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The Million Mile Man

By Stephen Cummings

Danny Chew is the type of person that people need to be warned about before they meet him. His eccentricities are sometimes overpowering, and can dwarf the rest of his personality. When off the bike, he is usually wearing sweatpants and a free t-shirt from some race, somewhere. He wears giant glasses similar to those of Mr. Magoo or DMC. Danny usually has a few days worth of a beard growing, and he is also a close talker.

On the bike though, he has quite an impressive cycling resume. He did his first double century at the age of 12, and has kept meticulous logs of his mileage since as he tries to achieve one million lifetime miles. He raced the first USPRO championships in 1985, and participated in legs of the defunct Tour de Trump. When he started slowing down, he changed his style to endurance races, concentrating on the Race Across America (RAAM) and solo 12 or 24 hour road races. He has completed RAAM eight times, winning twice. In 1996 he broke the transcontinental record for bicycles at a remarkable 8 Days, 7 Hours and 14 Minutes coast to coast, a bit longer than most people are comfortable driving the distance. It takes a special person to be able to do these types of events. In preparation for RAAM, Danny’s “Chewness” paid off. He did neck exercises for months, because fatigue has made it literally impossible for some RAAM racers to even hold up their own head. He deprived himself of sleep, and trained his body to know how to function on 3 or 4 hours sandwiched between 20 hours of saddle time. Danny once rode 180 miles, from Pittsburgh to Cleveland, without any food or water just to say that he did.