Fifty Plus (50+) Share the victories, challenges, successes and special concerns of bicyclists 50 and older. Especially useful for those entering or reentering bicycling.

Raam

Reply

Old 07-02-18, 01:05 PM
  #26  
az_cyclist
Senior Member
 
az_cyclist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Arizona
Posts: 1,952

Bikes: Trek Domane 4.5, Trek 1500

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Congrats Biker395. I wish I could have been at Congress when you came thru.
az_cyclist is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-18, 02:24 PM
  #27  
Biker395 
Seat Sniffer
Thread Starter
 
Biker395's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: SoCal
Posts: 4,373

Bikes: 2008 Scott CR1 Pro; 2006 Schwinn Fastback Pro and 1996 Colnago Decor Super C96; 2003 Univega Alpina 700; 2000 Schwinn Super Sport

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 332 Post(s)
Originally Posted by az_cyclist View Post
Congrats Biker395. I wish I could have been at Congress when you came thru.
I wish I could have been too! lol

One of the bad things about having all the support you need for RAAM is that I slept through a lot of sections of the course, including the stop in Congress. I missed you guys! :-(
__________________
Proud parent of a happy inner child ...
www.photo395.com
Biker395 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-02-18, 09:01 PM
  #28  
Wildwood 
Patriot/Pacifist/Veteran
 
Wildwood's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Seattle area
Posts: 7,303

Bikes: Bikes??? Thought this was social media?!?

Mentioned: 137 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1279 Post(s)
Truly amazing accomplishment.
Stories like yours, @Biker395, inspire many others - including myself.
__________________
70 Bottecchia Giro 'd Italia/70s Follis 072/72 Zeus Competition/75 Carabela SemiPro/78 Batavus Competition/80 Mondia Super/81 AustroDaimler Olympian/82 Harding(Holdsworth) Special/85 EM Corsa Extra/86 DeRosa Pro/99 Pinarello Cadore/99 Calfee TetraPro/03 Macalu Cirrus/04 Tallerico
Wildwood is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-03-18, 06:49 PM
  #29  
jppe
Let's do a Century
 
jppe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 6,997

Bikes: Pinarello Prince/Campy SR; Cervelo R3/Sram Red; Trek 5900/Duraace, Cervelo P2C/Duraace, Cannondle Tandem/Ultegra, Lynskey GR260 Ultegra

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 180 Post(s)
What was your team name Vic?

jppe is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-18, 10:22 AM
  #30  
jppe
Let's do a Century
 
jppe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 6,997

Bikes: Pinarello Prince/Campy SR; Cervelo R3/Sram Red; Trek 5900/Duraace, Cervelo P2C/Duraace, Cannondle Tandem/Ultegra, Lynskey GR260 Ultegra

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 180 Post(s)
Amazing ride. Here are some Curiosity questions about logistics if you feel like answering them:

What bike did you use?
Did you use aero bars?
Had you ridden very much with the other team members beforehand particularly the rider you were paired with?
How were the pull time and ride times determined?
Did your cadence change much over the full route?
What were the toughest sections for you?
What did your typical daily nutrition look like?
How were the support team members secured? From what I’ve seen it takes a small army and even more people with multiple riders.
Any mechanicals or flats during the ride?
Were you using rechargeable electronics like Garmin, lights, etc. How were they recharged?
Any surprises you weren’t expecting?
I read where some riders might have been assessed time penalties for various reasons but not sure what creates those. You guys experience any by chance?

__________________
Ride your Ride!!
jppe is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-18, 09:23 AM
  #31  
Biker395 
Seat Sniffer
Thread Starter
 
Biker395's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: SoCal
Posts: 4,373

Bikes: 2008 Scott CR1 Pro; 2006 Schwinn Fastback Pro and 1996 Colnago Decor Super C96; 2003 Univega Alpina 700; 2000 Schwinn Super Sport

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 332 Post(s)
What bike did you use?

There was room for only one bike, so I took my 2008 Scott CR1. One potential problem was that it has a non-replaceable rear derailleur hanger, and if it broke, I was going to be hosed. One of the riders actually broke his derailleur hanger on the race, but he had brought a replacement, so we were good.


Did you use aero bars?

Absolutely! We all had them. One of the nice things about aerobars is that you pick up 1-3 MPH more speed for no additional effort. They also give you another position on the bike. They are a huge advantage. I used the Profile Carbon Stryke flip-ups. The springs broke years ago, so mine are held up by a rubber band. It looks funky, but it works well.

