Stöd mitt RAAM genom att bida till min insamling till Cancerfonden (klicka på loggan)

onsdag 27 juni 2012

På väg hem.

Vilken härlig känsla att rulla hemmåt på interstate 95 med RAAM-medaljen runt halsen. Flyger till Sverige igen i morgon.
Tiden efter målgången har varit ett virrvarr av upplevelser och intryck. Banketten på måndag kvällen var en höjdare där jag träffade och pratade med många av de andra sneda och väderbitna cyklisterna.
Att jag förutom min målsättning  att bli officiell finisher lyckades komma in på en andra plats i min åldersgrupp H-50 blev lite som grädde på moset.
Den enorma responsen bland er bloggläsare och den fina summan pengar ni har bidragit till åt min insamling till Cancerfonden gör mig verkligen överväldigad.

Hela Team Ultra-Cycling Viking innan avresan från Annapolis.
Alla har gjort ett så fantastiskt arbete, där det enda som gällt under 12 dagar har varit att få mig att på cykeln så snabbt som möjligt. förflytta mig österut.
Återkommer med en berättelse om vad som egentligen hände där under RAAM så snart jag är hemma igen.
Insamlingen till Cancerfonden fortätter, så än är det inte försent att ge ett bidrag.

måndag 25 juni 2012


After 11 days 16 hours and 46 minutes Gunnar crossed the finish line in Annapolis Maryland to become the first male Swede to complete the RAAM. "The Worlds Toughest Bicycle Race" ! Gunnar celebrated with crew and fellow racers alike and was officially awarded second place in his bracket. At this posting our racer is fast asleep in his R V and is resting for this evenings festivities. The first picture is our hero hoisting his bike in jubilation and the second is of our crazy, sweet, stubborn, very kind and fun loving Swede posing for the camera before the race in Oceanside. He truly is "THE ULTRA-CYCLING VIKING. Thank you for all your support and well wishes for Gunnar during this extreme cycling event and if you would be so kind please support our sponsors and Cancer Research.

Heading for the Barn

When Gunnar started from Grafton, West Virginia at 04:13 this morning, he had 315 miles to the finish line. One-hundred and thirty-six miles and fourteen hours later, he has pedaled his way up numerous 8% grade mountains with the strength of a true Viking.

On these leg-burning climbs Gunnar and his day-crew surprised deer, raccoons and the occasional mountain resident. PLUS encountered the chase vehicles of an Italian racer at many points along the road, even though their rider was reportedly one-and-a-half hours behind our man. Spying?! How flattering. Evidently it happens in these big races.

According to the RAAM website Gunnar is in second place for his category, and upon arriving at TS49 at Hancock, Maryland Gunnar and the lads pushed on after just a shower and a meal.

These snapshots will give you an idea of the beauty and the beast of the Appalachian mountains.

Heja Gunnar! You're almost there!

söndag 24 juni 2012

Smokin' through Ohio

June 23, 2012

TS42 at Blanchester, Ohio was manned by RAAM volunteers who sat up all night to talk to incoming crews and riders, passing out free-meal coupons for the McDonalds next to the time station.  (Thank you!)

Gunnar made it to Blanchester around 03:00 this morning, and after a couple of hours of well-earned sleep, he was on the road again at 05:15.  Crew members Francis, Susan and Alice took over from “the lads” (Arne, Anders and Lasse) who had earned their rest after caring for Gunnar’s needs all through the night.

One of the advantages of the early shift is the sunrises.  These last two days they have been gorgeous affairs with fresh air, bird song and morning mists that disappear as the sun warms the meadows.  I am sure Gunnar is going to wonder why I have taken so many pictures that don’t have anything to do with bicycling, but these rolling hills, small, comfortable communities and traditional farms invite the photographer to try for an even better snapshot of whatever it was you last took a picture of.  And there are lots of pictures of Gunnar’s backside too. 

At TS 43 we hooked up with Alice and Francis’ brother Chris and his wife Kathy who had driven down from Columbus, Ohio to see the Ultra-Cycling Viking and wish him luck.  Chris brought some needed supplies and Kathy spoiled us with home-made chocolate chip cookies and a crumble cake.  (Thank you both!)  That short visit slowed us down, but by the next time station Gunnar started making up for lost time.  His average speed increased from 12.3 to 12.6 miles per hour, and 30 miles into the third leg of our trip he was averaging 13.7 m.p.h.  He really was smoking down the highway, and it was exciting to see him overtake several of the other cyclists.  Our biker is STRONG!

