Race start is now just 5 weeks away!

Some of the team rode the Tour de Cashiers in North Carolina last weekend. It was a beautiful and epic ride: 100 miles, 10,700 feet – what more can you ask for? While the entire RAAM route has about 100,000′ of total climbing, much of it is concentrated in the Rockies and the Alleghenies, so there will be days of intensive climbing, as well as days when the total ascent will be near zero or even negative (hello Kansas!).

How do we figure out how much training we need to do? We take tips from the two greatest bike racers of all time. The first of these is of course Lance Armstrong. Inspiration to millions worldwide – everyone knows his incredible story. Many of you may also know something about his obsessively detailed and scientific approach to training, employing a small army of coaches, trainers, nutritionists and advisors who measure and monitor all the key fitness indicators like Threshold Power, VO2 Max, Lactate Threshold, etc.

 At the other end of the spectrum is Eddy Merckx, the legendary Belgian who raced a generation before Lance. He not only won the Tour de France five times, but entered, and won an amazingly high percentage of, all the big races, including holding the one hour world record. His nickname was the Cannibal. Eddy’s response when asked about his training methods was simple: “RIDE ALOT.” Our approach is closer to Eddy’s than it is to Lance’s. Basically we ride whenever we can carve out time from families and jobs, leaving just enough time for sleeping and eating.

There is almost as much logistical planning as training going on as well. One of the most important support systems is our music system.

On the road sound system

As you can see from the attached photo we will have a pretty powerful speaker system. Note that this was version 2 from last year as version 1 blew off on its first test drive. Being long-time denizens of the ATS Spin Facility (aka The Pain Cave), we are trained liked Pavlov’s dogs to respond to music while pedaling. It is incumbent on each rider to put together his own Playlist. Anyone who doesn’t will be subjected to the default music – it’s a genre that can only be described as shouting-dirty-lyrics-set-to-noise-with-a-beat. Helmets off to Tony for knowing how to shock us awake at 5am in the gym, but 7 days of it would be too much.

Fundraising continues rapidly. The current total is about $60,000. This is well above last year at this time, but we are also committed to doubling last year’s amount. Help us get to $100,000 by race start and we think we will be on track to reach our eventual goal of $160,000! If you haven’t stepped up, please do it now!

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