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  1. #26
    Tandem Mountain Climber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raamrider View Post
    Actually, he is on a 4 bike team, 8 riders.
    If you don't have endurance, then you won't have the speed for long, esp on RAAM
    I'm not questioning his teammates. As I said, he is lucky to have them. They are smart (and humble) Unlike him with his HUGE ego and big mouth.
    As far as the finish, I sure HOPE they finish in front of me. It would be pretty sad if they didn't, being 8 riders.
    And yes, I do know the route and have ridden it. Mexican Hat is a nice descent, but Jerome is Technically extremely treacherous.

    You guys can debate this all throughout RAAM.
    I have more important things to focus on rather than blabbing on this thread.
    Good luck Cowboy
    I was really just talking about the bike setup that impressed me.... It's fun to post up the strava links, but I don't see where I was really bragging about my abilities. If you re-read my post, you will see it mostly discusses the setup of the bike, and my thoughts on that. As far as the "downhill TT" it was an example of a segment where the more aero setup and bigger chainring made a big difference.

    Honestly, I am not that fast, and I know that. Most of my team are faster than we are. I think we were in beter shape back in 2008/09. This is our first RAAM, and I was just excited about the whole experience, and the new bike setup. PS- I know for a fact I could never do RAAM solo. So major kudos to you for being able to do that. I appreciate advice from veterans, but perhaps you would consider a nicer tone.

    If I came across as a bargard, that was not my intention. I consider myself pretty humble (the reality of speed and ability is what it is, and I understand that). I do like to give it my all though, and will do so for my team this summer.

    Good Luck!

    PS -

    CTC stats are not the best indicator to look at, as those rides can go so many different ways.

    Here are 3 good examples:

    The recent 2011 Devil Mountain Double (solo bike)
    - I was in the front group approaching the base of Mt. Diablo, and my front derailleur cracked (the cast Al arm that pushes the cage in/out). I had to remove it with my muti-tool, and then duct tape (from SAG) the cable to my head tube to keep it out of the way. I had to "toe shift" for nearly 200 miles.
    - I got 2 flats, both at awful times
    - I crashed on Mines Rd in some gravel right when I was getting a good second wind.
    - I spent a really long time at lunch bandaging up my road rash. All this happened in the first half of the ride. I was no longer motivated to go fast. Cruised in at a steady pace. I had nearly 4 hours of stopped time! But I finished the ride, which is all I wanted to do at that point.

    2010 Devil Mountain Double
    - I was 2nd on the scene to a fallen Tom Milton, and was the one who administered CPR, and unfortunately didn't succede.
    - Rode to Crothers and SAG'd it in...

    2009 Devil Mountain Double
    - Rode the staff ride, was in the 2nd half group, waited for "rolling suport" and regrouped with others at several points along the way. Hours of stopped time (and it was our first double).

    Finally, we tend not to "race" doubles on the tandem. We just pick the hardest or most interesting ones and ride a steady pace.

  2. #27
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    We love you guys and you will do great in the event. Your race and endurance resume are superb and the people who know you are all that matter. Best of luck.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  3. #28
    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    USPSPRO, you don't need to justify anything. From everyone I've talked to you and your wife are kicking butt! Remember, you weren't asked to be on the team because you were slow (I know that first hand). This is your first RAAM, it'll be an event you'll remember the rest of your life. You have every right to be excited. Keep doing what you're doing.
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

  4. #29
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    USPSPRO, For the life of me I can't figure out what that persons problem is, but I fully understand why he rides solo. Glad you're on the team.

  5. #30
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    When we set our bike up for TTs I found there to be a lot of possible combinations that would difficult to decide on without using a wind tunnel.
    Everyone pretty much knows what to do with a single bike and even they say wind tunnel time is well worth while for those that are serious.
    A tandem is quite a bit more complex.
    For example as the rider increases his drop to the aero bars he normally loses some power but more than compensates by better aero.
    But is this the case on a tandem? The wind he may be "cheating" might just get the stoker and the gain might not be there.
    Does the captain ride with a forward saddle (triathlon style) to give the stoker more room to tuck their arms and head in?
    Does the stoker ride on the bull horns or crunch up a bit and have their hands behind the captain? If they do, do they have their hands close together or maybe a little wider so they are more behind the captains legs?
    I certainly don't know the answers, just the questions.

  6. #31
    Tandem Mountain Climber
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    The drop on my solo bike is a bit more than the tandem was. With this -17 deg stem the drop is probably about the same as the solo. Right now, just based on feel, the setup seems like an excellent one. This is the 3rd set of aero bars I tried.

    As far as saddle position. I am keeping it where it is for now, so that I am still in a good position for climbing/descending, and just riding "on the rivet" when on the flats in the aero bars. I might try going forward 5mm (and up to compensate) as a test this week.

  7. #32
    Tandem Mountain Climber
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    PS - thanks for the kind words.

  8. #33
    Tandem Vincitur Ritterview's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by uspspro View Post
    This bike is an absolute weapon at high speeds.

    Check out this pull on our RAAM training ride: http://app.strava.com/rides/573526
    I was looking at Climb to Kaiser (which I'll be doing Saturday on my half-bike) sections on Strava, and came across the Auberry Descent, listing 16 riders who have logged that section.

    Marco and Ruth's descent was amazing. They averaged 37 mph, the next closest 32. Compare to Cat 1/2 Clark Foy, who averaged 29 mph while placing 7th at the Climb to Kaiser.

    Will be interesting to hear the RAAM ride report.

