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Minnesota man to bike 20 hours a day for cause

Bob McEnany


WOODBURY, Minn. – Bob McEnaney would be jailed if he did this to anyone else.

If he forced someone to ride a bike 20 hours a day for 12 days, he’d be guilty of assault. If he inflicted so much stress that a person couldn’t eat, he’d be arrested.

And if he forced a 55-year-old man to pedal from California to Maryland, he’d be behind bars.

But he is doing it to himself. Starting Tuesday, he will be riding in RAAM – the Race Across America, billed as the world’s toughest endurance event.

“Honestly, I am scared to death about the whole race,” McEnaney, who lives in Woodbury, said between training sessions.

One question has hovered around him since he announced his plans.


“Everyone wants a challenge. This is the one I chose,” he said.

McEnaney will be raising money for the Minnesota Military Family Foundation to benefit veterans and their families.

“These people are heroes who have put themselves in harm’s way,” he said.

His training has been, naturally, quite grueling.

Training through a Minnesota winter is difficult, so he traveled to California twice this spring for training sessions. He completed a three-day, 650-mile test ride.

“My peak was 55 hours on a bike,” Mc-Enaney said. That means he rode continuously for more than two days.

On the Race Across America, McEnaney will be accompanied by an eight-person support crew, riding in two cars and an RV. The crew includes a bike mechanic, massage therapist, cook and social-media worker, chiropractor and EMT. Also with the team will be a bike rider from England, who is hoping to complete the race next year.

Managing them all is a crew chief.

“The No. 1 goal of the crew is to keep me on the bike. Too many times I will be sore and tired and crabby,” McEnaney said. “But every four minutes you are off the bike is one mile that you didn’t do.”

Unlike other races, RAAM doesn’t stop the race clock to allow for breaks. McEnaney plans to sleep in the RV for only three hours a day.

During the race, McEnaney will drink more than 7 gallons of water and eat about 10,000 calories a day.

The Pioneer Press is a media partner with Forum News Service.