Saturday, July 21, 2007

Peru Project for 2007

I have been traveling in Peru since 1999. During that time we have found many worthwhile projects help the poor people of that country. Read about these travels in my other January 2007 Blog Updates about Peru.
We only support projects we have direct contact and have personally scouted the needs of the project. We purchase the materials in person and we deliver the materials in person.
Over 90% of the money raised goes directly to our projects. The other percentage of funds is used for guide fees in Peru, newsletters and videos documenting our work in Peru.
Some of our past, and current projects in Peru include:
1. Building the Jack Wolff School for 400 children in the Amazon rain forest.
2. Supporting 80 kids in the jungle at the Puerto Ocopa Orphanage with new clothes, books and bulk food items.
3. Helping 20 girls and the Chosica Boarding School and Orphanage with clothes and books.
4. Planning an annual birthday party for 40 homeless kids who live on the streets of Iquitos and providing new clothes and a dinner party.
5. Buying shoes for 50 kids who live in a rural mountain village outside Cuzco at 12,000 feet elevation.
6. Supplying 100 books each for remote schools in the jungles or mountains.
PAC Tour Riders have raised over $50,000 for these projects the past three years. Future projects include building a new school for the cost of $25,000 in a remote area along the Amazon River. We will continue to support and monitor all of our past projects.
Many of these projects are provided anonymously. The children are thankful, and we know we helped them, and that's enough credit. These are nondenominational projects. We support projects for all children of various faiths, without expecting anything in return.
If you would like to make a TAX Deductible Donation and receive our Peru Projects Newsletter, you can send a Donation to:
Christ Lutheran Church Peru Fund
P.O. Box 303
Sharon, WI 53585

If you would like more information about our tours in Peru Peru you can contact me
Donations of $100 or more will receive a copy of our 41 minute DVD about our 300 mile adventure over the Andes Mountains to deliver 3,000 pounds of food to the 80 orphans and the Puerto Ocopa Orphanage.


Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Early Years

The Early Years

Sorry for the long delay since my last blog posting. I have been on the Elite Tour across the country in 17 days in June. Now I am on the Northern Transcontinental crossing America in 26 days during July. Most of my spare time has been used up on the tours each day. I don’t have much time to sit and compose stories for my blog. Occasionally I am inspired to write a few old time stories from the history of long distance cycling. Thinking about the Double Transcontinental got me remembering how I got involved in the sport.

In 1981 I was 23 years old. I had fair speed and okay endurance for USCF type road racing. I wasn’t really that good but I had improved from Category 4 to Category 2 the year before. I still liked riding long point to point events best. Some of the local racers asked me why I was wasting my time riding my self planned events of 200, 300 or even 400 miles in a day. These were the days when the club century in September was the longest organized event of the season. Real racers entered 30 mile criteriums on the weekends. The top 10 riders would win some really good prizes like a new chain, tires or clothing. I didn’t win anything during my weekend tours across the countryside. I still liked planning and riding those self challenging tours. The local racers didn’t like it when said I considered myself more of a tourist than a racer.

RAAM Training Mileage Goals
In recent years there has been a trend toward riding less miles and adding more intensity. There are several advantages to shorter faster workouts at a higher speed. All the factors that are used to gauge fitness are usually higher among riders who train with shorter faster workouts. Better results are measured with higher VO2 Max, watts of power generated and more time off the bike to recover. These are all good laboratory training goals. However a lot of the success of RAAM riders depends on how they can handle the other abusive factors of the race.

The 1980’s were some of the golden years for the Race Across America. Five years of television coverage by ABC Wide World of Sports made RAAM a household name. I your remember...those were the years when household televisions only had five or six usable stations. ABC’s Wide World of Sports was more watched than all the current cable sports programs combined. The 90 minutes of air time RAAM received each February wouldn’t be totally appreciated until the coverage stopped in 1987.

The Race Across America probably would have happened regardless of the television coverage. The riders were not racing for recognition or prize money. Would better riders have been attracted to the Race if the financial rewards had been higher? Would the racers pushed themselves to go faster for more prize money? Interesting question. After I won the 1983 race, I remember one national famous racer saying he would not race RAAM unless he was was paid $50,000. I said, “You could not pay me enough to race RAAM.” It all depends on what motivated people.

I think it is interesting that some of records that were set in the 1980’s still stand. The equipment used then was considered the best available. The most exotic prototypes raced in RAAM could be purchased from a basic bike shop five years later. I remember drilling blank rims to make our own 14 and 16 spoke wheels. How long would they last before my hub flange broke from the stress of an over tight spoke? Pete Penseyres and I experiments with different aerobar designs and spend hours fabricating crude prototypes from frame tubing, fiberglass and felt padding. The designs we built were cumbersome and basic. We needed a design that was comfortable and strong. Our’s worked well enough, but in a few years shiny, lightweight, adjustable aerobars were the standard on almost every RAAM bike.

The evolution of long distance cycling has continued for the past 25 years. Both training and equipment have changed the way riders prepare to race RAAM. I will try to write some more cycling stories later. In the next few months I am preparing for our Adventure Tours Across Peru. We will be delivering supplies to the schools and orphanages we support there. These tours are busy for me because of the logistic hassles but I really enjoy traveling there. I will keep you posted on how the Peru Tours are coming together.

Contact me at you have any comments or questions you would like me to address on future blogs.

more later.............