  9. #34
    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    You can follow them on http://www.raceacrossamerica.org/raa...&s_N_Race_ID=1 They are Team JDRF. Scroll down to the 8 bike teams. They are currently 4th amoung the 8 man teams most of the way through the Rockies and they are still averaging over 20mph! There are some climbing fools on that team. When they hit the plains they should catch at least a couple of the teams ahead of them.
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by uspspro View Post
    Check out this pull on our RAAM training ride: http://app.strava.com/rides/573526
    179 watts for 23 minutes?

  11. #36
    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mburchard View Post
    179 watts for 23 minutes?
    You won't get an answer for a while. They're racing. They've currently gone approximately 1500miles non-stop for three days with an average speed of 21.01mph. How many watts is that?
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

  12. #37
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Go Marco and Ruth....
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  13. #38
    Tandem Vincitur Ritterview's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mburchard View Post
    179 watts for 23 minutes?
    It was a descent, powered by gravity, not watts. And anyway, this is just a Strava estimate of watts from what it thinks is a single bike with a 290 lb. rider.

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by uspspro View Post
    This bike is an absolute weapon at high speeds.

    Now that my wife and I are doing RAAM with Team JDRF-IGA this year, the bike has to be setup to be fast against the clock.

    I wont go into detail on the strategy for our team, but essentially each tandem does a MAX effort 20 min pull, and then gets to rest for about an hour, then do it over and over again for 3,000 miles across the country.

    So this is not about comfort over long distances, it is about pure SPEED. However there are some considerations for RAAM, that don't come with your normal time trial. Mainly the fact that you will be covering every type of terrain imaginable, so you still need good positions for climbing and technical descents, etc.

    OK, so on to the bike setup...

    AERO BAR SETUP:

    We have done TT's before, on both the Calfee and the old Santana. The trouble I have with the Calfee, is I could not get the bars low enough to be really aero, at least with the Profile T2 bars I had. For those occasional TTs, we didn't care that much, but for RAAM we need to go faster.

    I could have got a -24 deg stem or something, but that would screw up my other bar positions. So my quest was to find aero bars that put the pads as low as possible, and get a -17 degree stem as a compromise.

    Well I found these bars (Vision Tech Pro Carbon -- see pic) and a -17 deg (110mm) stem combination to work perfect! It feels solid and wicked fast. I used the smallest pad riser in the kit, and the pads literally sit right on the handle bar. They are perfect fore/aft also, just far enough to miss my knees while out of the saddle. They feel good enough to stay in them through gnetle curves.

    I got a 3T -17 deg stem.



    CHAINRINGS:

    Went with 56/42/30. I got a Dura Ace 56t big ring, and it was very tricky to setup... I could not fit anything bigger, this is the absolute limit of whats possible on our Calfee frame (due to the location of the bottle cage mounting stud) and a 6703 FD.

    Once everything is dialed, the shifting is good up front.



    Check out this pull on our RAAM training ride: http://app.strava.com/rides/573526

    This is where the chaining and the aero bars both shine. The 56t allowed us to crank the pedals a few times at speeds over 40 mph, when the slope flattened out, to avoid speed loss. I was able to get in the aero bars for longer straightaways, including a few flat sections and slight climbs with headwinds. If you look at the heart rate data, you can see it wasn't an "all coasting" descent.

    I will post some pictures of the bike soon, and us on it too!!
    Have you done this going the other way? Would really like to see the stats of that one. T

  15. #40
    Senior Member
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    We saw them riding RAAM today and they were smoking. We followed them for a few miles and we were very impressed with the way they were riding, it appeared that they were really concentrating on the ride. I never saw either one of them get out of the aero position. They flew through some rollers on highway 40 West of Effingham, Il.

    Wayne

  16. #41
    Elite Rider Hermes's Avatar
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    Go Marco and Ruth. You guys have now achieved ridiculous status. Cow bell ringing.
    "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Einstein

  17. #42
    Member cowtandemstoker's Avatar
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    How do you get on one of these RAAM teams?

  18. #43
    Tandem Vincitur Ritterview's Avatar
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    Here's a pic someone took at a RAAM checkpoint in Greenville, IL, and uploaded on Flickr.


  19. #44
    Senior Member VaultGuru's Avatar
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    Hi Marci & Ruth:
    Congratulations on your RAAM ride. I rode with both of you a little bit on the WMD last year. You were both class acts then and I totally get your direction on this post. Nice response too. You definitely took the high road.
    My next door neighbor was on the ViaSat team that just barely beat your team JDRF-IGA. A lot of their posts concerned your team and how fast you were. They weren't sure they could hold your team off.
    Well done

  20. #45
    Tandem Mountain Climber
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    Quote Originally Posted by VaultGuru View Post
    My next door neighbor was on the ViaSat team that just barely beat your team JDRF-IGA. A lot of their posts concerned your team and how fast you were. They weren't sure they could hold your team off.
    Well done
    We battled with ViaSat to the very end. It was a lot of fun!

    Thanks everyone, for the kind words.

  21. #46
    Senior Member VaultGuru's Avatar
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    Like I said, you two are class acts. Maybe Ramrider can learn from you. Again...maybe not.
    Well done.

  22. #47
    Tandem Vincitur Ritterview's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ritterview View Post
    Will be interesting to hear the RAAM ride report.

    Quote Originally Posted by uspspro View Post
    We battled with ViaSat to the very end. It was a lot of fun!
    Well... there you have it then, the uspspro RAAM ride report! Brief, but to the point.

  23. #48
    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ritterview View Post
    Well... there you have it then, the uspspro RAAM ride report! Brief, but to the point.

    That was just about it! Via Sat was quite shocked to get passed by tandems going up hill!
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

  24. #49
    Tandem Mountain Climber
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ritterview View Post
    Well... there you have it then, the uspspro RAAM ride report! Brief, but to the point.
    I will have to assemble a better ride report soon. Looking to get some more pictures first, and of course, gather my thoughts... it was an incredible experience.

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