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.


RAAM 2012 is NOW

Title: RAAM 2012
Location: Oceanside
Link out: Click here
Description: Team Racers
Start Time: 12:00
Date: 2012-6-16

While not taking place in the OC, the Race Across AMerica is starting just a short ride to our south in Oceanside at the pier.  Chosen by a think tank of the Outdoor-Magazine to be the hardest endurance sport of the world, you can be a part of it as local and international riders set sail towards the east as the sun sinks in the west.

Indeed, the OC will be represented by both riders and crew for this year’s edition.

Riding the 2012 RAAM is Dave Elsberry competing within the 60-69 age bracket and looking to better his time from 2011!

Crewing for Joan Deitchman is Laguna Beach’s Isabelle Drake, rider in the record setting 4 woman relay team in the 50+ category in 2011.  Together with her teamates, Cat Berge of Sweden, Lori Cherry and Jeanine Spence of Fresno, the 4Raw Milk Cats set a new women’s record across all age categories by completing the race in just 6 days, 11 hours and 34 minutes.  In a strange twist of fate, Joan is riding to support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and to honor Dustan Drake, Isabelle’s son, who was diagnosed last November with CML (Chronic Myeloid Leukemia). 

While not from the OC, Seana Hogan (6 time RAAM winner) returns to the competitive stage after taking time off to raise her children.

Proving that age is no limit to the most challenging endurance sport, the 4 man team of FOREVER YOUNG PAC MASTERS crewed by Lee “Fuzzy” Mitchell,  with an average age of 79 these riders (Ronald Bell – 80, Robert Kash – 78, Lew Meyer – 78, Chris Stauffer – 80), are an insipration to all cyclists.

So the moral of the story is, the more you ride your bike, the more you can ride your bike!

RAAM racers depart from the Oceanside Pier starting at 12:00 on the following dates:

Tues, June 12th (solo women & 60+ men),
Wed, June 13th  (solo men),

Sat,   June 16th  (team racers), community festival, expo and parade from Oceanside Pier.
Saturday would be a great day to ride to Oceanside and meet the racers, and ride with them to the official timed starting area.

See the history of, and previous RAAM winners at Wikipedia.

See our short biography of Pete Penseyres here.

Best of Luck to all the Racers and Crew!

Weekend Roundup

Perhaps sending a rookie reporter to cover the 1st Mountain Bike race at Aliso Woods wasn’t a good idea.

Sleeping in caused our rookie reporter to arrive at the bike expo just as it was being taken down.

Starting at 06:00, the racers were done by 08:30 and since our reporter arrived well after ten almost everyone had gone on to enjoy the rest of Cinco (or Drinko if you prefer) de Mayo.
Reportedly there were no injuries to the riders but 1 frame got cracked on the course. 

Disappointed that everything was being wrapped up, he interviewed Mike from SpokeGrenade about the company’s new 1,000 lumen bike light which would be illegal in most of Europe, but perfect for lighting up the wilderness as you cruise through over here . With about 3 hours battery life taking about 5-6 hours for full charge, this lightweight and weatherproofed light appears small but packs a big punch.
Warning: Do not look directly into the light beam!

Sunday in Dana Point:

How often do you get to see the Pacific Coast Highway closed to traffic for a bicycle Event? Well, at least the southbound-side was in Dana Point yesterday for the DPGPofC! 

As I was taking the snaps, a car went around the road block and went south (in the northbound lane for a short while) and was soon chased down in hot pursuit by DPPD’s finest.

Kudos to the organizers and the City of Dana Point for routing motor powered traffic around the venue!  For cyclists, it was great (outside of the errant driver or two) experiencing a traffic free Coast Highway. yay!

I’m sure the racers also enjoyed a much better line coming onto Del Prado without worrying about hitting the fence and being distracted by occupants as motor traffic slowly made their way through town next to the race course.  

I arrived just in time to see some serious minded racers entering the turn, who seemed to get faster after each lap. 

But enough about racers, we were here to see cycling! 

Soon enough, here they came, your next generation’s road warriors hurtling down the straights of Del Prado!  

Walking our bike throughout the venue, we were pleasantly surprised to see an instructional cycle course for the youngsters. If there’s anything the OC needs, it’s better cyclist education about the rules of the road, and the sooner the better.


Walking around the venue, I met Fernando from Cycleogical about bikes, life, and the meaning of space and time. Good stuff!

Later, around town we spotted this vehicle which is Cory Clayton’s latest service vehicle from his OC Bike Garage & Service.

If you need roadside assistance anywhere in the OC call the OCBG’s service line at 949-939-4395. 


At the former Revo shop, we spotted this sign of future coming attractions.

Just a block away (across from Hennesey’s) is another new shop!  Cycleogical has a 4 man mountain bike team that you can follow on Strava and participate in shop rides from the store. 

I talked with Melissa about bread and farmer’s markets, and met Bill who showed off his awesome Ibis mountain bike. 



Store hours are listed on their website.

Hungry now, I went back to the venue to take part of the various calories offered and, oh yeah, some guy named Brad Huff won the Elite Mens category for the 2nd year in a row(!); full details here.

OC Parks Tour – 2012

Title: OC Parks Tour
Location: Aliso Woods Wilderness Park
TourLink: Click here
Description: MTB Race and Expo at Aliso Woods Wilderness Park and
Laguna Niguel Regional Park .
Start Time: 06:00
Date: 2012-5-5
End Time: 14:00

Presented by The Path, This is the first – ever – MTB Race at Aliso Woods.
It is also the first race of a 4 race series with an overall winner determined from the events.  See the TourLink for full details.   Volunteers are needed and a contact page is here.  Sounds like a great series at great venues – Who’s in?