Yet Another Cycling Forum

General Category => Freewheeling => Racing => Topic started by: Pip on May 31, 2011, 09:50:30 pm

Title: RAAM
Post by: Pip on May 31, 2011, 09:50:30 pm
A few four man/women teams participating, and an interesting 8 man crew containing John Tanner and Kevin Dawson.

Anyone completing 400miles+ in a 24 TT can apply to enter.
Title: Re: RAAM
Post by: pdm on May 31, 2011, 10:25:16 pm
Mmmh.
I see that they have done away with the reduced requirements for over 60's (used to be 360 miles in a 24 TT)
I suspect because so few over 60's have finished in recent years?

Team RAAM participants do not appear to need to qualify individually and completing RAAM in a team is in itself a qualifier for solo RAAM.

One of my colleagues at work is retiring next month (age 60) and is chuntering on about getting me and a few others to join a team for RAAM - wishful thinking I guess; you have to be more than a little insane to do it and I don't think we are quite mad enough yet  ;)

Another colleague recently won a category in the Florida challenge series (and thereby qualified for RAAM solo). He has held or still holds the UK 12 and the 24 hour tandem records but even he could not be persuaded to "join the team"  ;D
Title: Re: RAAM
Post by: TimO on May 31, 2011, 10:49:11 pm
I see there are several 4 and 8 person teams from the UK, and a single solo rider.

Whilst the team entries are mad, doing it as a solo rider is truly nuts, and exceptionally impressive if you manage to finish, let alone be placed!
Title: Re: RAAM
Post by: Charlotte on June 01, 2011, 02:15:30 pm
Funilly enough, we were talking about RAAM over dinner with a friend of ours last night.  He’s coaching one of the members of a four man team and was telling us about how they actually ride the event.

The team splits into two pairs.  Whilst one pair do 30 minutes on and 30 off, the other pair rests.  They get half an hour to eat and to attend to personal hygiene, then they get three hours sleep.  On waking, they do half an hour to warm up for their stints.  Lather, rinse, repeat for 4,800 km in about a week.  Nutters.

Each four person team needs a couple of (big) vehicles and a smaller one, along with usually about a ten person support crew.

Then the subject of Jure Robič (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jure_Robi%C4%8D) came up...
Title: Re: RAAM
Post by: Ian H on June 01, 2011, 02:18:34 pm
A few four man/women teams participating, and an interesting 8 man crew containing John Tanner and Kevin Dawson.

Anyone completing 400miles+ in a 24 TT can apply to enter.

So, in theory, I qualify. Ho ho ho.
Title: Re: RAAM
Post by: Karla on June 01, 2011, 02:20:31 pm
Looking at the start list, as in previous years there are quite a few names from the UK I don't recognise in both the team and solo races. With the amount of time I spend riding long-distance races and so on, I'm always surprised to see names on there I've never heard of, e.g. Brian Welsh, in the solo catergory, who, looking at his website, has done quite a few long-distance events and has some pedigree.
He used to ride with our club! He's done the RAAM as a 2 person team before with Stacey Eccles, where they won their category.  I believe he's going to ride PBP 'as a warm-down' but don't know whether he managed to jump through the ACP hoops while living in a different country to last time.
Title: Re: RAAM
Post by: citoyen on June 01, 2011, 02:22:49 pm
There was an episode of Radiolab a while ago about people pushing their body to its limits. It included a section on RAAM, featuring Jure Robic.

I may have mentioned it before but it's still well worth a listen:
Limits of the Body - Radiolab (http://www.radiolab.org/2010/apr/05/limits-of-the-body/)

d.
Title: Re: RAAM
Post by: Exit Stage Left on June 01, 2011, 02:29:24 pm
Looking at the start list, as in previous years there are quite a few names from the UK I don't recognise in both the team and solo races. With the amount of time I spend riding long-distance races and so on, I'm always surprised to see names on there I've never heard of, e.g. Brian Welsh, in the solo catergory, who, looking at his website, has done quite a few long-distance events and has some pedigree.
He used to ride with our club! He's done the RAAM as a 2 person team before with Stacey Eccles, where they won their category.  I believe he's going to ride PBP 'as a warm-down' but don't know whether he managed to jump through the ACP hoops while living in a different country to last time.

