RAAM male solo competitor Mark Pattinson heading east on 3rd Street at Clarizz Boulevard (9:12 p.m. June 23, 2021).
RAAM female solo competitor Leah Goldstein at the intersection of SR 45/46 and 3rd Street waiting at the light to turn left onto 3rd. (11:55 p.m. June 23, 2021)
Around midnight on Wednesday, a few minutes into Thursday, an SUV headed south on SR 45/46 waited at the light to turn left onto 3rd Street.
The door panel had an official placard—it was a race official’s vehicle for the Race Across America (RAAM).
RAAM is a 3036.9-mile bicycle race starting in Oceanside, California ending in Annapolis, Maryland. Since the race was founded 38 years ago, the route for the RAAM has not always been the same. But it has passed through Bloomington for several years.
Through the open window of the SUV the driver shouted to the B Square: “Cutters! The Italians are coming! The Italians are coming! Rebate? Rebate?!”
He caught his own mistake: “Wait, no, that’s not it … Refund? Refund?!”
The recitation of familiar lines from the movie “Breaking Away” was his response to the B Square’s question: “You know you’re in Bloomington, Indiana, right—the greatest bicycling town in America?” The highlight of the film is the victory of a team called the Cutters in the Indiana University Student Foundation’s annual Little 500 bicycle race.
On Thursday afternoon Bloomington was rain-free for the first time in a few days. A 10-mph wind blew out of the west. For competitors in this year’s Race Across America, that meant dry pavement and a nice tailwind as they pedaled past the time station on Third Street, a couple hundred yards in front of the SR 446 intersection.