My brother recently completed Ride Across America with his four-person team called the VelociRiders. This is his team. He's the guy in the back right of the picture.
According to Wikipedia, The Race Across America, or RAAM, is an ultra-distance road cycling race held across the United States that started in 1982 as the Great American Bike Race.
RAAM is one of the longest annual endurance events in the world. All entrants must prove their abilities by competing in any of several qualifying events, and completing a course within a specified time period.
In length, the RAAM is comparable to the Tour de France, but the races differ to a great extent. The courses of both races have varied over the years. However, in the Race Across America, the direction has always been from the west coast to the east coast of the United States, approximately 3,000 miles (4,800 km), making it a transcontinental event. More importantly, the race has no stages, i.e., it is in principle a nonstop event from start to finish, with the fastest competitors needing slightly over a week to complete the course. By contrast, the Tour de France features a different route each year (alternating between clockwise and counterclockwise circuits around France) and is about 2,300 miles long; the distance is divided into individual daily stages spread over the course of about 3 weeks and contested at much higher speeds.
I love to ride my bike(s). I have a mountain bike, fat bike, and road bike. The longest distance I've cycled is one hundred miles. That was an epic challenge for me. I have not since been motivated to ride that distance again or anything further. 3,000 miles - are you kidding me?
I wonder what the motivation was for all of the RAAM riders to cover such a great distance? They even seemed to have fun torturing themselves with mountains and sleep deprivation. I guess when the motivation is right great things are possible.
Motivation is personal. Motivation is magical.
I try to talk to my brother on the phone at least once per week. For the past year, 9 times out of 10, he was on his cycling trainer when I gave him a call. He spent hours and hours on his bike inside and outside, hired a trainer, and sacrificed time with his family.
He just kept going.
I admire persistence. People often focus on the "success" part of a success story and don't see the focused persistence, sometimes year over year, that made the "success" a reality.
Many of my regrets stem from knowing I could have done better if I would have just kept going. I didn't give myself a chance to see persistence pay off.
I am proud of my brother and the VelociRider team. It's pure inspiration when someone dreams a dream and then gets after it all the way through the finish line.
Here they are at the finish line.