Rapi-Tour 1985
Tour Summary and Commentary by Tim Olson
Day
Mileage for Day
My Time
Destination
Comments
1-June 15
202.9
15:00
Amboy, CA
(On Route 66!)

120 degrees by afternoon, steep climbs! tailwinds...

2
247.3
17:55
Ashfork, AZ
(More Route 66)

99 degrees at 3:00 AM Start, 108 degrees for day, followed old Rt. 66, steep climbs, bumpy roads!

3
235.5
17:50
Kayenta, AZ

105 degrees, long climbs, long descents, barren dessert,

4
235
16:05
Pagosa Springs, CO

high passes, beautiful scenery, 4 corners, 8 miles of fresh, wet tar, all bikes coated! First night I slept.

5
164.5
12:45
Cuchara, CO

The day started with 22 mile climb, 11,000 ft. pass, 55 mph speed on descents, difficult day...

6
253.8
16:05
Ulysses, KS

10,000 ft pass, then downhill for 200 miles! Strong Tailwind...Rode with Lon...

7
189.4
12:49
Medicine Lodge, KS

Big Rollers, who said Kansas was flat? strong head winds, thunderstorms at end of day

8
189.2
13:00
Coffeyville, KS

Rolling hills to nearly flat...

9
245.5
15:30
West Plains, MO

Steep climbs and fast descents all day, unbelievable hard...95 degrees with 95% humidity

10
230
14:30
Mayfield, KY

Flat flood plains, bumpy roads, crossed Mississippi on ferry, had to race to catch it...detours, great feast in private home

11
188
12:22
Tompkinsville, KY

Rolling hills through coal country

12
165.8
13:00
Middlesboro, KY

Steep grades, 5 mph for 45 minutes at a time then fast descents

13
198.2
15:00
Galax, VA

More steep climbs,
4,000 ft. high pass, feeling stronger

14
191
13:00
South Hill, VA

Lots of downhill, a relaxing day, we can smell the ocean!

15-June 29
138.4
9:55

Total Elapsed time
14days,
10 hours
20 minutes

Virginia Beach, VA

Rolling to flat...some rain, first real rain of trip, state trooper stopped us and said road we were on was the most dangerous in VA. 138 miles seemed like nothing...ready to get it over with...

 

My thoughts and reflections on the tour...

  • 4 out of 17 participants completed all stages without help (I did it!)
  • In 1985 only 27 people had crossed US as fast or faster
  • Most days had temperatures exceeding 100 degrees.
  • Typical comment of Lon, the leader, "Rapitour was more difficult than we anticipated."
  • Mechanics were outstanding...did all repairs and maintenance
  • Cooks were great, but sometimes were too "health" conscious...I craved sugar and refined flour.
  • The directors were outstanding...brought me food in room when I was too exhausted to go out for dinner.
  • The crew was stretched thin, but remained helpful and gracious...made a difficult experience bearable.
  • I experienced great pain and stiffness each morning...learned to ride it off...bad saddle sores and pulled muscles, some days I road with ice packs on my legs...
  • It was the challenge of a lifetime that is still vivid in my memory 14 years later.
  • Memorable moment...met a teenager who asked where I was going and could not imagine our our ride because he had never been more than 25 miles from his home...
  • In the month of June, 1985 I rode 4,000 miles...
  • In preparation I rode 10,000 miles by June 1st, averaging 100 miles a day in March, April and May. I also rode 120 days in a row.

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