07/26/12 Two local bicycling enthusiasts were among the over one thousand competitors finishing a grueling 160-mile one-day ride on Saturday. Tony Lenne and Bill Langdon began the RAIN (Ride Across Indiana) ride starting in Terre Haute and finishing in Richmond. The annual event is sponsored by the Bloomington Bicycle Club.
This was Lenne’s second attempt to complete the ride. Last year he reached the 120 mile-mark before dropping out for what he now believes was dehydration. He said, “I signed up again after my younger brother challenged me.” According to Lenne, he and brother Larry have a friendly, but ongoing, sibling rivalry when it comes to athletic type events. Lenne said, “Larry is more athletic and I’m stronger, but this is an even ground for us to compete in.” Larry Lenne finished the day in 702 place and Tony was only one behind at 703. Tony readily admits that he was only able to finish with the encouragement of his brother. He said that they stopped every mile and one-half during the last five miles of the route to walk out Tony’s leg cramps.
Also encouraging the pair were their parents, Linda and Skip Lenne from Terre Haute, who served as their support staff providing water and snacks during the ride. Tony said, “My dad carried a ISU flag so we would be able to find them in the crowd.”
The official time for the brothers was 10 hours and 6 minutes of riding time and 11 hours and 53 minutes of real time.
Lenne said he got some extra help from a couple in the crowd near the finish line when a woman shared an ice bag with him and a man gave him some potato chips to bring up his salt levels a little.
Saturday night, Lenne stayed with his brother in Indianapolis, but said he didn’t sleep all night. By Sunday, Lenne was home in Plymouth. He said, “My wife Pat was nice enough to let me lie on the couch with my dog all day.”
For now, Lenne is content to ride the two and one-half miles each day to his job as manager of Bay Valley Foods and ride on Thursday nights with Langdon and others.
The longest distance that Langdon had ever completed in one day before the RAIN ride on July 21 was 100 miles. The ride began at 7:00 a.m. and stopped officially at 9:00 p.m. Langdon said, “If you don’t finish in 14 hours, it’s like you were never there.” He said his goal was just to finish-which he did with only five minutes to spare.
Langdon works in the energy industry and sits for long periods of time at a computer. He said he “threw” out his back a week before the ride, but was able to ride after visiting a chiropractor and using athletic tape. He said, “I did have to stop every 15 miles or so.”
Langdon said when his three sons were still living at home, they did have family rides, but the type of riding he does now is completely different. He said, “I got my first real bike in 1988 to use for fun and fitness.”
He finished in 1208 place of the 1217 finishers.
Langdon ‘s wife Mindy was going to serve as his support person, but Plymouth resident Mark Sutter stepped up to help. Sutter had been scheduled to ride in the RAIN ride, but broke his collar bone after a dog ran in front of his bike a month ago. Sutter said, “I was glad to be there and help Bill. After what I saw yesterday (Saturday), I don’t know if I will ride in it next year.” Sutter averaged between 100-125 miles each week in ride time before his accident.
Langdon, Lenne and Sutter ride together on Thursday nights with a group that gathers at Country Rode Bicycle in Plymouth. All three credit a great deal of their success to Country Road owner Bob Davis. Langdon said Davis was able to adjust his bike pedal before the race to help keep some of the pressure off of his knee and Lenne said Davis fixed a back wheel problem on his bike on Thursday night just before the RAIN ride. Sutter said, “Davis can put riders on the bike that fits them and can make any kind of repairs.”
The three ride at a brisk pace as part of their training. Mindy Langdon and Pat Lenne stay with a group of riders who just want to get some exercise.
Picture: left is Tony Lenne with parents Linda and Skip Lenne and brother Larry
Carol Anders Correspondent