Racing to the Mississippi River

At 11:50 AM EDT, Rick cleared TS 34 in Washington, MO.  That segment had some pretty stiff climbs as the roads weaved up and down the river valley.  The past 16 hours have been a tough battle against the elements with all the night riding, rain showers, and hilly terrain — that would certainly slow down any cyclist (even one without 2000 miles in their legs already) .  And although Rick took a very short rest stop this morning, he is currently in a very tough position to reach the Mississippi River cut-off before 4PM (which is when his allowed race time of 192 hours to reach TS 35 ends).

However, the RAAM rules regarding the cut-offs do allow for some flexibility: “… If a Racer does not reach the indicated Time Station within the allowed time …, the Racer will be disqualified from the race. In the event a Racer is very close to cutoff times, the Race Management, in conjunction with Race Officials, may grant an extension of time taking into account all race circumstances…

I can’t tell you if RAAM HQ will grant any extensions.  But I can tell you that it’s probably going to be close… Rick is racing his heart out, and the crew is fully behind him as he pushes on. While Rick was climbing out of the Missouri River valley just past TS 34, I was on the phone with crewman George Metzler. He indicated that Rick was climbing strongly.  In fact, Rick has been climbing great the entire race — it has been the long, monotonous flats that have been the bigger challenge for Rick.  I’m sure Rick is looking forward to riding in the Appalachians of West Virginia –which is more like his native eastern Pennsylvania terrain he’s used to riding in.

Crossing the Missouri River

As of 2:30PM EDT, Rick was about one-third of the way along the 70-mile stage to the Mississippi River:

Washington, MO to Mississippi River

The steep climb out the Missouri river valley is behind him … ahead: a series of rollers and then a pancake flat 35-mile run to Mississippi River.

The weather forecast is calling for 90F and winds out of the south at 9 MPH.  But thankfully, current weather conditions are overcast, which is holding the temperature down to the low 80F’s.  Humidity however, is almost tropical — dew point of 73F! … that has pushed the heat index up into the high 80F’s.  Some other riders have commented that Missouri has felt hotter than the deserts.

-Tom Rosenbauer
Eastern PA RBA

8 comments to Racing to the Mississippi River

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