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Chris Ragsdale


I first got into cycling on a dare. While on a trip home to see friends and family in Michigan, a buddy challenged me to ride in a 100-mile road race. With no prior training, I entered the race and took fifth place in my age group. Shortly after was September 11th. Feeling impacted by the tragedy, I decided that life was too short to not follow my dreams and aspirations. So, in April of 2002 I took on a solo unsupported coast to coast bicycle adventure, completing the ride from Laguna Beach, CA, to St. Augustine, FL, in 28 riding days, less than half of my projected time.

Next, I took time off the bike to focus on mountaineering, and that year successfully summited Washington State’s highest peaks. During this time I became inspired by the Furnace Creek 508. I began training for it in January of 2004 by riding with the Seattle Randonneurs. Even with my initial ride I was finishing well along side ultra cycling and RAAM veterans, helping me realize that this was something I had a talent for.

In June of 2004, while preparing for FC508, I was hit by a car, suffering a broken neck, severe blood clots, and needing skin grafts.   During my recovery I was excited to learn that my passion for cycling and adventure had not been injured.   Rather than let this keep me from riding again, I was determined to move forward with even more passion and commitment.   After spending almost six months recovering, I began training for Furnace Creek ’05.

I spent that year doing many great rides with the Seattle Randonneurs and finished the Cascade 1200KM with the second-fastest time. By October 2005, I was ready for Furnace Creek. I placed first in the 20-30 age bracket and ninth overall with a time of 31:12. This qualified me for RAAM in an event where the RAAM qualifying standard was set higher than ever before by professional racer Kenny Souza.




Check back for more updates and follow Chris on his website http://ragsdaleridesagain.com/