We are currently in Parkersburg, West Virginia (148 miles from Blanchester, OH) and it is here that the real climbing starts.  According to the RAAM route book there is more elevation gained in this section than between any other consecutive stations anywhere from coast to coast.  This section and the following two are the three with the most climbing.  So Gunnar is down for a couple of hours now resting up for the next leg of the journey.  And the lads are out going through his bicycles to make sure they are ready for the push.  Francis said that if you could flatten out West Virginia it would be larger than the state of Texas.  So there are a lot of vertical miles ahead of Gunnar.

But my shift is over and it’s up to Arne, Anders and Lasse to see him safely through the night.
Alice O.

lördag 23 juni 2012


Friday, June 22, 2012

At this writing Francis, Susan and I are barrelling down the highway in the RV, moving the ”elelphant” as I call it, two time stations up the road.  Gunnar started at 6:35 this morning from TS 38 in Sullivan, Indiana and has passed TS 39 and TS 40. (130 miles)  His evening crew hopes to meet up with us in Blanchester, Ohio TS 42, sometime in the early morning hours.  That’s another 100 miles up the trail.  Gunnar is tired and sleep-deprived, but in good spirits, and this afternoon he was strong. 

I always thought of Indiana as flat, but the scenery is decidedly hilly where Gunnar was biking today.  Hilly and hot.  But also beautiful, and we passed through many rural towns with populations in the hundreds, where Walmart and McDonalds are still a good drive away.  The United States is a country of contrasts, and I am sure the winding roads, small farms and peaceful scenery were not lost on Gunnar, even as he struggled up the hills. 

Thank you for all of your encouraging words.  And a special thanks to Bosse D. and his son Aaron for the two CDs you put together for Gunnar to listen to.  They are much appreciated by the crew as well and will forever more be associated with RAAM.

As I checked the Cancer Society here at McDonalds to see how much Gunnar had already collected, I saw that you have already contributed over 25000 Skr.  Thank you for your generosity!  I am looking forward to reporting that to Gunnar tonight when he finally reaches TS42.  The evening crew reported that he had left TS41 and was on his way here.
Fight on, Gunnar.  Kämpa!

P.S.  Due to limited wifi access, you often get more than one posting when we make it to a McDonalds.  Sorry about the time delay.


June 21, 2012

Glad midsommar till alla våra svenska vänner!  And if you are celebrating midsummer here in the States, happy midsummer to you too.

You might wonder what happens to a biker when he/she exposes him/herself to the rigors ultra-cycling.  Henning Larssen, one of the Danish racers has developed Shermer’s neck – which means that his neck muscles can not hold his head upright.  This happens to long-distance bikers and there are various ingenious ways of propping the neck up and letting the bicyclist sit on the bike and keep on pedalling.  Other problems can be saddle sores (go figure), numbness in the hands and feet, swelling in the feet and legs, dehydration due to lack of electrolytes, and blisters in the mouth or a coated tongue.  Not to mention problems in the  upper or lower digestive tract.  And of course exhaustion.  I should have named that one first.  Every one of the solo cyclists will experience these problems to some degree.

But most of these cyclists are biking for a cause – to raise money for some charity or another.  Just listen to some of the team names:  Above + Beyond Cancer; Docs & Jocks – Racing to Prevent Childhood Obesity; Tli Cho Landtran – Food First; Ohio CycleWorks Charities; Believe & Achieve; Liv 4 Life;  4HIV Hope; We Race For Kids, etc.  It’s inspiring to realize how many cyclists are biking to help other people.  There is a team of Wounded Warriors out there, missing arms or legs, who are out biking for themselves and to raise money for wheelchairs and artificial limbs for others.

There is also a feeling of camaraderie and friendship among the bikers and their crews.  You feel it when you are in the chase car and another team’s crew honk and cheer as you and your rider pass by.  Or when you meet other cyclists and their crews at time stations.  We felt this one-big-family feeling at the start and will probably also experience it at the finish, when there will be a lot more stories to tell.

Gunnar took a 3-hour rest after reaching the Mississippi and then pushed on through two more time stations.  He is currently pushing on towards TS38.  He was making good time through TS36 and TS37.  But I’m sure he will be pooped by the time he calls it quits for today.

