‘RACE ACROSS AMERICA’ NEARS FOR LOYAL MAN
Tuesday, May 30th, 2006 -- 11:10 am
Posted by Riley Hebert-News Director
At 54-years of age – a Loyal man says he’s in the best shape of his life – and he’ll need to be to complete the Race Across America.
Since the beginning of April, Tom Kingsbury has logged around 4,000 miles on his recumbent bicycle. He’s training for a one-of-its-kind event in which he and a partner will bike non-stop from Oceanside, California, to Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Kingsbury will leave for California next week; the 14-state tour will begin on Tuesday, June 13th.
As you might imagine, preparation for this monumental task has totally consumed Kingsbury for the past few months.
“It’s all there is – there is nothing else,” Kingsbury says of his training. “I have to say ‘thanks’ to my wife Barb – she’s put up with this. It’s all I eat, think and do.”
The Race Across America course is over 3,000 miles. At its lowest point, riders will be 110-feet below sea level; at the course’s highest point, near Durango, Colorado, riders will be over 11,000-feet above sea level.
To prepare, Kingsbury has employed a strength and conditioning coach. He’s especially focused on nutrition. On a typical day, he’ll ride between five and six hours, becoming a fixture on area roads.
But Wisconsin’s weather can’t fully prepare him for the heat he’ll likely encounter.
“One way to generate (heat) is to bundle up. People may think its crazy, they may see me on the road wearing jackets, long pants and it’s rather nice out,” Kingsbury explains. “Now the weather has been warming up. It’s allowed me to get better acclimated.”
Kingsbury and riding partner, Tim Woudenberg of Moss Beach, California, call themselves the “Volae Wolf Pack”. They’ll ride tag-team: when one’s on the bike, the other will be resting; but someone will be pedaling at all times.
“One person is always going down the road. What’s unique about this event is there is simply no drafting - it’s just you and yourself out there against the elements,” Kingsbury says.
Each rider will be on the bike between 60-90 minutes. From midnight to 8 a.m., each rider will ride a 4-hour shift as the other tries to sleep.
Their first goal is to just complete the race safely, but they’re hope is to finish in seven days.
“We have to push about 420 miles a day. We have to push close to 17 to 18 mph all the way across. There are going to points where we’re struggling to get 10-12 mph, but once we get in the flats, we’ll be able to move along a lot quicker,” Kingsbury says.
Tim and Tom will be tailed by a three-vehicle, nine-person support crew.
As the event draws closer, Kingsbury says he has some nervousness and is somewhat intimidated by the course – but he’s doing his best to contain those emotions.
If they’re successful, Kingsbury and Woudenberg will be the first two-person recumbent team to complete this event.
Stay tuned… we hope to bring you updates of Tom’s progress during the Race Across America, which begins June 13th.
On The Web:
Race Across America
Team Volae Wolf Pack Page
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