For the last eleven years, some people have doubted us when they saw our brochures and advertisements promised perfect weather for Calvin’s 12-Hour Challenge. You doubters should be ashamed, because this year, once again, we were right. On May 4, 2002, 234 competitive riders lined up on 223 bicycles for the start of the Eleventh Annual Calvin’s 12-Hour Challenge. Another 100 fun riders (that we know of) anxiously awaited their start 30 minutes after the racers. It was a little cool (around 400) but by early afternoon the skies cleared and the temperature was in the high 60’s with clear skies and winds less than 10 mph.

Riders came to Springfield, Ohio from all over the US and Canada to ride this famous event. Participants came from AR, FL, IA, IL, IN, KY, MA, MD, Ml, MN, MO, NC, NJ, NM, NY, OH, ONT, OR, PA, VA, & WI. The average mileage was 169 and the average age was 41 with the oldest at 75 and the youngest at 11. Fourteen class records (including the Women’s overall record) were broken. As always, there were plenty Race Across America vets and hopefuls in attendance. Veterans Danny Chew, Matt Bond, Al Muldoon, Tom Buckley, Dave Tanner, Ron Bell, Ed Kross and Jeff Stephens joined RAAM hopefuls Nancy Black Henriksson and Sandy Earl to rack up training miles.

At 7:30 AM we led the eager mob out of the school parking lot and down Selma Road. We were quickly overtaken and watched the pack disappear over the hill toward Pitchin. As usual, the leaders went on to finish the first 100 miles in less than 5 hours.

Danny Chew, Steve Marshall and Mark Hekmann finished the 12 hours in a three way tie for first place overall with 256 miles. Sandy Earl came all the way from Oregon and set a new Women’s overall record of 249 miles. Seventeen year old local rider Brian Nieport, riding his third Calvin’s Challenge, rode with the big guys most of the day and finished with 242 miles look out Danny and Lance, this is one strong young rider.