I can report that it is not quite as light at night in Ellingham, Illinois as it is in Järvsö tonight.  Glad midsommar!

fredag 22 juni 2012

Every Picture Tells A Story

As the Rod Stewart song says "every picture tells a story don't it" let me give you a brief tale on the three pictures here.
The first picture is of our racer Gunnar in Yates Center MO getting a massage from two of Ultra Cycling Viking crew members, Susan and Alice. Everyone in the crew does what ever they can to help Gunnar achieve his dream of completing the RAAM and raising money to help defeat cancer.
The second picture is of the magnificent bridge that spans the Mississippi River between the states of Missouri and Illinois. This was the location of Time Station 35 and the cut off point for the second section of this race. All riders needed to be here by a certain time or to face disqualification . Gunnar made it with time to spare and took a well deserved break of a few hours.
The third picture is of the man himself as he cruised into TS #35 and was greeted by crew and fellow racers. At this point Gunnar has ridden over 2030 miles and has 963.4 miles left to complete. Please keep him in your thoughts and send your positive energy in helping him achieve the two goals he rides so hard to achieve.

torsdag 21 juni 2012

Hello MO!

June 20, 2012

After arather restless night, Gunnar was off again from Yates Center shortly before6:00.  He passed the Missouri state lineabout 20 miles up the road, and we have been pushing on through the rollinghills of MO ever since.  As of thiswriting at 20:00 race time he has biked 175 miles and passed three timestations. 

We areracing against a cut-off time at the Mississippi River.  Gunnar has to be at TS35 before 15:00 on June21.  Otherwise he is out of the race.  This sounds harsh, but when you consider thehundreds of RAAM volunteers who give their time to answer the phones for thetime station reports, you understand why these cut-off times arenecessary.  After this time stationGunnar will have about 210 miles left to bike in order to reach the cut-offpoint.  Keep your fingers crossed or holdyour thumbs as we say in Sweden.

Even thoughthe hills are steep, the biking is in some ways easier than the constant flatof western and central Kansas.  At leastthere is a downhill here to coast down, so leg muscles get a rest.  Especially since the wind wasn’t with us onthe Kansas flats. 

Kämpa på,Gunnar!

Hotter ’n Kansas

Monday,June 19 

We used to say ”Hotter than Hell,” but from now on I think I’ll say ”hotter ‘n Kansas,”  It’s 23:30 and temperatures are still in the high 90s.  And this is only June.  But my sources in Sweden say it’s raining, so I’d better suck up and stop complaining.  And it’s not like I have to sit on a bicycle all day in this heat wave.

Today Gunnar biked 236 miles to Yates Center before turning in for a short sleep.  Although you may think Kansas is flat, this section was quite lovely with rolling hills and small neat towns with wrap-around porches.  We chased down a laundromat around Maize while our biker slogged on through side winds.  The halfway mark is a psychological turning point.  Gunnar passed it a couple of hours ahead of the halfway time, so if we can hold to this schedule Gunnar will achieve his goal of finishing.

So what does the crew do when the biker is biking?  Two or three of us are always in the chase vehicle – serving our racer cold drinks, spraying him with cold water, fixing flat tires, and supporting him in any way we can.  The rest of us are in the RV and get to do the running around – buying supplies, doing laundry, posting blog entries, empting the black and grey water and filling up the fresh water supplies.  When we’re not doing that we sleep so that we will be ready and alert to take the next turn in the chase car.

And rest is incredibly important.  One of the Danish racers, Morten, had his crew give up on him.  They were just too exhausted to keep going.  And since that’s not going to happen to Gunnar, I am going to sign off now.
Alice O.

The Curious Incident of the Dog at the Halfway Point

June 19, 2012

Some of Gunnar’s rightful attention and glory was stolen from him by a stray dog – (think big, yellow, part Labrador.  This young fellow ran across the highway to us as we were posing for pictures with Gunnar.  He was extremely friendly and jumpy, and knew commands like “sit” and “stay”.  But he had no collar or owner.  Francis and Susan kept him away from the celebrations, but the longer he was with us, the more obvious it became that he was lost.  We fed him turkey breast, cheese, and finally Francis decided to try to take him back across the highway where there were men working to see if one of them would take him in to the pound after work.  But the dog was having none of that.  Finally we had to throw some pepperoni into the ditch and scramble into the van.  It was a shame to leave a nice dog like that, but there was nothing more we could do.

onsdag 20 juni 2012

Gunnar and the Ultra Cykling Viking-Team continue to battle their way across America.
We have recived information that american readers of Gunnars Cykel-blogg are having trouble posting comments.
If you are following Gunnars race across America and want to give him some words of encouragement you are welcome to post them in our facebook group - "Gunnar Ohlanders cyklar RAAM" direct link
Alice and the team will pass them on to Gunnar.

