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Race across America

Old 06-28-21, 06:02 PM
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Race across America

first female cyclist to win Race Across America
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Old 06-28-21, 09:59 PM
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And in case you all don't realize it, she beat all of the men.
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Old 06-28-21, 10:11 PM
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I never understood this race. It looked more like a sleep deprivation contest more than a bike race.
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Old 06-29-21, 12:51 AM
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Yeah, I don't get the appeal. I work with a guy who is riding the races in both Germany and France this summer that serve as qualifiers for next year's RAAM, and it sounds miserable. Every time he tried to talk me into doing it, I told him that even though I regularly engage in epic 1 and 2-day rides, the idea of riding a bike for a week+ straight with no real purpose sounds horrible. Regardless, it's a notable accomplishment.
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Old 06-29-21, 03:20 PM
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Phew. Slow race this year.

Did they change the rules or something? Why is her time so far off from all the previous winners?
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Old 06-29-21, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Pop N Wood
Phew. Slow race this year.

Did they change the rules or something? Why is her time so far off from all the previous winners?
Nice. Undermining her accomplishment. Classy.

The route changes from year to year, the weather changes (e.g., winds), amount of climbing changes, etc.

By the way, Leah Goldstein is 52 years old. A fantastic achievement.
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Old 06-29-21, 06:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote
Nice. Undermining her accomplishment. Classy.

The route changes from year to year, the weather changes (e.g., winds), amount of climbing changes, etc.

By the way, Leah Goldstein is 52 years old. A fantastic achievement.
Not undermining anything. Simply wondering why this is the first year since the race started that the winner wasn't in the 7-9 day range. Mileage was less than some other years, route from Oceanside to Annapolis has been done multiple times before.

Not sure what her age has to do with why the overall race was so slow this year. I'm sure there were racers of all ages competing.

What was different this year?
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Old 06-29-21, 09:16 PM
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RAAM is a race that all the geezers seem to like talking about.
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Old 06-29-21, 09:37 PM
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Weather was probably a factor in this year's speed/time. It was unusually hot and windy for June across much of the US.

RAAM now is closer to the original spirit of the Tour de France, before the TdF became a spectacle, complicated by emphasis on stage wins, primes, multiple jerseys, etc.

There's a parallel TdF race somewhat comparable to RAAM that's even less recognized than RAAM. Most years the TdF route is ridden by solo riders trying to experience the same stages, sans team support. This year Lachlan Morton is riding the TdF route totally self-supported, trying to beat the peloton to Paris. He'll need to skip the scheduled rest days to do that.

Last edited by canklecat; 06-29-21 at 09:43 PM.
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Old 06-29-21, 10:17 PM
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Congrats to Leah Goldstein. I Probably couldn't do it in 11 weeks let alone 11 days.

However I came up with the easiest way to beat RAAM:
Ride from the start to the nearest airport, get a private plane and set up a trainer on it, ride that trainer till the plane lands. Then ride from the other airport to the finish. You are riding across America just on a plane. Maybe make some ramps so you can ride up and down the plane make it more authentic.
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Old 06-29-21, 10:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Pop N Wood
Not undermining anything. Simply wondering why this is the first year since the race started that the winner wasn't in the 7-9 day range. Mileage was less than some other years, route from Oceanside to Annapolis has been done multiple times before.

Not sure what her age has to do with why the overall race was so slow this year. I'm sure there were racers of all ages competing.

What was different this year?
The shortest time was 7 days 15 hours in 2014 (Christoper Strasser), the longest time prior to this year was 10 days 16 hours in 1983 (Lon Haldeman).
Distance has ranged from 2901 to 3170 miles.
Average speeds have ranged from 12.3 (Haldeman) to 16.4 (Strasser).

In 2021, duration was 11 days 3 hours, about 9 hours more than Haldeman.
Distance in 2021 was about the midpoint at 3037 miles.
Average speed in 2021 was 11.8, about 0.5 mph slower than Haldeman.

It is accurate to say the average speed in 2021 was the lowest in the history of the event.

Weather is obviously a huge factor, and we don't have data that can measure the impact of weather year over year.
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Old 06-29-21, 10:57 PM
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Impressive win.

Certainly not something Id be able to accomplish. Or even attempt!
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Old 06-30-21, 03:27 AM
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I was a big fan, and remember meeting Haldeman when the race started in Hungtinton Beach when I was a kid. The bike shop at which I worked donated $2000 as a prize to the winner (there was no other prize except bragging rights). Riding in the RAAM was one of my dreams in those days, unfortunately it remained only a dream.

The race this year was indeed quite slow, significantly slower than in the 80's when riders were on steel 12 speed bikes and riding without the benefits of modern riding technology. But I imagine the pandemic at least partially grounded many of the competitors.
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Old 06-30-21, 04:03 AM
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Originally Posted by downtube42
The shortest time was 7 days 15 hours in 2014 (Christoper Strasser), the longest time prior to this year was 10 days 16 hours in 1983 (Lon Haldeman).
Distance has ranged from 2901 to 3170 miles.
Average speeds have ranged from 12.3 (Haldeman) to 16.4 (Strasser).

In 2021, duration was 11 days 3 hours, about 9 hours more than Haldeman.
Distance in 2021 was about the midpoint at 3037 miles.
Average speed in 2021 was 11.8, about 0.5 mph slower than Haldeman.

It is accurate to say the average speed in 2021 was the lowest in the history of the event.

