|Susan Notorangelo, Me, and Lon Haldeman|
I lived about 40 miles away from Lon back in the early 80's when he won the Great American Bike Race racing against John Howard, John Marino, and Michael Shermer. That was the true beginning of Ultradistance Cycling. Today, RAAM is the coveted, ultimate ultradistance cycling achievement.
In the early 80's I had 3 pre-school and early school-age children along with my own professional career and Kirk was working days, evenings and weekends as a United Methodist Pastor. I tabled any fantasies of transcontinentals for 25 years. The kids would have by then graduated from college, married, have young'ns of their own, and I would have had several back surgeries and complicated physical rehabs post surgery. I would develop an extensive array of food allergies/intolerances that would make fueling along the blue and unpaved roads of America a challenge, to say the least.
But, in 2001 I "came back" on a recumbent bike, a Vision R 40, that I crashed on my maiden ride. Lots of damage to the bod--broken jaw, teeth, wrist, facial lacerations, deep road rash on my hands, and internal bleeding. Undaunted, I was back up and riding a couple of weeks later, as soon as I could grip the handlebars.
I re-found Lon and Susan in 2005 riding with them in one of their PAC Tour Wisconsin Training Camps and immediately signed up for my first Transcontinental with them in 2006 which would follow their Southern Route from San Diego to Tybee Island, GA.
Riders who have ridden 10,000 miles with PAC Tour get a commemorative Hall of Fame jersey and their name written on the Lunch Truck. So, that became one of my milestone bucket list goals achieved this March at the beginning of my PAC Tour Century Week Desert Camp.
|The lunch truck is the red one. Names are on the opposite side of the truck.|