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Race Across America

Post in 'The Inglenook' started by Backwoods Savage, Jun 14, 2013.

  1. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Many know that I normally am at this time of the year crossing the United States in a motor home. My title is RV Captain and my duties are to keep the motor home running and making sure all systems are go along with keeping things quiet because of 6 or 8 people sleeping. That is because we are on the bicycle Race Across America (RAAM). Last year we declared was my last time for doing this so this year I can follow along via of the Internet. Should someone else want to follow, here is a good link:

    http://www.tractalis.com/raam2013/

    Each bike has a GPS so we can keep up with where they are and what speed they are going and where they place. On this same page there is a listing of all the racers in each category. Mixed in are the riders in the Race Across West which goes from Oceanside, Ca to Durango, CO. The RAAM is from Oceanside, CA to Annapolis, MD.

    There have been some glitches in the GPS system but they seem to get fixed fairly quick. Right now they have the list for the second place rider but he is not spotted on the map. The lead rider has about a 80 mile lead but were are into the stage of the race where sleep times can cause some strange changes in positions and mileages. But we also know that the clock never stops during the race so while they sleep, this eats into their total race time and slows the average speed.

    Nevertheless, the leader is doing amazingly well and is enjoying his big lead. He is about in the area where last year there was a tornado just a short distance from him. Weather is just one factor in the race but a big one. For example, in day 1 they enjoyed some comfortable temperatures for a while but then the heat of the desert and 120 degrees welcomed them at one point.


    So if anyone is interested, look at the web site.

    btw, the lead rider is averaging over 18 mph and is about 1300 miles into the race which started Tuesday afternoon. I don't think he has had but about 2 times for sleep breaks and then only 90 minutes at a time. Bring on the caffeine!


    EDIT: I should have added that the teams leave Oceanside tomorrow afternoon. There are 2-man, 4-man and 8 man teams. (I use the generic term man for all teams.)
    Billybonfire and flyingcow like this.

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  2. Paulywalnut

    Paulywalnut Minister of Fire

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    Really sounds cool Dennis. I'm an avid rider and have never heard of this particular race.
    I'm looking it up right now just to stay in the know. Thanks.
  3. vinny11950

    vinny11950 Minister of Fire

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    wow, this is amazing, Dennis. i used to race amateur in the 1990s and would always read articles about RAAM, watch the occasional shows about it. I always admired the endurance of the riders and the support staff. An amazing event. Thank you for sharing the knowledge and the map. I will follow it.
  4. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Glad to hear we have some other bike riders on the forum.


    The teams have now all left Oceanside. It will be interesting to see how long it takes to catch the solo riders.

    I'm amazed at Strasser. He has been riding steady through some bad storms this afternoon. Mostly just rain now but heavy rain. Most of the time his speed has been near 20 mph even in the storms. Second place did stop for a while (probably a short nap) and is over 100 miles back now. There is talk that Strasser may set a new record this year but I'm not yet convinced. Still about 1300 miles to go....


    Here is a picture of my bike.
    Carbon Aero 2.JPG
  5. Paulywalnut

    Paulywalnut Minister of Fire

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    Nice recumbent. Do you fly a little flag with a wood stove on it?;lol.
    That's great you still ride. They are easier on the back.
  6. vinny11950

    vinny11950 Minister of Fire

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    I always found the mental side of the RAAM race incredibly tough. Long hours on the bicycle, alone with little sleep, having to stay alert and prepared for anything. It really tests the whole body.

    I remember racing a couple of 100 miles races and I was chewed out by the competition and the road. Not to mention fatigue and stress on the body. I can't even imagine doing that for as long and as hard as in the RAAM.

    Nice bike - what material is it?

    I just broke a wheel stay on my Lemond 853 Reynolds bike, real bummer. So I went back to my Merlin Classic titanium; it is nice, but not as good as steel. And I don't trust carbon frames.
  7. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    It is a carbon fiber bike. A whole lot easier on the body for sure. I remember how whipped I used to be after a century ride but the first time I did on on this I felt like going for a double right then. It is a little tougher on the hills but the downhills are much faster so it tends to even out. The do better in head winds too.

    Long hours indeed. I see there must have been a detour today around St Louis. I was watching Strasser and he took a strange route. I thought he was just lost but they got him back on the route and gave him credit so the rest should have to follow the same route. He has really stretched out his lead too. Unless a big misfortune hit him, he should have the race in the bag. But they always say in RAAM that the race starts at the Mississippi. And when they hit West Virginia it really gets tough. Ask any RAAM rider and they will tell you the moutains in WV and Maryland are tougher than the Rockies. They are not as high but they are steeper and more numerous. In addition, it just seems to always rain when you get there.

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