Thursday, October 29, 2009

Chris Ragsdale...and you think you are tough

Chris Ragsdale is a Seattle-based cyclist who competes in ultra-endurance cycling events. A few weeks back, Chris beat a strong field to win the 2009 Furnace Creek 508 in California. For those of you who missed David Longdon’s excellent post-race four part interview with Chris, here it is (scroll down to 10-18-09 through 10-21-09 for the posts):

http://blog.seattlepi.com/velocity/

A year ago I posted Chris’s own personal account of the 2008 race:

http://tomsbicycleblog.blogspot.com/2008/10/chris.html

I like to do long rides with as few stops as possible, and the other day I went out and did 60 miles non-stop on a chilly day. That got me thinking about Chris and what it is that he does, and I am just in total awe of what he is capable of on a bicycle.

Chris didn’t get involved with cycling until 2002, when he rode a mountain bike across the United States. Yes, a mountain bike, and yes, cross-country. Chris must have had a lot of time to think on that voyage, and when he got back to Seattle, he thought about jumping into the Race Across America (RAAM). Impetuous? Looking at his list of accomplishments since then, I think not.

In high school, Chris played football, and did some shorter track events. In his early 20’s, Chris did a lot of backpacking, and climbed Rainier, Glacier, and Adams in 2003. For those of us who have had the pleasure of riding with Chris, it doesn’t take long to see just how much natural talent he possesses for cycling. Perhaps if Chris had discovered cycling at a younger age, we would be watching him on television in July.

I respect Chris and his style of riding more than just about any other type of cyclist, including the Tour de France riders. Chris is truly one of those people who let their legs do the talking. He’s not only a great guy; he seems to have that aura about him that enables him to possess extreme levels of both confidence and humility. It’s that same type of confidence that one senses in many other elite level athletes, but many of those athletes (not just cyclists) would do well to emulate Chris for the humility and class he displays.

Chris mentions that RAAM is definitely in his future. I certainly can envision multiple future participations in that race for him, as well as a possible victory. Chris is only 32, and he has lots of years to figure out how to win that event. He already has the talent.

1 comment:

LukerBee said...

Put me in the fan club when Chris races RAAM!

Happy Birthday Tom.