Friday, June 08, 2007

June 5, 2007

John's RAAM vehicles have arrived safely in California and await the arrival of crew and rider. Today, John and his support crew chief, Caleb Johnson, are traveling to San Diego where they will be met by driver, Earl Hanson. They will drive east into the desert, where John will get a few hundred miles in the dry desert heat before returning to the coast late on June 6.

The heat and dry air of the desert are conditions which beat some RAAM riders within the first 36 hours of start of the race. John has competed in desert conditions, but not without some sort of lung difficulties. He plans a variety of strategies during RAAM which will hopefully allow him to travel into the Rockies in good shape to tackle the big climbs before then crossing the plains with their legendary winds and sudden storms..

On June 7, four more crew members travel to San Diego. Registration and inspection activities will begin and crew will be busy organizing supplies in the 2 vehicles so that they are orderly and rotating crew members can easily find needed items to support John with every need during his race cross country.

When the race begins on June 10, the follow van will be supporting John for the first day and into the first night. He plans to ride continuously and not stop for sleep until the second night. The follow vehicle stays directly behind John for safety reasons and to partially light his way at night. In daytime, the van will stay with him as well, except for short times when it might be gassing up or doing a quick errand.

Support crews will rotate duties and get rest in the larger support van when they are able. Racers pass through time stations every 50 miles or so, where their number is checked in. These stations also serve as opportunities to resupply the vans with ice, food, and gas since most of them are in towns along the route.

Stay tuned for more updates as the race begins!!