Thursday, June 25, 2009

Confessions of a RAAM Junkie

As I mentioned last week, I crewed for Team Gran Fondo Fixies on RAAM last year. Between pre-race preparations and getting back home from the finish line in Annapolis, it was 12 of the busiest days of my life. Except for one truly miserable day when I had a migraine, I rarely got more than five hours of sleep at a stretch. We rose early, did laundry, rode in a van to catch up with the riders, then drove the RAAMinator thru the night, typically not getting into the night's hotel until 5 am.

I did not expect to be spending as much time on RAAM this year, but it's coming close.

The thing is, Kevin Kaiser, who was half of Team Gran Fondo Fixies (along with Jeff Bauer) is doing RAAM solo this year. One week ago, in the Arizona dessert, less than 500 miles into the race, we were thinking that his race was over. Today, he has just about locked up fifth place.

When it looked like Kevin's race was over early in the Arizona desert, friends and fans started regularly checking the RAAM website, sending emails, burning up the news groups, and making lots of phone calls. "How is he feeling?" "Is he able to keep food down?" "Is there anything we can do to help?"

As Kevin recovered, got back into the race, and started moving up the ranks, I got to where I kept the RAAM site up all the time. About every hour, I refresh the page to see who is where.

And it isn't just Kevin that I'm hooked on. Dani Wyss and Jure Robic -- both past winners -- are virtually neck and neck right now, and the deciding factor will probably be the hour of penalty time that Jure has picked up. Both of them are riding like machines, and I have the proof here in a picture of Robic from the RAAM web site:

Obviously, the RAAM photographer caught Jure with his antenna out, like Uncle Martin from My Favorite Martian. It shows that he really is a machine ... and that the machine is Johnny Five from Short Circuit.

Except Jure can shoot laser beams, too.

Kevin, on the other hand, looks more like a real human being, so we don't expect this kind of thing. Maybe this is how Superman has been able to hide as Clark Kent for so long. Nobody expects somebody who is "mild-mannered" to be faster than a locomotive.

I'm going to send an e-mail to Ally Sheedy, though, and ask her which one she thinks is cuter. I'm pretty sure that Kevin would win (sorry, Ally -- he's married).

But I've got to do it quick, so I can refresh the RAAM web page and see how Ann Woodridge is doing since her crash. Then I need to see if Team Type 1 is going to finish before any of the solo riders. And, of course, I have to check on the Georgia Chain Gang guys, since we raced against them on Heart of the South.

If I have time tomorrow, I may take a shower.

1 comment:

  1. I think it also looks like ET's head is sitting on Jure's. Great photo!

    I am also a RAAM junkie. I have wasted way too much work time checking the standings, looking at predicted time, figuring out who has rested and when, etc., etc. It will be interesting to see if I follow it at all when I don't know anyone in the race . . .