89hrs 20mins in PBP in 2007, I can believe it was a wind-down.

Title: Re: RAAM
Post by: mattc on June 01, 2011, 02:33:59 pm
That's interesting, Charlotte.
...

The team splits into two pairs.  Whilst one pair do 30 minutes on and 30 off, the other pair rests.  They get half an hour to eat and to attend to personal hygiene, then they get three hours sleep.  On waking, they do half an hour to warm up for their stints.  Lather, rinse, repeat for 4,800 km in about a week.  Nutters.

So are they getting nx3hours sleep per 24 hours? If not, 3 hours-per-day seems way too short to maintain speed for the whole week - with a team of 4 I see no reason why the riders should run up any sleep debt.
[the more complicated problem to solve would be disorientation - how do you split the shifts, without riders waking up in a confused daze about what time it is. It's a horrible feeling, boys and girls ... ]

Remember the Comic Relief David Walliams /MIranda Hart team? they really made it hard for themselves by keeping eachother awake round the clock when they should have been banking ZZZs  :facepalm:


The 30mins stints sound a little short to me - there is always time lost faffing in any handover, and that is time everyone could just be chilling/resting in the RV too. then again, they may have rehearsed and tested this routine ...

Anyone completing 400miles+ in a 24 TT can apply to enter.

So, in theory, I qualify. Ho ho ho.
Excellent - I have a cast-iron excuse.
Title: Re: RAAM
Post by: LittleWheelsandBig on June 01, 2011, 03:40:26 pm
RAAM relay changeovers are done at speed.  The relay occurs when the 'ending rider' gets in front of the 'starting rider'.

Each pair effectively completes a session of 30 minute TT intervals, with four hours rest between sessions.  Sleep deprivation doesn't significantly slow the riders.
Title: Re: RAAM
Post by: Redlight on June 01, 2011, 04:36:24 pm

Remember the Comic Relief David Walliams /MIranda Hart team? they really made it hard for themselves by keeping eachother awake round the clock when they should have been banking ZZZs  :facepalm:


Young love, eh?
Title: Re: RAAM
Post by: Pip on June 02, 2011, 07:59:54 am
A few four man/women teams participating, and an interesting 8 man crew containing John Tanner and Kevin Dawson.

Anyone completing 400miles+ in a 24 TT can apply to enter.

So, in theory, I qualify. Ho ho ho.

It's going to be an honour and a privilege to support you next year! ;D
Title: Re: RAAM
Post by: MattH on June 02, 2011, 11:20:57 am
I've been told that I'm not allowed to enter by MrsH. Not sure if I should be pleased or not  :)

The entry qualifications have been relaxed somewhat recently, they are trying to make it a bigger event - and encouraging a lot more teams to enter (especially military groups - presumably because they are seen as having the fitness and determination necessary).
Title: Re: RAAM
Post by: Pip on June 02, 2011, 05:58:53 pm
I have had a gander at the profiles of the forty odd solo entrants.  There are four or five who have completed PBP, a couple of them more leisurely than myself! One of the riders finished LEL 2009 in 6th place, and there is a 60 hour and 73 hour PBP finisher amongst them.

One has to admire all the participants' guts at having a go at this epic event. Apart from the cycling, the logistics and cost of running a support crew seems to present plenty problems.

It's something I would like to be involved in one day, whether in the guise as a team rider member or crew member .
I think that the solo version must be unbelievably hard.

Title: Re: RAAM
Post by: MattH on June 02, 2011, 06:04:12 pm
In terms of cost, the recommendation is to budget US$20,000 for a solo attempt. It is a huge undertaking, though some of the faster riders do get sponsorship (of the pay for the ride costs kind, not pay to charity).


