Monday, June 20, 2011

DENNIS JOHNSON: 2nd Solo RAW & 1st Recumbent

Vic Armijo / Super-8 Motel, Washington, MO.

June 21, 2011 12:01 am, EST

Dennis Johnson’s passion for riding recumbents was immediately apparent when I met him in Oceanside before the start of RAW,” I’ve ridden recumbents ever since I began riding seriously,” he said, “I like the aerodynamics and the speed. I like the comfort. For something this long—especially for RAAM, the comfort starts to become a strategic advantage. John Schlitter, after riding RAAM in 2008, two weeks later went out and set the record at the Saratoga 24 Hours. Not many people could get off of riding RAAM on a regular road bike and then two weeks later go out and set a 24 hour record.”

Johnson rode—in comfort he’ll tell you—from Oceanside, CA. to Durango, CO. in 2 hours, 17 hours and 56 minutes, and averaging 13.01 mph over the 860 mile distance.

This wasn’t Dennis Johnson’s first affiliation with RAAM, or in this case RAW, “But it is my first time as a non-crew member,” he said, “I crewed in 2006 for Jim Kern, in 2007 for John Schlitter. 2-man team, in 2008 for John Schlitter’s first time RAAM recumbent finish.”

The Woodlands, Texas resident manages his wife’s medical practice “And I’m a stay at home dad,” he said. That situation helps him manage to get in his training, which surprisingly isn’t as rigorous as that of some RAAM riders, “A long month for me would be 1200 miles—so not as many miles as some but a lot of quality.” Unlike many racers who work in the bike industry, most of the people that Dennis encounters in his working life aren’t cyclists—they aren’t people who “get it.” “When I tell people about RAW either they think it’s real interesting or they just give me a glazed over look ‘cause they can’t grasp the magnitude of riding that far.”

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