When Doug Henry finally saw his crew again, he excitedly asked them about the rainbow from that morning’s sunrise. They looked at him quizzically: “What are you talking about?” It wasn’t the first rainbow Henry had seen on this trip, and wouldn’t to be the last. This one appeared on a clear-sky morning over a wind farm somewhere within the square- and rectangular-shaped counties of southwestern Kansas. The vision came during a brief respite, in the middle of one week of pure hell where Henry’s body and mind faced the toughest test of his 47 years. And anyone holding this magazine already knows the Cliff’s Notes version of what Doug Henry has been through.
Doug was sitting alone along Highway 160, nestled into the cockpit of his custom-built hand cycle, waiting for Jeff Ward to arrive and make the exchange. They were nearing the halfway point of the Race Across America (RAAM), a coast-to-coast, 3,100-plus-mile nonstop bicycle race that is 30 percent longer than the Tour de France and must be completed in half the time (nine days for teams, 12 for solo riders). This was all David Bailey’s fault—but then David could blame his former Honda teammate Micky Dymond, who won the race in 2014 with Dave Mirra, Ben Bostrom, and professional cyclist Dave Zabriskie, a team the later Mirra dubbed “The Legends of the Road.” Dymond’s journey stirred something within Bailey. He needed a new goal, and he had fond memories watching Jim Lampley of ABC’s Wide World of Sports announce the very first RAAM (which featured just four riders) in 1982.