Monday Night Crew Update – Conquering the Rockies!
Frank gave you a great update from the day crew on Monday BUT the excitement only started with their flat tire and rock slide! The whole gang had a GREAT turnover from day shift to night shift – lots of focused and fast minds working together: one group coming on the scene after very little sleep, another group struggling off course with a flat t…ire then racing to join up for an on time transition, and the third group continuing to race, held up by rock slides and dynamite! The Chain Gang has actually developed a unique “ganger” system for our riders exchanges and shift transitions and it all came together like a machine under mishaps out of our control!! Day shift handed over the charge on the Rockies to the night shift at the bottom of Wolf Creek Pass, the longest, highest and easily most beautiful climb on the RAAM course and only the second push into the mountain range with many more to follow. The night Gang rode to the top and descended, all for the first time in the daylight. In 2010 we reached the almost 12,000 foot pass near midnight; 2012 brought mid-afternoon! Last night the Gang finished off 200+ miles across some of the toughest southern Rockies RAAM could string together; high winds and most of the climbing in the dark at near 10,000 feet. Several unanticipated tough high grade climbs, several thrilling high speed descents, a couple with EXTREME wind from what seemed like all directions. The night crew so exceeded predictions that we outran our hand off to the day crew so the gang ended up in a situation where the day crew had to chase the night crew down the route trying to leap ahead to swap equipment, at least into a new chase van so the racing never stopped. We all again made it work. Day crew jumped to just the right spot, had a van ready to role and Joe Daniels ready to race. Joe grabbed the gauntlet from Jerome and racing never paused. AWESOME TEAMWORK!!!