Two days before the start. I am trying to stay out of the crew's way and take it easy. So far today I have had three breakfasts (oatmeal and OJ), a nap, and two lunches (foot long subs). The crew is at the crew meeting now and then they have the inspection at 3:00. Even though we have been well prepared, some things still go wrong, but this crew has solved all problems and a few problems of some of the other racers that we have met here. One thing we had a problem with this morning was one of our signs ( name and race number) on the off duty van fell off while going down the highway to take John and Judy to the airport. Lisa and Sheila and others took care of it. Another crew needed a hacksaw which we had (Marcus had one on his multitool). Another crew (
a 4-man team from the UK
) needed help finding a place to buy a bike rack and Sheila and Christine helped with that. I am lucky that I can just ignore all of the problems that arise knowing that my crew can solve any problem.
It has been fun to meet other racers and crews. We met
a crew from India
from Italy. Nico is very friendly and has done RAAM multiple times. Last evening we met Janet Jones and her crew. Lisa will have to give a report on her meeting
(who was the first to go under 8 days last year).
Everyone regularly asks me how I am feeling about RAAM. I am quite confident that I can do any part of RAAM. I have tested myself in the desert, in the mountains in both the west and the east, and I am very familiar with the problems of heat and humidity in the midwest. What I don't know, and won't know for 8 or more days, is how well I can put it all together and keep the fatigue and sleep deprivation at bay. This unknown nature of RAAM is why it is so seductive. I like the thrill of having variable terrain, weather, and many other, as yet unknown problems standing in our way, and we as a cohesive team have to deal with it. So how do I feel about RAAM? I'm not over confident (that would be stupidity), but I do not lack confidence. I also have no fear of RAAM since we have prepared for so long (18 months) and also because we have seen and ridden a great deal of the course. So I do not know if I can do RAAM, but I am very very ready to try.