Georgia Chain Gang riders and crew prepare for RAAM 2010

February 17, 2010

We are only four months away from the start of the Race Across AMerica on June 12th! In spite of the crummy weather in January, the team is on track with our training plan. In February we have been ramping up to about 12-16 hours a week in the saddle. A good chunk of that time is still indoors – we are all regulars at the ATS “pain cave”, as it is affectionately known. But if the sun comes out, even with temps in the 30’s or 40’s, we’ll hit the road.

Our crew is just about complete with nine on board. All these folks have very strong commitments to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, as well as key coaching, mechanical, health and navigation skills. We are lucky to have them. Mark Engemann has also signed on to be the team’s alternate rider. He is a local racer and recent winner of his class at the ’09 Grant Park Criterium. Thank you Mark!

We are still finalizing our race logistics and one of the most significant decisions is whether to stay with three vehicles, as we did last year, or go with four. We know three will work, but we lose time at night on transitions as the riders have to stop to wait for the follow vehicle to load up the rider coming off shift. Seems like a little thing but four vehicles would allow us to do “flying” exchanges, saving 3-4 hours over the course of a week. Besides requiring a fourth vehicle, we’d also need a 12 person crew. Stay tuned for more info as we finalize logistics.

For any of you who want to join us on some training rides, know we ride every Saturday and Sunday possible. For up-to-the-minute ride updates follow @gachaingang and @coachtonan on Twitter. We will most likely be participating in all the organized century rides in the area for the next four months. The first one on the calendar is the Wheels of Fire Century Ride on Saturday, March 27th. This ride always kicks off the century calendar for the year and is a favorite.  Besides the 100-mile option, there are shorter routes as well.

Our fundraising is just kicking into high gear. Expect to hear from one of us! We hope you will be as generous as last year. In the meantime, make plans to attend our first local fundraising event at Ormsby’s on March 23rd.