RAAM 2012 Update

Our reporter went to Oceanside for the team start for the Race Across AMerica and files this report.

Great weather for a bike race! Warm sun, cool onshore breeze, and great vibes
despite the mounting tension to the team start of the toughest bike race. The
solo riders have been out for a couple of days, and there are a high number of
dropouts, reasons as yet unknown.

Dave Elsberry is doing fantastic, but is 50 miles and 7 hours behind the current leader Hans Georg Haus of Germany in the solo male 60+ category with 1,325 and 1,375 miles raced respectively.

Joan Deitchman is almost through Kansas and “only” 1,500 miles from the finish, but the solo female <50 seems to belong to Trix Zgraggen of Switzerland who is 1 hour behind Joan but is 300 miles ahead of her. Can Joan make the catch?

FOREVER YOUNG PAC MASTERS (75+) is 4 days and 800 miles ahead of the younger United 4 Health (70-74). Will United be able to fill the gap?

We also were surprised to see John Williams (of San Clemente Cyclery) line up with his mixed team (60-69), Team Kinema for another RAAM edition. Go John! Go Kinema!

We were also surprised to participate by riding the first 8 miles with one of
the teams, and to see Brenda Miller volunteering at the entrance to the SLR Bike Trail. Yay Brenda!

Before riding out, I was able to replace my broken cowbell (cheering too much) with one from SierraNevadaBrewing (who had “just run out” of samples), and got a wrist band and pin from the WoundedWarriorProject.  Did you know Sierra Nevada produces almost all of its power requirements on-site? It’s true, and I look forward to enjoying the results from this forward looking and sustainably-minded company located in Chico, California.

Pictures taken are available here with the following notes (l-r, top – bottom, 1-15):

1-3: seabirds flying in formation over the starting line,
4+5: 2 team cars totally decked out with speakers and lights,
6: Pete Penseyres and Race Director discussing the start,
7+8: John Howard and Bill Walton talking about the CAF
9: Winner (in my view) of the cycling fashionista category!,
10: Members of Team Bacchetta (blog), currently shredding their way across the country,
11:Young members of the 8 person Team Stormwind.com from Arizona, with an age range from 16-51,
12:One of the teams from Brazil getting ready to depart, with riders from Love, Sweat & Gears also,
13:Mike and Cindy directing traffic on the exit from the SLR Bike Trail,
14: An accident that happened just as I was getting my camera ready for the last team scattering glass all over the open lanes. We directed the racers on the sidewalk to get around the accident and over the bridge. Must be some ironic humor in there somewhere
15: Team members from Above + Beyond Cancer (blog) from Iowa relaxing at the park before their turn in the race.