So, Team YACF in 2012 anyone?
Title: Re: RAAM
Post by: Pip on June 02, 2011, 06:22:32 pm
So, Team YACF in 2012 anyone?

There has been talk of this in previous years, but what a good idea. Now is the time to start planning.
Title: Re: RAAM
Post by: Charlotte on June 02, 2011, 08:17:46 pm
Shit, I'd definitely volunteer for crew if we ever managed to do that.  Who would ride?

Teethgrinder, surely?
Title: Re: RAAM
Post by: LittleWheelsandBig on June 02, 2011, 08:44:07 pm
Plan on putting in some serious money. Several of the locals we rode with in Texas had completed solo and team RAAMs. They'd be happy to give first-hand advice.
Title: Re: RAAM
Post by: MattH on June 02, 2011, 08:48:36 pm
I have regular contact with several RAAM vets (one of the things I do is edit the UMCA Year-Rounder email newsletter). There is a huge amount of info freely available from these people, and every February in London there is a crewing seminar that covers lots of the logistics stuff.
Title: Re: RAAM
Post by: TimO on June 02, 2011, 10:07:49 pm
Shit, I'd definitely volunteer for crew if we ever managed to do that.  Who would ride?

Teethgrinder, surely?

Has anyone done RAAM fixed?
Title: Re: RAAM
Post by: pdm on June 02, 2011, 11:02:41 pm
Shit, I'd definitely volunteer for crew if we ever managed to do that.  Who would ride?

Teethgrinder, surely?

Has anyone done RAAM fixed?
No, but there was a guy last year who did it single speed. (using more than one bike, it seems, with different ratios depending on the stage)
Title: Re: RAAM
Post by: MattH on June 02, 2011, 11:21:37 pm
In 2008 the Gran Fondo Fixies was a 2 person team that finished in 8d 1h 25m.

Kevin Kaiser and Jeff Bauer - riding coast to coast with no coasting. (and no stopping either!) (http://teamfixedraam2008.blogspot.com/)
Title: Re: RAAM
Post by: teethgrinder on June 03, 2011, 01:54:40 am
Shit, I'd definitely volunteer for crew if we ever managed to do that.  Who would ride?

Teethgrinder, surely?

Has anyone done RAAM fixed?

I'd love to have a go.

I'd want to do some big mileas beforehand, so it'd mean me giving up my job. $20,000 sounds about as cheap as possible. IIRC, you need 2 vehicles, a crew of 8 including a doctor as a minimum. The backup crew for a solo ride have a very tough time, some solo riders have pulled out because their backup crew couldn't handle it. Jure Robic was as good as a professional. He was paid by the army to train and had soldiers as a back up crew.
I'm not surprised that Oranj (and I) have never heard of our fellow British RAAM riders. I think you need to get a name for yourself riding USA UMCA events to get the sponsorship. I believe that Chris Hopkinson had a hard time scratching the money together for his ride. I think he  spent £15,0000 doing the ride and that was a tight budget. I have heard some say that it can be done for £2-3000. That wouldn't even pay the air fare for me and a crew of 8, let alone vehicle and fuel costs.
So, even if I could get the £15-20,000 together  for the event itself, I'd still want another £15,000 or so, maybe even just £10,000 so that I could give up work and get the miles in. I'd want about a years run up to the event, or at the very least, 6 months. For comparison, I reckon my 2007 Audax season cost me £7-8000 and that was pretty much everything I had.
So, as much as I'd like to ride it, I want to be at least confident that I can finish and yes, I'd want to ride it on fixed, just because... I have qualified and recieved an e-mail a few months ago from UMCA telling me so. As I am now, I think that if I tried riding while having a full time job, it'd be touch and go whether I finish or not.
It's a lot of money and hassle with a slim chance of success IMO.

I have a plan for a European venture though (and I don't mean PBP) ;)
Title: Re: RAAM
Post by: Charlotte on June 03, 2011, 08:32:41 am
So that's a mere tenner from each one of our 2500 registered members to finance a record attempt for the fastest cyclist to cross America onna fixer...

