Tuesday, June 22, 2010

RAAM 2010: Day 1 with Team DurhamCares

Finally, after 40 hours of travel and logistics in beautiful Oceanside, California we were on our way. The camera does not hide our happiness and excitement about embarking on an adventure that had been months in the making. I talked the powers that be into letting me join for all of the first 16 hours of riding though my team was scheduled to sit out the first eight hour segment. My argument was threefold: 1) I might go crazy if I didn't get on the bike. 2) I could help us get up the first steep climb. 3) I could scout the transition patterns and relay that back to my team of four riders (Jenny, Chip, Henry McCoy and myself) so that we could learn from the practices of the first team.
My race began with a transition from Lance and I had two steady miles before I began a 6 or 7% grade climb. I felt alive, fresh, and excited. I knew it was early and I had many hours of riding before my first long break, but I didn't really care. I more or less motored up the hill as fast as I could. The race was still crowded and I enjoyed passing somewhere between five and ten other riders. Jesse was all over the place with his camera and it renewed my spirits to think I might be connected by video to the work happening at home. I couldn't exactly imagine what the front of Tyler's looked like, but I knew Heather Jones and the team would have it set up well. My legs were fried at the summit, but I knew I had ridden well. "Coach" Dave Williams seemed pleased and it was clear to me from then on that he and I would be in "sync," anticipating ideas, supporting other riders. He was such an asset to our progress down the road from the very beginning. By the third day, when things were going rough with all sorts of bumpiness and sleepiness and sloppiness, Dave and I were finishing each others sentences. My guess is this guy and I will work together in the future. In fact, and someone's going to make me choke on this one, I might have him devise a summer swimming program for me. Just for training, of course.
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