I’ve been aware of RAAM for years. That’s what a bunch of supreme athletics did back when I first started riding. A couple of times I saw something in the magazines I subscribed to in the 80’s. Just like the riders in the Tour de France, they were out of my league. I did enjoy reading of the events and even seeing the Tour de France, in part, on TV. Do you remember Wide World of Sports. You know, The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.
But year before last the internet brought a new way for me to track RAAM as people would post progress of the race during the day. This prompted me to look up the participants on the RAAM site. Some of the names I knew from discussions on the forums that I monitor. BUT look at this. Forever Young Pac Masters in the 75+ age group were older than I. As I reported in an old post, “I looked them up and saw that 2 of them were 80 and 2 of them 78 years old. On my last check they are averaging a little over 13 mph after doing some heavy duty climbing in CO.” And these guys, “United 4 Health is a team in the 70 to 74 age group. They had a later start time but are averaging 20+ mph.” I followed them all and eagerly checked progress reports at various spots on the internet. These guys were older than me, I could relate. I could almost place myself on one of the teams. Well, kind of, in my own mind.
And what about last year dot race with Maria Parker on a Cruzbike Vendetta. I would get up early each day to check Maria’s progress on the Tractalis site. I would leave my work around the farm undone to check her progress several times during the day. For me, tracking the dots on my computer screen was exciting. Maybe in years to come CAMS may be set up to view parts of the race. I do hope the Tractalis site is active again for this years RAAM. BTW, you can still donate to Maria’s brain cancer research fund.
Well, my excitement has started early this year as I add another 2014 RAAM participant to my list of people for me to cheer on. Today Bryan Ball of BROL posted a link to the RAAM Facebook announcing that Dennis Johnson hopes to be the first person over 60 to finish the event on a recumbent. Hey, I’m in that age group.
Good luck, Dennis.