International cyclists race through Oxford for Race Across America

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

As Nicole Reist, a professional ultracyclist from Switzerland, raced past Oxford’s Race Across America (RAAM) time station on June 19, she had already gone through eight states in under eight days.

Her more than 3,000-mile path has her traveling from Oceanside, Cali. to Atlantic City, NJ in a maximum of 12 days as one of the more than 150 cyclists. Reist, the 2022 RAAM winner, didn’t stop at time station 41 on South Locust Street, which sits at mile 2308 on the route, but part of her support crew did just in time to ring cowbells and cheer her on.

Caroline Pasedach is one of the three team members who stopped in Oxford. Pasedach traveled from Germany to drive cross country to support Reist and is one of 11 crew members who either follow Reist closely in a pace car or track her in an RV that serves as a home base for the resources that keep Reist pedaling.

“We are here because we support Nicole,” Pasedach said. “Everything we do is for Nicole and we’re all fine with that.”

Pasedach made the journey after reaching out to Reist on Facebook to ask if she could help on her next race. On her first stop in Ohio, she was met by two Oxford natives, Mike Minium and Lisa Brunckhorst.

Minium and Brunckhorst are two of the 15 volunteers who stay at the station until every solo and team rider passes through. The Oxford time station is one of less than 15 time stations that have volunteers greeting riders and crew members.

Minium said the dedication from volunteers comes from Oxford’s cycling community.

“We have a supportive group of cyclists here in Oxford,” Minium said. “Lisa’s been a big part of it.”

Brunckhorst raced in RAAM with three Miami University students in 2015 and continues to support the race by volunteering at the time station. She moved to South Carolina at the beginning of the year but drove back to spend the week at the time station.

“Once you’ve been involved in the race, you feel a connection and want to support [RAAM],” Brunckhorst said.

Minium spent days leading up to RAAM putting up signs on the route between Greensburg, Ind., and Chillicothe, Ohio. The 250-mile span of the route has more than 220 signs that announce bicyclists will be using the roads and direct cyclists in the right way.

Minium said the signs were put up after cyclists said locals were unaware of them and that faster speed roads were dangerous.

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