by Danny Chew  


20 year old Brian Nieport brought his University of Cincinnati Cycling Team sponsored by Reser Bicycle Outfitters with him hoping to break my 264 mile course record set back in 2001 with Wesley Wilmer, but harsh weather conditions kept most riders some 14-21 miles short of what they usually ride at the 2005 Calvin’s 12 Hour Challenge near Springfield, Ohio on April 30th.  Wet roads, a 43 degree F Temp, and a howling 20-25 mph Northwest wind greeted riders at the 7:30am start.  Before the start, Evey Williams said a few words about her brother Robert Bachtel who was killed by a vehicle in last years race, followed by a moment of silence, after which she led the pack out of Shawnee High School.  After only 4 tailwind miles on Selma Pike, our lead pack had dwindled down to just a dozen riders as we made the first turn onto N. River Rd. 


Ultracycling’s 2004 John Marino Competition champion John Jurczynski dropped from the front group about 20 miles in.  Nine of us rode our first 50 miles in 2:20.  Included in my group were Nieport who had set the 15-19 year old record of 242 miles back in 2002, and his team of 19 year old Frank Hollenkamp, 22 year old Nathan Bremer, and a tandem with captain Bob Schoettinger & stoker Adam Fuson.  Bob had ridden 249 miles in 2002, but Adam’s longest ride was only 120 miles.  Also in the lead pack were Gary Waggoner (he was in the lead pack with Jurczynski and I last year when the race was cancelled 110 miles in), John Fuoco, and recumbent rider Larry Graham.  Soon after we got our numbers punched at the school, Graham and Fuoco dropped leaving just 7 of us to fight the wind on our second 50 mile lap.  I came up with a name for the relentless wind, which kept wind-chill Temps in the 30’s much of the day - Invisible Force Bastard (IFB). 


We had to wait for a train, but luckily it was only about 90 seconds so we all stopped to piss.  Just before the end of the second 50 mile lap, Bremer dropped his chain and stopped riding at the school.  Our lead group now 6 rode our first 100 miles in 4:50, and had a halfway/6 hour split of 125 miles at the South Solon checkpoint.  We did our third 50 mile lap in 2:30, but lost two more riders at the 150 mile mark.  Hollencamp stopped riding after beating his previous long ride of 110 miles with plenty of time left to make his high school prom.  Waggoner finally dropped off our group for good after painfully yo-yoing off the back for nearly a hundred miles.  He still managed to get a PR of 228 miles.


The tandem, Nieport, and I worked well together the last 92 miles finishing with 242 miles and 8 minutes left on the clock.  Our double century time was 9:52.  This marks the first time a tandem has ever finished with top mileage.  Schoettinger & Fuson destroyed the previous tandem record of 228 miles.  Fuson more than doubled his previous longest ride, and got to ride his first double century with the Million Mile Man, Schoettinger had to settle for 7 miles less than his previous best on a solo bike, and I was held under 256 miles for the first time ever by the damn IFB which made for a very long day for all riders.  The top woman rider was 54 year old Nancy Guth with 214 miles.  Normally 200+ mile 12 hour riders, Matt Bond and Merry Vander Linden were held to just 185 miles each.  I want to thank Merry’s husband Claudio Vacas for feeding both Merry and myself. 


In the 6 Calvin’s I have done since 2000, this was by far the worst weather I have ever seen.  The only rider to do all 14 Calvin’s’, Bond told me it was down there with the worst he has experienced.  Despite atrocious weather conditions, 7 new division records were set:


Male/Male Tandem                Schoettinger & Fuson          242 miles

Trike                                        Richard Meyers                   150 miles

Female High Wheeler             Carolyn Carter                       57 miles

Female 70-74                          Barbara Weisbecker             128 miles

Female 60-64                          Elizabeth Wicks                   164 miles

Male 70-74                             Lew Meyer                           206 miles

Male 55-59                             Paul Nusbaum                       214 miles


But, two (Trike and Female 70-74) of these divisions had no previous records.  No solo under 55 year old records were set!  For a complete listing of results, please go to the Calvin’s website at:


The course is a mostly flat 50 mile loop, but is has 36 turns making it almost like a giant criterium.  With little shelter from the wind, the big loop has two checkpoints (one at the start/finish area {Shawnee High School} and the other 25 miles into the loop in the town of South Solon) where riders have to stop and have their numbers punched.  At 3:30pm, the 7 mile loop opens, and riders have to finish the full lap within the 12 hour limit for it to count.  Potholes and bad sections of pavement were well marked with orange spray paint. 


RAAM riders were well represented at Calvin’s this year.  Besides myself, many other solo finishers rode:  Matt Bond, Ed Kross rode 185 miles with his tandem partner Bill Ingraham, Tom Fanning rode 199 miles, and Terry Lansdell who raced as Rex Racer rode 221 miles.  72 year old Chris Stauffer who sponsors Calvin’s with his Stauffer Homes rode 100 miles.  He finished the 4 person 70+ Team RAAM on Team PAC Masters last year.