Järvsö 20-06-2012
Johan Ohlanders

1500 Down...1500 To Go

Gunnar hopes off his bike, just for a moment, to celebrate the half way point of the 2012 RAAM. Pictures show our racer surrounded by his wife Alice and his crew chief Anders.

tisdag 19 juni 2012

Halfway There!


Thank you for all your comments!  We have been reading them to Gunnar when we pull up alongside him for transfers of water bottles, nutrition drinks, etc.  Your encouraging words are helping push him forward through the Kansas plains.  And for you readers in the States, if you want to post a comment, go to the end of the blog entry and there should be a section that says something like “kommentera” or “lägg till en kommentar.”  If you click on that heading, you should be able to post your comments.

Gunnar pedalled through 20-mile-an-hour (9 m/s with gusts up to 18 m/s) side winds yesterday to Ford, Kansas.  The heat during the day was up to 106 ° F or about 41 C.  It cooled down to about 87 F after dark, but the hard side winds persisted through the night and were still blowing when he took off again at 6:15 this morning.

We’re in the RV barrelling down the highway to catch up to Gunnar before he reaches the halfway mark (1469.7 miles) about 23 miles east of Pratt.  It’s 11:14 race time and it won’t be long before he has overcome yet another hurdle on his way to the finish line.  We’ll be pulling out our Swedish and American flags to cheer him on, and know that you will also be celebrating with us.  Heja GUNNAR!!!

We'll add some pictures later.  Alice O.

Out Of The Rockies

As you can see from the pictures the landscape is changing quickly as Gunnar charges from the Rockies to the high plains of Colorado and Kansas. Gunnar had to work extremely hard as he pressed on through two major climbs over the continental divide and then through Cuchara pass. Gunnar pumped over 1.6 kilometers in elevation change as he traveled over 210 miles through 4 time stations. His crew had never seen him so exhausted as he laid down at 3 in the morning but he was off again shortly before 6 am. as he pedaled his way in to the plains of Kansas. Temps have climbed above 40 degrees Celsius. At this posting he has put 194 miles behind him and wants more! Kaempa.

måndag 18 juni 2012

Climbing in the Rockies

Sunday, June 17

It’s Father’s Day in the States, so happy Fathers’ Day to all you fathers! 

Gunnar pushed on past Durango another 54 miles to Pagosa Springs before calling it a night yesterday at 2:30 race time.  Another short night of sleep and he was on the road again at 5:30 dressed in his winter clothes because morning temperatures were down around 10 degrees C. 

As of 12:00  race time Gunnar had passed TS17 at South Fork, Colorado (48 miles down the road) and was heading on towards TS18.  The 48 miles to South Fork included the ascent to Wolf Creek Pass at 10856 feet above sea level, and the Continental Divide of the United States.  Hurrah, Gunnar, you’ve come over half a continent!  Only a little over 300 Swedish miles (or 2032 miles) to go!

The scenery here in the mountains of Colorado is gorgeous, magnificent, rugged, and AWESOME!  It’s like Norway and Switzerland combined - only more so.  It’s cooler here in the mountains and a lot greener than it was in the dry of the desert.  But, that said, day-time temperatures are expected to be above 30 degrees Celsius.

Some sad news today was that one of the racers we had been following, the Czech Jiri Hledik dropped out of the race this morning upon reaching Pagosa Springs.  We are truly sorry for him and his crew.  But the statistics show that only one of two solo racers finish.  This truly is a demanding race. 

We’ve been reading Gunnar messages from the blog at stops.  He wants to thank you all for your support.  If you leave a message we’ll get it to him.  From all of the crew genom Alice O.

June 16 10:35 a.m. (MDT)

Don’t leave Flagstaff without enough good drinking water to last 275 miles (x1,6=km) to TS-14 in Cortez, Colorado!

That was the warning bike crews got in the route book for RAAM.  The desert is beautiful, but thirsty and unforgiving and services are limited.  Gunnar battled desert wind and both heat and cold yesterday as he biked from Congress, AZ to Kayente, AZ.  That’s 225 miles. 

Our ultra-cycling Viking took off this morning at 5:30 a.m. after 2,5 hours of sleep.  The goal for today is Durango, CO, 180 miles up the road.  Day temperatures between 32 to 40 Celsius, night temperature yesterday night down to 16 degrees C. 