Had you ridden very much with the other team members beforehand particularly the rider you were paired with?

Actually, not a lot. I’ve ridden a lot of miles with the other two riders though. We all knew each other very well, and had a great time.

How were the pull time and ride times determined?

Most people on these events have settled on pulls between 20-30 minutes as the best way to go. Our crew chief (VERY experienced), confirmed that.

Did your cadence change much over the full route?

Interesting .... I don’t know!

What were the toughest sections for you?

There was a re-route this year from Camp Verde to Flagstaff. Previously, we just followed the main highway. It was a 3000 foot climb or so and a distance of maybe 30 miles. This year, the sent us down highway 260 and into the Coconino forest and through Happy Jack. That loop is about 100 miles and almost 10,000 feet of climbing, some of it steep, and a lot of it cold. On top of that, the RV was not permitted on this section, so that meant we had to double up in the van and try to sleep all cramped up. That was a tough section.

The T-storms in the Dust Bowl were tough for me. I really don’t like riding in them.

Finally, we got a lot of rain, which sucked. I can handle heat pretty well, I love to climb, and the winds weren’t too bad. But as soon as we got to the midwest, we got some rain virtually every day. And when it is humid like that, it is difficult or impossible to dry out. Imagine being woke up at 3:30 AM to put on a damp jersey and shorts and to go out and ride in the rain. Not fun ... at least not for this California boy.

What did your typical daily nutrition look like?

Interesting question! We were told that the cook would get us anything we like, but it had to be simple to prepare. Hot food had to be a simple matter of boiling water. Our cook was amazing. She made smoothies (I had a lot of those ... OMG), hummus wraps, sandwiches, all kinds of stuff. She was awesome.

All the same, sometimes, you just need a burger and fries or a pizza. We did that too. If the RV was stopped anywhere near that kind of food, we imbibed, and it tasted awesome!

How were the support team members secured? From what I’ve seen it takes a small army and even more people with multiple riders.

Some of the support crew were friends of ours from double centuries. But we also got REALLY lucky. A crew chief and crew for another rider suddenly became available, because their rider crashed in training and had to withdraw. So an EXTREMELY experienced and organized crew chief and crew fell into our lap. His name is William Medina. He organizes a lot of races and rides worldwide, and has crewed a lot of people on RAAM ... including many winners. He brought with him a crew from Puerto Rico who were all absolutely amazing. We got very, very luck on the crew. They were truly awesome.

Any mechanicals or flats during the ride?

One of us had a derailleur hanger snap. We were told to bring a spare, so it wasn’t a big issue. My bike doesn’t have a replaceable hangar, so I’m glad that wasn’t me!

I think I got the only flat. It was somewhere in Utah, and believe it or not, we didn’t have any tire irons to change the tire (at least we didn’t think we did). That set us back about 20 minutes before we got someone on the road. One of the crew tried using the lever on a pump head to get the tire off the rim, and that nearly worked. It also turned out that we DID have a set of tire irons ... they just weren’t were we expected them to be. I would have brought some myself, but I thought the mechanic was taking care of that.

Were you using rechargeable electronics like Garmin, lights, etc. How were they recharged?

Another good question. We had to meet the lighting requirements in all states, and some still require a light on the handlebar (not simply the helmet). We also had to have a flashing light on front and rear at all times during the day.

Since I use my good light (Exposure) is a helmet light (hard to mount a handlebar light with aerobars), that was a problem for me. I solved it by using a Cygolite Dart 350 strapped on the handlebar on the minimal setting or the flashing mode (daylight), and the helmet light to really see (not required really, as we were always followed by a van at night).

But all of us had charging needs (lights, Garmin, etc.). The RV had charging facilities, but they were inoperative when it was moving ... so what to do? Well, the last thing we all did before we were done with our 4 hour pull sessions was to take our lights off the bike and charge them. That was accomplished using the 120V outlet in each follow van, with a outlet strip. It actually worked really well.

Any surprises you weren’t expecting?

Honestly, in terms of riding, not really. I’ve done a lot of 500 mile races and this was pretty similar.

