Read What Is Printed About Danny Chew In The Media

Biker puts mettle to the pedal

Racing champion rides 22 hours a day for the love of it!

Web posted 7/29/97


Globe-News Staff Writer

Thursday morning, Danny Chew decided that $10,000 was a small price to pay to do something he loves. He knows that his love will not only take a bite out of his checkbook - it also will take a bite out of him. During the next four days, Chew will push himself beyond exhaustion as he pedals his bicycle 22 hours a day toward the finish line of the 3,000-mile Race Across America, which stretches from Irvine, Calif., to Savannah, Ga. Right now, he said, it's still possible to taste the nutrient bar he must eat four times an hour to keep up his strength. "When I get to the end of the race, there will be an acid coating on my tongue that will make it difficult to eat for a while,'' he said Monday at a time checkpoint west of Amarillo. ``Your feet and your butt hurt the worst, I guess. It takes about two or three months to recover from this,'' he said. Chew won last year's Race Across America and is the current leader. He said that if he wins, he actually might show a profit. The crew following him costs about $10,000 to maintain apart from corporate sponsorship money, he said. For the past 16 years, cyclists like Chew have subjected themselves to this body-numbing test of mental and physical endurance. There is no trophy and no cash prize waiting for Chew at the finish line. "There's no money involved really, just a few promotional things. It's just for the love of the riding. You don't ride 300 miles a day if you don't love it,'' said RAAM official Lanie Smith. West Texas A&M professor and RAAM director Nick Gerlich said he understands the motivation driving the cyclists, because he has made the same trek. "Ultra-endurance athletes think differently. We think in the infinite, the above and beyond. This kind of race helps you to overcome yourself. You can think of every reason in the world to quit,'' he said. Gerlich said Chew isn't one to quit, and his 425,000 lifetime cycling miles prove his commitment to the sport. "Think about how many miles you've put on your car. I bet you're not even close to what Danny has racked up on his bike. His goal is a million miles, and he's probably going to do it,'' he said.