:demon:
Title: Re: RAAM
Post by: clarion on June 03, 2011, 08:38:31 am
I shall put sponsoring Teethgrinder on the list of things to do should I win the Lottery.
Title: Re: RAAM
Post by: Mr Larrington on June 03, 2011, 09:27:37 am
If TG can raise the dosh I'm in for support...

I sort-of know the lass who won the women's solo class last year (her English is as bad as my French), and I note she's not playing this year.  There is probably a good reason for this.
Title: Re: RAAM
Post by: teethgrinder on June 03, 2011, 09:39:25 am
Anne Woolridge also rode RAAM 2 or 3 years ago. She was eliminated after ending up in hospital after a crash, but still went on to finish, not very far outside the elimination time. Hers is the record for >50 year old women.
I've met her a few times helping (she handed me up a slice of melon once :smug:) and riding 24hr TTs and know that I have a few miles on her in a 24.
After Chris Hopkinson rode his RAAM, I've heard nothing of him since. It near enough killed him and he still looked rough about a month later riding the Mersey 24.
I wonder if the Royal Navy Marines Commandos fancy having a go? They have a very strong team of riders in the Mersey 24 and their fastest, Sean Childs, is a podium finisher. He looked very strong at the finish in 2009.
Title: Re: RAAM
Post by: MattH on June 03, 2011, 09:49:53 am
I have a plan for a European venture though (and I don't mean PBP) ;)

Race Across Europe? (http://www.theraceacrosseurope.com)

I wonder if the Royal Navy Marines Commandos fancy having a go?

When RAAM management changed a couple of years ago, one of the things they said they'd be targeting is more military teams - presumably because apart from being hard as nails, they have the logistics experience and possibility of being supported by their services.
Title: Re: RAAM
Post by: teethgrinder on June 03, 2011, 09:58:35 am
Hoppo did a little bit more riding in long distance TTs the year after (I remember him turning up at various race HQs in his RAAM-logoed van), but that was that. He'd had a crash a couple of years beforehand that'd compromised a hip joint, so he was cycling on borrowed time anyway.


He was a one for crashing. I think there were 2 Mersey 24s where he crashed. It hardly ever happens in a 24, as far as I know.

Quote
A few years ago I read a training blog from someone who finished. Essentially they nailed their training down to a 2-month (or more) block before the event. Didn't give up work, just rode 40 miles to work in the morning, +60 miles home in the evening, plus one long ride at the weekend. Relied on his wife to sort out all the other domestic duties in that time.

I certainly think it's possible to do it without giving up work, but only just. I expect that they didn't start their 2 month block from nothing and had some fitness.
Title: Re: RAAM
Post by: teethgrinder on June 03, 2011, 10:16:37 am
I have a plan for a European venture though (and I don't mean PBP) ;)

Race Across Europe? (http://www.theraceacrosseurope.com)



I've been rumbled.
Even if I can't enter it officially and have back up, I can try and follow it and try to keep within the time limits. A ferry to Rotterdam shouldn't cost too much. Then I'll need a few hotels on the way. I've just got a sat-nav and just need to learn how to use it better, so that would take care of the route. I can have 2 weeks from work, so that should be enough. A flight home won't cost too much either, or if it goes belly up, it shouldn't be hard getting sorted out. I reckon for an unassisted unnoficial ride, I could do it for £2000, almost certainly less. I could save that up.
It does look like they are a bit more relaxed with their rules though and have official helpers, so I might even be allowed to ride without backup, or even with very minimal backup. It's not RAAM, but I think it's much more accessable and almost as good as RAAM.
It would be handy to know now whether they will be running it in June or September next year though.
Just need to start getting the miles in, which I plan to do after PBP, which I'm using  to start building up my miles in the build up to PBP.
It all depends if I get motivated enough and start getting the big miles in though.

