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!
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!