We Have Only Just Begun

Courtesy of the Carpenters:

We’ve only just begun to live
White Bib Shorts and promises
A kiss for luck and we’re on our way
(We’ve only begun)

Before the risin’ sun, we fly
So many roads for RAAM to choose
We’ll start out ridin’ and learn to spin
(And yes, we’ve just begun)

Sharing horizons that are new to us
Watching the signs along the way
Talkin’ it over, just the nine of us
Workin’ together day to day
Together And when the evening comes, we smile
So much of life ahead
We’ll find Annapolis where there’s room to grow
(And yes, we’ve just begun)

Sharing horizons that are new to us

I am sitting in the middle of Christmas Circle in the middle of Borrego Springs writing this blog. What a day so far. We are about 89 miles into the race at Borrego, we have descended the Glass Elevator and it is 114 degrees in the shade. Of course it is a dry heat, so that probably makes it 113 degree equivalent – it is HOT – frying egg on pavement hot – peeling paint off the wall hot – Diego down to his knickers hot – melting asphalt hot – yes it is hot, but with that said, unlike the trial run on Sunday that we did with Peter, there was a tailwind coming off the mountain. So let me recap the day for you so far:

Ready to Roll!!!!

Peter was up at 6am, feeling a little challenged in the tummy. He had a decent night sleep given he went to bed around 9:30pm, meditated for 15-20 minutes. For breakfast, Peter had a couple of packages of oatmeal, a muffin and a juice. The crew had a buzz of activity going on to make the last-minute preparations for the vans and then Diego spent 45-60 minutes working on Pete to loosen up the legs, lower back and shoulders.

Dave and Mr. O got the follow van (now named MONA) over to the start area for 11:00 and then the rest of us left in the auxiliary van ( now named JACK) and the forward van (named GOPHER). There was certainly a buzz at the start area as we arrived as the last groups from RAW were making their way out of the starting area. Peter was scheduled to start at 1:36pm PT/4:36pm ET, and so it gave all of us an opportunity to take things in. What a sight to behold.

Like a well-oiled machine the racers were going out at the assigned times and before we knew it Pete was called to the line. They provide a list of the racer’s Palmares when it comes to RAAM related racing, then a countdown 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 – and he was off.  Janet, KMan and Dave were in MONA and followed Pete out through the starting chute, charged with following Peter for the first 11-12 hours or so. QB, Greg and Diego were in JACK, with Mr. O and Bruce in the Gopher.

These legs will get us to the finish…all in support of Jack.org

We would spend the next 4 hours or so leapfrogging Peter after he had made his way to mile 23.6, up until that point, the racers were not allowed to have any support with them. It was great to get out of the car and cheer the racers on, at this point in their journey, everyone still has a happy face on, a lot of smiles and thank you’s. We hung out about 10 miles from the start of the Glass Elevator, Greg used a drone to gather some footage and we were able to watch Strasser and Baloh come through – two of the biggest names in the field. This is Marko Baloh’s 10th  RAAM event – with several 2nd place finishes. Christoph Strasser is a legend with 5 RAAM wins, which ties him with another legend in ultra-cycling Yuri Robic. Strasser had slowly but surely made his way past many riders by the time he hit Christmas Circle.

Peter hit Borrego Springs and pulled through Christmas Circle at 7:25pm, which made it 5 hours 49 minutes or so for 88.3 miles. During the descent down the Glass Elevator a cyclist crashed and emergency vehicles had to close down the road for a period. It was deemed that Peter would receive a 20-minute time reduction as a result (this should come off his time at the end of the race). This would mean Pete did the first segment (with the bonus time) in 16.1mph or 26.2km/h with climbing of 4,770ft. All three vans met, just past Christmas Circle, to get Pete on his time trial bike as the terrain was now flat and there were some reasonable tail winds. We put extra ice into MONA and then JACK and GOPHER high tailed it to Blythe – 140 miles down the road, in order to get some sleep. The plan is to have Diego, Greg and QB then take over MONA around 12:30am and allow Janet, Kman and Dave to grab some sleep before getting back on the road and chasing us down somewhere around Time station 7.

10 thoughts on “We Have Only Just Begun

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