But one surprise was how much more logistically difficult RAAM is. You can’t just suck it up and stay awake overnight. That means riders and crew have to sleep, and that means you need a follow RV and two vans. Since you have an RV, you have to have a way of getting rid of the black and gray water. And they are banned from some roads under the race rules. You can’t carry enough food, so you need to buy it along the way. You need to wash clothes. How the heck do you do that for so many people (we threw all our clothes into one sack, and they threw the whole sack in the wash ... otherwise sorting out all the clothes would be nigh impossible). We ended up doing almost all our business at Walmarts. Why? Because Walmart has almost everything you need, and any town big enough for a Walmart is also going to have a laundromat and RV service.

Logistics are almost an order of magnitude more difficult!

I read where some riders might have been assessed time penalties for various reasons but not sure what creates those. You guys experience any by chance?

We came close. It isn’t all that hard to get a time penalty. One common mistake is not to pull off the road a sufficient amount. The want you to pull off 5 feet to the right of the fog line, and there are a lot of places where that isn’t feasible.

We also had another instance. The winds in Kansas were such that the bowshock from trucks coming the other way was almost strong enough to knock you off your bike. I had to get down low and really hang on each time it happened. What we didn’t know was that the bowshock was also enough to blow the emergency lights right off the top of the vans(!) That is a problem as those need to be on 100% of the time. We discovered one was missing from one van and another from another van before a course marshal saw it. I took a 2 hour pull to give them enough time to drive to Dodge City to buy another set of lights and some spares. We got them attached to the van permanently by a mix of Saran wrap and packing tape. It wasn’t pretty, but it worked. The crew was amazing.
__________________
Proud parent of a happy inner child ...
www.photo395.com
Biker395 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-10-18, 04:48 PM
  #32  
jppe
Let's do a Century
 
jppe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 6,997

Bikes: Pinarello Prince/Campy SR; Cervelo R3/Sram Red; Trek 5900/Duraace, Cervelo P2C/Duraace, Cannondle Tandem/Ultegra, Lynskey GR260 Ultegra

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 180 Post(s)
Great stuff. I just can’t imagine everything that went into completing the ride.

Putting on wet clothes would sux big time......

The reason I asked about cadence is what I found on my cross country trip was I just didn’t have the same amount of power in my legs after riding for numerous days. However I could keep my speed up by dropping down a gear or two and spin faster. If I was normally pedaling with a cadence of 85-90 on rested legs I needed a cadence of 95+ on tired legs. I was wondering if you experienced anything similar.
__________________
Ride your Ride!!
jppe is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-18, 12:05 PM
  #33  
Biker395 
Seat Sniffer
Thread Starter
 
Biker395's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: SoCal
Posts: 4,373

Bikes: 2008 Scott CR1 Pro; 2006 Schwinn Fastback Pro and 1996 Colnago Decor Super C96; 2003 Univega Alpina 700; 2000 Schwinn Super Sport

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 332 Post(s)
Originally Posted by jppe View Post
Great stuff. I just canít imagine everything that went into completing the ride.

Putting on wet clothes would sux big time......

The reason I asked about cadence is what I found on my cross country trip was I just didnít have the same amount of power in my legs after riding for numerous days. However I could keep my speed up by dropping down a gear or two and spin faster. If I was normally pedaling with a cadence of 85-90 on rested legs I needed a cadence of 95+ on tired legs. I was wondering if you experienced anything similar.
I think I might have. Roundabout the middle of the midwest, the distance, being wet/damp and bouncing around in the back of the RV, and other stuff wears on you and it's a bit more difficult to get out there and ride as hard as you can. I thought it to be more emotional than physical, though. Maybe it was just the damp jerseys and shorts ... lol

If you ever get the chance, you've got to do RAW or RAAM. It is an absolute hoot and a great adventure!
__________________
Proud parent of a happy inner child ...
www.photo395.com
Biker395 is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-11-18, 06:09 PM
  #34  
volosong
Senior Member
 
volosong's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: North Idaho
Posts: 2,754

Bikes: n + 1

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
Thank you for relating your experiences. Us mere mortals can never hope to participate in such a ride as you have. It is fascinating getting the inside scoop. Makes us feel we were right there with you.
volosong is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old 07-16-18, 07:37 AM
  #35  
PhoenixBiker
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Huntington, West Virginia, USA
Posts: 23

Bikes: 2001 Waterford RS-22, 2002 Gunnar Sport

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Congratulations on your accomplishment! And thanks for the kind words about my West Virginia hills...
PhoenixBiker is offline  
Reply With Quote

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Terms of Service