On January 18th 2012, I went to see “Bicycle Dreams” at the Cedar Creek Cinema in Mosinee. It was a movie about “crazy” people who feel the need to destroy their bodies on a 12 day race called Race Across America or RAAM… on road bikes! Contestants not only face the obvious physical demands but the toll that the race takes on the mental and emotional aspects of the riders is incomprehensible to us “normal” people who don’t feel the need to push ourselves past our limits.
Paul Danhaus, a Wausau native is one of the “crazy” people who has actually done this race. He stood up and talked about his experience with the race. I was so amazed to hear about his passion for biking and how much training he does in order to prepare himself for this punishing ride. On average, Paul rides his bike over 16,000 miles each year. For the years that he trains for RAAM, he rides over 18,000 miles. Even though those statistics are pretty amazing, the most amazing thing is that Paul did this race when he was in his mid 60’s!
I have to say that it was kind of tough for me to evaluate Paul because what he was saying was so interesting. So obviously the content of his speech kept the audience on their toes, which to me is very important. His speech skills were very good though since he obviously has spoken a lot about his experiences riding. His use of vocal pauses was excellent and his voice variation was good as well. His transitions were effective and helped his speech to flow. There were two things however that really stuck out to me about his speech that I feel Paul could improve on. First is that he used the word “um”. Also, whenever Paul would field questions, he would stick his tongue out which I thought was kind of weird. All in all though, his speech was very good.