Vi känner att ni är med oss på resan.  Hoppas ni har det varmt och skönt där hemma i Sverige.  Alice O.

söndag 17 juni 2012

Dawn Ride Through Monument Valley, Utah

Gunnar having to work hard to stay on schedule got up in the early morning hours and started his ride for Durango Colorado. One of the nicest parts about this race across America is some of the fabulous scenery you are afforded as you sit on your saddle and make your way across this beautiful country. The alarm went off at 3:30 in the morning and Gunnar was on his bike by 4 AM local time. Dawn through Monument Valley was breathtaking… Too beautiful for my words. The other good thing about riding that early is the temperature was much more comfortable for a Viking . With this leg of 180 miles Gunnar climbed more than one mile in elevation change. At this posting Gunnar is again out in the night's cooler air pedaling towards Pagosa Springs Colorado.

fredag 15 juni 2012

The First Leg

As Gunnar begins the first part of his journey this was very much the typical scenery. Very hot and arid conditions; temp Exceeding 40 degrees Celsius with a stiff headwind. The picture is of a "Dirt Devil" (a small tornado) in very arid conditions. He has had to climb over 15,000 ft of elevation and is due in to Flagstaff around noon this afternoon local time. Keep your thumbs up for Gunnar as he heads for the plains in the next leg of his race.

torsdag 14 juni 2012

Race time!

After all the training, organizing and traveling Gunnar takes the final steps before he rides for a VERY LONG time. The picture is of him in the van just minutes before he Races Across AMerica. Gunnar was the racer third racer to pedal off for Annapolis. At this posting he is closing in on 342 miles.

tisdag 12 juni 2012

The Team Is Primed!!(And really ready)

The team spirit among the crew is electric! We stand ready, shoulder to shoulder, with the team motto "All for one." we will follow Gunnar either to the finish line or to Valhalla. Gunnar and the team can feel your support your spirit behind us now as well. Keep us in your prayers and send us your positive energy, and follow us online.

Crew members Lasse, Alice, Anders, Arne, Susan, and Francis

Getting Ready to Roll

Gunnar has spent the last few days getting ready mentally for the race.  The rest of his crew has done the gofer stuff - finding sunscreen, outfitting the van, buying supplies, going through the route book, etc. etc.

The RV is a real beauty - sleeps 6 comfortably and has walls that slide out when you are parked.  I'm so glad that there are other people who are eager to drive it.  I probably won't be called to serve.

We are all pretty excited and nervous about this race.  Especially after meeting some of the other racers and their crews.   There are quite a few other bikers here at the Super 8 hotel where we are staying.  We talked to Gerhard Gulewicz from Graz, Austria.  He has raced the RAAM solo many times, and has finished second several times.  And his chase vehicle is outfitted with a sound system that can probably be heard in Järvsö when he turns the volume up.  So our little dinky speaker system made us instantly nervous.  People are nice, and every one has something to share.

We were down at the start yesterday for the racer's meeting.  Got a good look at the Pacific Ocean, and Gunnar got his feet wet in it.

Today is the start of the RAAM for the women and the men over 60.  Before that there is a photo session for Gunnar and the crew and an inspection of both vehicles.

Tomorrow is the big day.  Wish us luck and remember that Gunnar is racing for the Cancer Society.  Please be generous!
Alice O.

Getting ready

After putting his bike together Gunnar took it out for a quick test drive. It was a beautiful day, cool and a bit overcast, perfect for a bike rider. The smell of flowers and citrus trees in the air, augh!!! to be a rider!

Crewmember Francis

måndag 11 juni 2012


Jag och crew chief Anders vid startplatsen.
På onsdag börjar det.

onsdag 6 juni 2012

Ready to RAAM ?

 Team Ultra-Cycling Viking ready to RAAM.

                                                Bara att sätta dit tempopinnarna

                                        På ett fåtals begäran, En kvalitetsvideo från Björskas.

fredag 1 juni 2012

En ny fas

Ja då var den intensiva träningsperioden över. Nu kanske man får lite tid över för att packa och meka cyklar några dagar.
De sista två månaderna med träningsveckor på cirka 25 timmar har slitit på gubbkroppen. Men det har varit roligt nästan hela tiden, utom på regnvädersdagarna.
Lasse har varit jättebra att motivera mig och på att lägga träningsscheman.
Väderleksrapporten från en typisk dag i ökenstaden Brawley i östra Californien. Där jag cyklar igenom om tolv dagar.