Team Wolcott

June 8

Pre-race photos from the crew at Oceanside

Clicking on the links below will take you to a Picasa album.

14-06-08 pre race
14-06-09 pre race
 
June 8 Report from Keith

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 and also Nico Valsesia 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 Christoph Strasser (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. 


 
In Oceanside

Team Wolcott members arrived (by various modes of transportation) in Oceanside on Saturday, June 7th. Keith filed these reports from the day's activities:

We are in Oceanside, CA! Eight of us have arrived and the other six will arrive later today. We have an amazing crew that has stepped up to take on this adventure. 

Yesterday afternoon with the temperature at 100-102 in Borrego Springs I rode down the glass elevator. It was quite a ride with strong winds buffetting me around, but it went well. I was conservative and kept it under 45 mph so that I could safely experiment with speed on the corners, braking, and staying relaxed on the bike. Most of the time it was hard to control the speed, but at one point the headwind was so strong that I slowed to 18 mph and it made me laugh that I had to pedal on such a steep downgrade. It is good to now be familiar with this descent so that I am ready for it during the race.

After the glass elevator we continued on the course out of Borrego Springs in order to get some more heat training. There are some beautiful iron sculptures of horses, mammoths, a giant eagle, and dinosaurs.

Today will be my last day of training, but it will be an easy ride of the beginning of the course.


Later in the same day:

All 14 of us have arrived safely. Crew chief Ellen is picking up our signage and supplies from race headquarters (while I nap) so we can prepare for our inspection tomorrow.

We had a good ride this morning doing the first 1% of RAAM. I didn't know there was 12% grade a mile long at mile 12. Steve and Ellen were crewing for me, did a great job, and also found some mileage errors on the cue sheets. 

At my second breakfast we met and got to know another crew chief from Bath, UK. He is chief for a 4-man team. He came a week early since the logistics of getting everything organized when coming from the UK are daunting.

Now to rest and recover and be ready to race.


More, from the earlier Gallery pages...