Friday, January 02, 2009


(Hope you like the new look of the blog)

My 2009 season will be focused on one "race" - Race Across America.

Yes, Race Across America is a bicycle race across the country. It goes from Oceanside, CA (right up the road from me), to Annapolis, MD; 3,014 miles - one way.

And yes, I am crazy.

(as an aside, one my co-workers recently asked me in passing the other day: "Dude, do you have any crazy ironman, marathon, races coming up soon?", and I looked at him and said "Yeah man, Race Across America in June." He looked at me, paused for 2 seconds, and said with a big smile, partly laughing, "that shit just ain't normal man!". and he is right!)

Back in June 2007, I was sitting at my desk at work, and I brought up the live video feed of RAAM just to "check it out". This wasn't the live feed from the people that put on RAAM, but it was a video feed from a satellite uplink that was on top of our team's follow van (hey, working for a satellite company has its advantages!). As the video rendered, there was a shot of someone climbing through the colorado rockies. The first thought that entered into my head was:

I gotta do that someday.

and ever since then, it's been brewing in the back of my mind.

I didn't want to do it last year because last year was all about IMLP. And even though my focus last year was Ironman, I was already looking forward to 2009. The team I will be racing for, Team ViaSat, has sponsored a team for the past 3 years, with 2009 marking the fourth. Last year, they averaged 21.4mph, finishing in under 6 days, getting them 3rd in the 8 person division.

I am sure you are wondering what our team strategy is in "racing" across the continent. It is currently being discussed by the team, but in years past, the 8 person team is broken up into four two-person groups. Each two person group is "on" for apx. 5 hours, and "off" for 15 hours. In the 5 "on" hours, Rider 1 will start riding, and will ride for apx. 5 miles or 20 minutes, where he will then hand it off to Rider 2. Rider 2 will ride the same amount, while Rider 1 is being transported via car to the next projected hand off point. The theory is that each cyclist can go hard for 20 minutes, recovery, and then repeat. So, of the 5 hours, each cyclist is really only riding for 2.5 hours. During the 15 "off" hours, the other 3 groups are driving, eating, (trying to) sleeping, and ultimately responsible for being ready to start their next leg of the race. In total, the math comes up to ~375 miles/cyclist over 6 days, or a little over 60 miles a day (OUCH!).

So that's it - thats what 2009 is all about. In my next posts, I will be discussing "infrastructure upgrades" and training plan/coach!

Stay tuned!

ps- I finally joined the rest of the world and got a facebook page, so be friends with me. I don't know how it works, so just find me!


tinaparker87 said...

WOW! How great! Here is to a great year!

Dan said...

Freakin cool way to begin your 09, by seizing another goal. I agree with you and your buddy at work that it "aint normal", but that's what makes it so excellent. Go git it!

Jim Goudreau said...

Dude, that plan rocks! Sounds oddly manageable, except for the uphill legs in the mountains... my 50 MPH downhill could contribute to a team, but I'm not sure my 11 MPH would!! Gravity sucks. Looking forward to hearing about the training and race, even in Okinawa.

Tawnee said...

Ha ha. I wish I could move to SD tomorrow! But I'm going to be in graduate school in OC (only cause I'm living rent-free up here). I'll be back down eventually!

Congrats on your '09 goal. I would love to do that one day. I'm excited to see what you have to say about all your trianing leading up to the race! What kind of bike are you riding?

jameson said...

awesome dude!!! stoked you made the team. We gotta hit the trails soon. I found a bunch new (hard) stuff out my way. Let me know when you have some time.

Trevor Glavin said...

That is a serious race...I like your style!

Rachel said...

OMG!!! Wow. That is incredible.

MJ said...

Awesome! I know 5 guys that rode across Canada almost the same way to raise money for Juvenile Diabetes...

Should be a great experience and I am sure your riding will improve A TON with all the training....

Looking forward to following the build and the race!

Chris said...

Awesome Ryan, kick it in the teeth. Let me know if you need company for your short 1000 mile training rides!

gunnbr said...

Very cool!! I almost helped crew a team last year, but injuries forced them to drop out. :(

When you break it down to 60 miles a day, it doesn't actually sound too bad. Have fun!!