Title: Re: RAAM
Post by: MattH on June 03, 2011, 10:26:23 am
Yes, they do seem more laid back about support requirements - presumably because they need to attract people for the first few runnings until it becomes established. I noticed that this year they are offering to provide full crews if necessary (and for the provision of wonga!), which makes it easier to enter too - I suspect more people could save/borrow a few thousand pounds than could persuade a dozen people to support them.

Especially billy-no-mates long distance cyclists  :)

This is on my radar too. I hold no illusions about being able to win one of these, but think I stand a good chance of finishing.
Title: Re: RAAM
Post by: MattH on June 03, 2011, 10:36:52 am
Going the Distance: The George Thomas Story (http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/1582616299) is quite a good read about RAAM. He was a hit-and-run victim, and ended up with nasty epileptic seizures to the degree that he couldn't function properly in normal life, but managed to pull back and finish RAAM with the aid of an experimental drug. The book talks of the personal problems and the race problems - including crewing, where the strains there are as great as on the racer (after all, he only needs to pedal...)

review here (http://www.ultracycling.com/results/going_the_distance.html)
Title: Re: RAAM
Post by: Exit Stage Left on June 03, 2011, 01:10:37 pm
Mark Pattinson, a UK rider, came second last year. His site is very informative.
MarkPattinson.com (http://www.markpattinson.com/home)
Title: Re: RAAM
Post by: LittleWheelsandBig on June 09, 2011, 08:06:33 pm
A good mate of mine has made a late decision to ride in a mixed team.
RAAM (http://www.raceacrossamerica.org/raam/racerdtl.php?N_Entry_ID=2735&tblagecat_tblbiketype_tblPage=4)
Title: Re: RAAM
Post by: MattH on June 09, 2011, 08:37:12 pm
Great - that gives me a team to follow  :thumbsup:

(I know Dan from the UMCA, but hadn't heard this).
Title: Re: RAAM
Post by: vorsprung on June 16, 2011, 04:07:13 pm
***bump***

RAAM is now on.
http://www.raceacrossamerica.org/raam/rcrank.php?s_N_category_group=1&s_N_Race_ID=1
Title: Re: RAAM
Post by: vorsprung on June 24, 2011, 11:10:55 am
Christoph Strasser has won the solo race

He doesn't seem to have broken the speed record.  This looked possible a day or two ago but I guess he lost some time.
Title: Re: RAAM
Post by: Karla on June 24, 2011, 11:24:18 am
Brian Welsh passed checkpoint 37 some hours ago, at 2123 miles.  That only leaves 866 miles to go, a mere L-E-L of a distance. 

Whenever I start to feel faint this weekend, my mental rejoinder will be "Think of Brian and HTFU!"
Title: Re: RAAM
Post by: TimO on June 24, 2011, 11:40:22 am
Christoph Strasser has won the solo race ...

In a smidgen under a 15mph average speed.

My normal speed for my 12 mile commute is between 13.5mph and 15.5mph, depending on weather, health, etc.  Achieving that sort of average speed over eight days is mind blowingly impressive.
Title: Re: RAAM
Post by: Nuncio on June 24, 2011, 03:36:29 pm
Christoph Strasser has won the solo race

He doesn't seem to have broken the speed record.  This looked possible a day or two ago but I guess he lost some time.

Might he/they have encountereed some of the extreme weather parts of the States have been experiencing over the past couple of days?
Title: Re: RAAM
Post by: Pip on June 25, 2011, 07:38:17 am
Mark Pattinson put in a well planned ride for second place. He was in about fifth or sixth position for many days, but his average speed dropped more slowly than the other competitors', and he overtook Marco Baloh for the runner-up position.

I would love to be involved in this in some way!
Title: Re: RAAM
Post by: vorsprung on June 28, 2011, 10:59:39 am
It seems that Brian Welsh missed the time cut off at time station 53 and so was DNF
Title: Re: RAAM
Post by: Karla on June 28, 2011, 02:50:36 pm
Yes, with 55 miles to go  :(