to the final “climb” of the day at mile 130. The “super-secret rest stop” at mile 130 will always be a great memory – Josh McKinney was waiting with a few ice-cold Miller High Life’s. It seemed like an epically bad idea to have a beer, but I couldn’t insult the guy that drove all that way…a beer turned out to be exactly what we needed. With a little extra “pep in our step”, we took off with relaxed shoulders and wide grins, ready to tackle that last two “lunch rides” (20ish miles x 2) of the day.
Our final rest stop, between miles 150-155, set a wall of exhaustion right in our path. Saddle sores, hot spots, and general aches and pains of 10+ hours on a bike added to the gloominess of the grey late-afternoon skies. Faces determined, we set out on our death march. Time did its thing, though, and a little over an hour later, we rolled into Kenosha. Tired smiles and drooping shoulders were met with hot pizza and cold custom RAW mugs of beer. Another perfect day in the books! - Carl
Photos below are from Carl's adventure via Facebook and social media.