Sunday, July 18, 2010

A rider's RAIN Report

By CE Taylor

Ken and I arrived for the start of the ride at 6:35 a.m. We were in line for the start by 6:50 a.m.  According to my GPS it was 5:50 a.m. because we were standing in the Central time zone.  We were at the back of the starting group, sort of.  We had ridden past lots of people still unloading their bikes on our way to the start.  The ride started on time but it was at least two more minutes before we could start pedaling.  The hills on the way to the first rest stop were not too bad.  We slowed down on the hills to save energy.  We rode and rode and rode.   It is always a relief to reach the first rest stop.  A quick fill up of water and snacks and we were back on the road.  The Plainfield rest stop is a little over 60 miles from the start.  That means there are less than 100 miles to go.  I mean that in a positive way.

It seemed like it took forever to get to the lunch stop, but it feels like that every year.  We had a really long lunch stop, but it is important to remember it is a ride, not a race.  Our wives had set up chairs under some pine trees waiting for us at the lunch stop.  I can tell you that the combination of a chair, shade and breeze felt really good.  (Note, our wives are the best SAG drivers ever.)  We saw Rob, Eugene and Shane at lunch.  One of them had a mechanical problem earlier in the day, which lost them about an hour.  Later, they zipped past us on the road as did a lot of people.  Remember, it's a ride not a race.
We had our Camelbaks on after lunch.  I drank my 70 oz. of water by the time we got to Casey's General Store 17 miles later.  It is important to stay hydrated.  One year I ran out of water after lunch and I didn't want to do that again.  That is a hot stretch of road that seems to go on forever.  Leaving the hot county roads behind and getting back on hot US 40 is a huge relief.  You have to experience it to understand what I mean.  Turning back on US 40, only a block from Casey's General Store and knowing that your SAG support is there is a huge boost to your spirits. When I get to Casey's, I know I can make it to Richmond.  I don't know why I feel that way, but since it is a straight, almost flat road to Richmond (there are a couple of hills that flat landers complain about) , the next 45 miles seem easier.  Of course you still have to ride them but the end is in sight.  We saw BBC'er Duane at Casey's and he joined us for the remainder of the ride.

We took a break at Dunreith to cool off and rest.  Then, it was back on the bike for the final 29 miles.  Our pace was slower on this section, but we continued towards the finish confident of the outcome.  Turning into Earlham College for the final 50 yards is always a pleasant experience.  Ken led the way to the finish.  People cheered as we came in.  Tom Whitehead was there congratulating finishers.  It was nice to see him at the finish.  Kathy Cummins was helping with recording of the times and rider numbers and it was nice to see her too.  I asked her if she had any thoughts about riding next year.  Her answer was that she had thought seeing the finishers might be motivation for her to do it next year, but seeing all the tired, worn out riders coming in may have had the opposite effect.

My goal was for Ken and me to finish the ride.  We did it in 12 hours and 35 minutes.  That was the exact time I had on my first ride across Indiana in 2006.  We weren't the first finishers or the last ones either.  I am proud of what we accomplished.  For an event like this, I feel that riders learn something about themselves that is more valuable than how long it took them to finish.

I am proud that my club puts on this event.  The event runs smoothly and every rest stop is hosted by friendly workers.  Proof of its popularity is seen by the increase in the number of registrations each year.  The volunteers are to be commended for their commitment to club.


  1. What an awesome event RAIN 2010 was. Hats off to all who participated, organised, volunteered - the event was superb. Had the pleasure of riding with some of this years DeCycles riders too - I asked them how this compared to some of their days in the Pacific Mountains this year and they said it was EASY! If I had enough breath at the time I would have laughed. Shane snapped a rear wheel spoke before the 2nd stop - we thought we had it covered - we had a spare wheel right? Wrong. Eugene's spare was campy, Shane rides shimano. But Eugene had everything we (he) needed to swap the rear cassettes over and we were back in business in about an hour.
    First Time Rain Rider and First Time finisher! 11 Hrs 42mins

  2. Congratulations CE and Ken!

  3. It WAS a great ride, although in my case most of the credit goes to CE who let me draft most of the toughest miles and who waited for me and to my wife Betsy who was the consummate "domestique" at each stop.

    The first 60-80 miles were great, even exhilarating. From lunch to Dunreith was very tough as we got tireder and the day got hotter. After Dunreith it became overcast and the sun got lower in the sky and that little bit of coolness gave me new life.

    It IS a great event for the club, although if I can make one suggestion, next year RAIN ride Vincennes to Evansville! ; )