Weather is obviously a huge factor, and we don't have data that can measure the impact of weather year over year.
yeah I read the wikipedia article as well. so in the past 30 some times the race was conducted this is the second time the winner didn't finish in the 9 day or less range.
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Old 06-30-21, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Pop N Wood
yeah I read the wikipedia article as well. so in the past 30 some times the race was conducted this is the second time the winner didn't finish in the 9 day or less range.
You said this
"why this is the first year since the race started that the winner wasn't in the 7-9 day range."

Which seemed wrong to me since I've followed this race since it's inception, and have friends who have completed. So i checked, and your quote is indeed factually incorrect, and I think misleading. So i put the facts in the thread to counter a misrepresentation of past results.

Year over year comparisons are of limited value, due to the many variables. That's understood by everyone involved in the event. Competitors hoping to have a record average speed or record finish time hope for favorable weather, because weather will determine if they have any chance of success.

Why was the average speed of RAAM 2021 the lowest in the history of the event? We don't know. People will fill in that blank with whatever they carry in their minds. But it doesn't matter. The competitors raced, the winner won, and everyone else talks.
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Old 06-30-21, 08:47 AM
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Originally Posted by ChamoisDavisJr
Impressive win.

Certainly not something Id be able to accomplish. Or even attempt!
IKR.

While touring in MT I have twice encountered people doing the Great Divide race. Both times the winner had already reached the finish at US-Mexico border. So what? Those men and that woman (only saw one) were doing something I would never even attempt.

One of those years I camped with a guy who was competing in the race of ACA's Trans Am route. He told a couple of us that he was proud to able to say that we was not in last place but rather in next to last place. Again, he was doing it something I would never attempt.
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Old 06-30-21, 08:56 AM
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I do think it will be interesting if any participant (especially a repeat one) ever gives an interview or writes about how their personal ride went.
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Old 06-30-21, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by downtube42
So i checked, and your quote is indeed factually incorrect, and I think misleading.
Boy, don't understand the angst here. You're right, I ignored the one time another winner hit double digits, the previous outlier. I don't see that it changes much. Nothing misleading or factually incorrect about this being the slowest race to date. A reasonable person would even see this as being well off the norm, the numbers are pretty clear.

I thought about weather as well, but with as many times as this race has been run hard to believe there weren't other years with bad weather. So figured maybe there were other reasons, like rule or route changes, maybe the not as many people racing due to covid. Thought someone might have something tangible beyond speculation.

Why so defensive?
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Old 06-30-21, 10:16 AM
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I do believe that everybody who entered the race had to qualify. Regardless of the weather, terrain, or road conditions and many other factors. The winner still won the race. I congratulate the 52 year old lady who persevered thru this difficult challenge. Some of the posts on this thread have been underwhelming. My point is that everybody who qualifies for one of these events has the same opportunity to win and a 52 year old female kicked butt on the men. She is someone I would like to meet someday.
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Old 06-30-21, 10:23 AM
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I assume that a lot of contenders couldn't race this year for whatever reason. It has been hard to do long distance training in a lot of countries.

The Trans Am Bike Race winner finished a little slower than the record, but that route is considerably longer than RAAM and there are strict rules about support.

Bike nonstop is going on now. Gravel/bike paths for the most part. They had trouble because of the heat dome, but most of them are back on track. At least this year there weren't problems with the route being too muddy to race.
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Old 06-30-21, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by brianmcg123
I never understood this race. It looked more like a sleep deprivation contest more than a bike race.
I think it started out as a sleep deprivation contest, but the participation was dropping and they needed a change. They initially added hot dog eating, but that went about as well as one could imagine. Eventually, they added cycling and that stuck.
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Old 06-30-21, 10:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Pop N Wood
Boy, don't understand the angst here. You're right, I ignored the one time another winner hit double digits, the previous outlier. I don't see that it changes much. Nothing misleading or factually incorrect about this being the slowest race to date. A reasonable person would even see this as being well off the norm, the numbers are pretty clear.

I thought about weather as well, but with as many times as this race has been run hard to believe there weren't other years with bad weather. So figured maybe there were other reasons, like rule or route changes, maybe the not as many people racing due to covid. Thought someone might have something tangible beyond speculation.

Why so defensive?
These are phenomenal achievements, and the athletes deserve respect.
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Old 07-01-21, 04:26 AM
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Originally Posted by downtube42
These are phenomenal achievements, and the athletes deserve respect.
When a buddy first told me about this race 30 years ago I didn't believe him. Didn't see how it was possible to ride cross country in a week.

But don't see what I've done to deserve your disrespect.

Tried reading about the race to see if something was different. Apparently this isn't a very popular event to cover, not many news articles have been written about it. did see one article quoting one of the race organizers talking record heat, no rain and a high level of attrition from an "already lean field". Guess they just didn't have the turn out this year? No hints whether that was covid related or if the popularity of the race is just waning.

don't follow bicycle racing myself, thought someone who did might know more.
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Old 07-01-21, 05:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Pop N Wood
When a buddy first told me about this race 30 years ago I didn't believe him. Didn't see how it was possible to ride cross country in a week.

But don't see what I've done to deserve your disrespect.

Tried reading about the race to see if something was different. Apparently this isn't a very popular event to cover, not many news articles have been written about it. did see one article quoting one of the race organizers talking record heat, no rain and a high level of attrition from an "already lean field". Guess they just didn't have the turn out this year? No hints whether that was covid related or if the popularity of the race is just waning.
i
don't follow bicycle racing myself, thought someone who did might know more.
Probably because we're finding it hard to believe that your "curiosity" about this is unrelated to the fact that it was won by a woman.

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Old 07-01-21, 05:49 AM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions
Probably because we're finding it hard to believe that your "curiosity" about this is unrelated to the fact that it was won by a woman.

​​​​​
A presumption which is reinforced by the context and timing of his first post in the thread, and also his juvenile username.
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