June 25/09 18:10 pm - Race Across America Update
Posted by Editoress on 06/25/09
Former Symmetrics team member Brandon Crichton is attending the Race Across America (RAAM) as a member of the media, has sent the following report on his experiences:
Just when you think you're so hardcore being a road racer, events such as the RAAM ensure that ego stays in check. Seriously, bike racing is no doubt hard and requires a whole heck of a lot of time to train and prepare for those single day races ... the ones where you actually sleep at night ... in a bed.
Waiting for a rider exchange in Mexican Hat, AZ
The Race Across America was a big eye-opener for me as a seasoned bike racer. I took the opportunity to head to Oceanside, CA and work with the Media team for the 2009 RAAM. As any bike racer can attest, one of the single hardest things to do in life is watch a bike race. Try watching a 3000 mile bike race through some of the most beautiful American roads and mountains.
But seriously, it's great. These racers are in a category all their own. For those thinking that the RAAM is a steady paced LSD (Long Slow Distance) ride, it's not. Some teams of 2,4 or 8 people are running 15 minute rider exchange intervals, as one rider passes the torch to the next.
Team Type 1 (8 person) is out to set a new record for RAAM, pulling 10 minute intervals through Colorado and New Mexico until reaching the flat roads of Kansas and then increasing that distance. They are our leaders on the road right now.
An interesting note is our 4 person team Surfin' USA including legendary surfer Laird Hamilton, Esquire magazine's “fittest 75 yr old” Don Wildman, Rage Against The Machine bassist Tim Commerford and Ironman competitor/founder of Bonk Breakers energy bar Justin Winn.
This team stacked their efforts early on to ride into first place, setting blistering speeds for the first half of the race before setting into a more reasonable pace to get across the country. They are an incredibly impressive group, with a list a mile long of accomplishments in the athletic world.
The days are long covering the race - I now have a sense of what you go through, [CC Editor] Rob on a daily basis covering events. I think I have slept about 6 hours in the past 5 days, all of which was in a trunk of our media vehicle or in a tent along the route.
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Photos by Brendon Purdy www.brendonpurdy.com
Laird Hamilton, Team Surfin USA
Tim Commerford, Team Surfin USA
Solo rider Hermann Buchmann wearing a neck and shoulder brace to keep the fatigued muscles supportive