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Jun. 18, 2006
Following Kenny Souza on RAAM--Day 7
Saturday this writer was a rider, hence the late report. I did the Terrible Two, a 200-mile bicycle ride with 16,000’ of elevation gain. I experienced exhaustion, overheating, dehydration, cramping, and severe fatigue in just a 12 hour ride. It helped, in some small way, to better understand what Kenny is going through. I struggled to finish my ride. Imagine experiencing those feelings day after day, and night after night! It’s simply mind-boggling.


The weather in Kansas and Missouri was epic on Friday and Saturday. High winds, some tornados, and driving rain were the order of the day. Kenny experienced a moment of clarity and pushed through the storms, continuing to pedal for hours in the horrible conditions. Then, Kenny took another long break to rest.


Kenny has taken more time off the bike than his competitors. At this point in the race, Kenny has realized that he is not cut out to be a sleep-deprived ultra-endurance rider. The idea of slogging along on the bike half asleep at a painfully slow pace doesn’t appeal to Mr. Souza. He’s accustomed to speeding along on his TT bike at breakneck speed. That’s the mold from which Kenny is cut and it’s difficult to change at this point.
Hence, after a heart to heart meeting with the crew, the decision was made for Kenny to ride as is meant to do. That is, to get appropriate rest, then ride fast and alert while on the bike. While knowledgeable RAAM experts may not consider this a winning tactic, it’s just the way it has to be for Kenny.
A text message from Kenny’s son Dalton Saturday evening: “Well, Dad’s resting. He said we’re going to have a schedule now by doing long rests, then we’re gonna jam.” A special thanks to Dalton for sending along the cell phone photos.
At this writing, Kenny is in Missouri. The flat open plains have given way to rolling terrain as the crew heads toward Virginia. It’s moist, green, and there are trees in this beautiful country. The crew is relieved to be past the mid-western plains.
It’s Father’s day Sunday, and Kenny’s son Dalton has secured a cake. At some point out on the road on Sunday, there will be a nice father/son celebration.
Due to Kenny’s long break he has slipped back into 5th place and has been passed by Bryce Walsh. He’s also lost some ground on Tinker. But expect a very fast day today with much ground covered.
Stay tuned…

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