Fact: no British woman has earned the right to wear a RAAM solo finisher’s jersey. More British women have rocketed to space, reached the summit of Mount Everest or been elected Prime Minister.
In 2014, Shusanah Pillinger from St. Albans made a brave but ill-fated attempt to rectify this situation. A broken collar bone sustained in a fall after 2,200 miles put paid to her bid.
Shusanah returns to the start line in 2015. She has trained hard over the winter after an operation to repair her collarbone with a titanium plate. The Wattmeister accompanied her on a 300 kms ride in April. On a rather wet and windy day, she rode stronger than all the men in a group of six who were among the first group to finish.
Pretty much self-funded via her full time job, Shu has put an enormous amount of time and effort into organising this project. The logistics for a UK entrant are huge. The race committee proclaim that it is a major achievement just to arrive at the start line with a full crew.
Nevertheless, Team Shu is ready and raring to go. The race starts on Tuesday 16th June at midday Pacific Time or 20:00 hrs BST. Shu has 309 hours to complete the 3000 mile course, which takes in the Coastal Range, Rockies and Appalachians, and crosses the Colorado, Mississippi and Ohio rivers.
The Wattmeister joins the US crew again for 2015 along with James, Tom, Tobina, Erica, Shilpa, Ana and chief Chris. Back in the UK, Lucy and Beth will be leading Shu’s fan club via social media.
It will be a tiring and intense experience, but The Wattmeister is confident that Shusanah will be the first British woman to complete the solo race within the time limit and earn the right to wear that jersey on future Muswell Hill Peloton club runs.