We are up early, the boys will be in soon. We are going down to the dock to meet them at the official finish. I wrote about the strength and character it takes to finish RAAM, it really isn’t for the faint of heart. The riders ride 24 hrs a day for us, it’ll be around 6 days, 17 hours and some minutes, that is a long time to be on a bike.
In our case we have a four man team, there are people who do this solo, in the the thirty one years of the race there have only been about 250 people who have raced across the US and completed the race under the cutoff. RAAM, honors you be retiring your number if you complete it by yourself. If you do the race again, you use your retired number as it is your for LIFE!
I don’t know that I would ever attempt this as a solo rider. We passed some of the solo riders on the road the further east we rode. The solo riders left last Wednesday, and the teams left on Saturday. The solo riders had things that were keeping their necks up, ice packed around their neck, riding slowly and purposefully to the other end of the country. The teams on the other hand are usually out in two man shift, in our case four hour shifts, one man one the road for about a half-hour depending on the terrain. For instance for the 10,000′ climb over the Rockies, we put all four guys out there as the climb was so severe. Remember we are riding recumbent bikes, which don’t climb we’ll, we got left behind on the climbs, but we smoke everyone comes screaming downhill, we hit 60mph in some spots!
All of this excitement ends today. It was a lot of fun, although I drove the gofer van, I had a lot of fun. No one likes the gofer van as you’re not ‘in the action’ so to speak. Honestly, I felt that we were definitely in the action, it really is what you make of it. Once we got our stuff done for the day, we pretty much had carte Blanche to do whatever we wanted to do until we were needed again. Somedays we would hang out and leap frog with the riders as they were switching, some days we were doing laundry, actually EVERYDAY was laundry day, but if your ego can get thru that then you won’t have any problems! I think I made a niche for myself, as everyone has a gofer car that no one wants to drive, but if I am willing an able to drive the gofer, I am definitely going to be invited back!
I’ll let you guys know how the banquet goes later.