On Saturday, July 21, four Draper bicyclists went for a ride in the rain … in more ways than one.
Architectural market manager Chris Broome, export sales and product manager Jentry Wittkamper, director of sales Lee Denhart, and solar control solutions consultant Richard Wilson participated in the Ride Across Indiana (RAIN), a 160-mile one-day bike ride running west to east across the middle of the state.
The annual ride began on the campus of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College in Terre Haute on Indiana’s western edge, and ended at Earlham College in Richmond, on the state’s eastern side. Participants began riding at 7 a.m. and had until 9 p.m. to complete the ride.
The idea to do it came from Wilson, a keen cyclist who is based in the U.K., but frequently travels to the U.S. for Draper.
“When I’m at Draper, I always try to fix up a ride with Chris Broome and Lee Denhart, and on one of them we discussed the idea of participating in the RAIN ride this year,” said Wilson. “I didn’t expect any interest, but they said, ‘Why not!’ so I was committed to do it. Given that the ride is 160 miles long, I brought my bike with me, the first time that I’ve brought it to the U.S.”
Back home, Wilson belongs to the Ross-on-Wye & District Cycling Club, and rides around 10,000 km—6,250 miles a year. Rides have included a trip through the Pyrenees with his son, Ralph, and several classic climbs, such as the Col du Tourmalet, the Col d’Aubisque, and the Col du Soulor.
Wittkamper, Denhart, and Broome also cycle and have done a few events. Broome and Denhart have done several central Indiana rides, and Wittkamper has several triathlons under his belt.
“I like these types of events because they are hard and test you physically and mentally,” said Wittkamper. “It’s good to test where your limits are. I have also been considering running a full Ironman, as a close friend of mine whose is battling brain cancer asked me to do one with him when he is able.”
Although Indiana’s weather had been hot and humid in recent weeks, if there was one concern going into the 2018 RAIN event, it was, in fact, rain. But in the end the showers were a good thing as the four riders kept together throughout the day.
“Overall, it was a very good day,” said Broome. “RAIN is something that I wanted to do for a long time, and it gave me quite a sense of accomplishment. It was also fun to do it with those three guys. We made a great team and got a lot of help from Richard. He pulled the three of us through it. I am pleased to be able to mark this off my bucket list. I would take cloudy and rain over hot and sunny any day, and overall riding 160 miles was not as difficult as I expected it to be.”
“Richard is a machine and really gave us a good pull throughout,” Denhart said. “It was a lot of fun and was a big accomplishment–something I have wanted to do since I started riding. The temperature was great and the wind was blowing in the right direction, so it made the overall ride easier than it otherwise would have been.”
The Draper group finished at 5:17 p.m., with 8:51 of ride time, averaging 18 mph. Out of 1042 riders who completed the ride, Wittkamper, Wilson, Broome, and Denhart placed at 504, 505, 506, and 507.
They were helped along the way by family members who showed up at drink stops to provide encouragement, food, water, and towels.
Wilson agreed that it was a very enjoyable day of good fun while, riding with the Draper team.
“I was impressed with how Chris, Lee, and Jentry got on given that they hadn’t ridden anything near 160 miles before,” Wilson said. “I would ride this on my own to see how quickly I could complete the ride. I would, however, prefer to take on a different ride with the team. I suggested the Hilly 100 as a possibility.”
To learn more about the RAIN, click here.