Hi ...

So just how fast do RAAM Riders ride the first Double Century of RAAM anyway?

Well, I used Gerry Tatrai for the Century Example.  So to switch it up and not
play favorites, let's look at Seana Hogan.

Seana Hogan, who is smoking all of the men except for Gerry, left Time Station
1 in Beaumont, California at 5:28 PM and arrived at Time Station 4 in Yuma,
Arizona 3:39 AM.  The distance between these two Time Stations is 191 Miles which
she covered in 10:11!!!  Converting the 191 Miles to an even 200 Miles (105%)
to make it a Double Century yields an estimated Double Century Time of 10:41!!

Consider the following:

1.  There is no drafting.

2.  It was "hotter than blue blazes" when I left the riders at mile 50 on the
Route at 12 Noon.  And I wasn't even in the desert yet!!

3.  You're in the middle of nowhere and have no one to really pace off because
the riders are already split apart so far.

4.  There are no "Rest Stops" where you can get off the bike and stop the
clock.  The clock doesn't stop.  There are no adjustments for getting off the
bike or mechanical problems or bathroom breaks or anything.  The clock is
relentless and just keeps on ticking.  RAAM is a Full Throttle Individual Time
Trial of 2,906 Miles!!! 

Now, I don't know about you folks, but I've now ridden 34 Double Centuries.
My fastest Double Century time was at the 1997 "Hotter than Hell" Davis Double
where I figure I was on the bike for about 11 Hours.  But I had lots of people
to work with -- averaging 21 MPH for the first 50 Miles thanks to great
pacelines.  And I was lucky enough to roll in behind a Freight Train Tandem
for the last 60 miles.  And yet, with all of that, I barely made 11 Hours on
the bike.

I had the chance to get off a few times.  Fix 2 flats.  Hit the Rest Stops.
Take a break at lunch.

On RAAM, there are no pacelines.

There are no tandems to roll in behind.

There is no break from the Headwinds.

There are no stops. 

I challenge you to ride a Double Century in 90+ Degree Heat in 10:41.

Oh ...
and don't forget: you need to ride 2,700 Miles Non-Stop after that!!

The point is: RAAM ain't no slow speed Tour!!

Chuck Bramwell

P.S.  Seana is an amazing athlete.  She lives in her 57 Tooth Chainring.
After the "Real Start" of RAAM at Gypsum Canyon road, I thought I'd see how
fast they took off.  In a word, they were smoking.  I could only see the "Rear
Taillights" of the lead riders.  Gerry showed me his new Shimano Flight Deck
computer (Very Cool), then said, "Goodday" and was off like a flash.  I saw
180 BPM then 185 then 190 then 192 then 195 then 200 BPM on my Heart Rate
monitor.  I held at 200 BPM for what seemed like forever trying to stay with
these guys.

Seana smoked up Green River with the Big Boys then up Ridgeline and Paseo
Grande (a pretty good climb right out of the shoot).  I would have never seen
Seana again had it not been for her chain coming off -- you see, she climbed
up 80% of that climb in her big 57 Tooth Chainring!!!  Totally, 100%
incredible (I was in my 39 after about 10% of it)  She was off the bike for
maybe 5 seconds to get her chain back on -- just long enough for me to catch
up with her.  My Heart Rate was at 200.  That was the last I saw of Seanah in
the 1998 Race Across America.

And to think that now, 48 hours later she has already ridden over 700 miles
down the road!!  

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