Hi ...

I just returned from the Team RAAM Pre-Race Meeting.  There was so much energy
in that room I thought it was about to lift off the planet surface!!!

Michael Shermer did a First Class Job.  He announced that New Mexico loves
RAAM this year!!  Sure enough, the Deputy Commander and the local New Mexico
folks on the border of the state put on a Fireworks show for Gerry Tatrai, the
First RAAM Rider to New Mexico and Seana Hogan who is in Second Place.  This
is just so cool -- I would have loved to been there for that one!!!

Michael reported that Gerry is about 2 Hours ahead of Seana at 806 Miles into
the Race.

The RAAM PR Guys at Hill & Knowlton have done some good work this year.  Josh
from that firm spoke and said to watch ABC's Good Morning America every day
for updates and to watch NBC's Nightly News with Tom Brokaw every day for
updates -- at least until next Friday Night (7/31).  The objective for next
year: have a nightly show on RAAM every night of the week nationwide!!  

KABC Radio in Los Angeles had a talk show about RAAM today with some really
fun discussions of RAAM vs. the Tour de France. 

The Ensure folks are really into RAAM this year.  Big time.  It was announced
that the average RAAM rider is burning 12,000 Calories per day.  Obviously,
you can't get those kind of Calories from normal food.  And that's where
Ensure comes in.  It really is a good match: Ensure and RAAM.

Are the Solo riders on a record pace?  Michael mentioned that Gerry and Seana
are just a little short of a record pace -- but it's going to be close!!
(More analysis to follow on that).

Since the beginning of Team RAAM in 1992, there have been 84 Teams composed of
348 cyclists in Team RAAM.  The Team RAAM record is 5 Days, 6 Hours, 4 Minutes
held by Team Kern Wheelmen in 1996 -- a team made up of Big Joe Peterson, John
Frey, Ron Jones, and Jim Warsa all from Bakersfield.  This year Big Joe
Peterson has teamed up with Team Pacificare and 3 guys from that team who
accomplished a 5 Days, 8 Hour crossing in 1996.  Obviously, these crews better
have some Fire Extinguishers to put out all the smoke coming off those tires!!

Booth Hartley introduced some good "wordology" explaining that in a Rider
transition, the "Fresh Rider" can have a push off from a crew member as long
as he is just getting up to speed to take over from the "Active Rider".  But
the "Active Rider" can't have any push offs from Crew Members.

Bob Fourney was introduced first.  Bob is riding a Human Powered Vehicle this
year.  Bob is a veteran of 7 Solo RAAMS, and won Solo RAAM in 1990 and 1991!!
Bob was looking real good.  In 1989, Bob was on a HPV Team with Pete
Penesyres, Jim Penesyres, and Michael Coles and these guys smoked across
America in 5 Days and 1 Hour!!!

Team Jimmy is sponsored by Smith and Wesson!!  These guys are raising funds
for the fight against cancer at the the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Team Austria is from Vienna, Austria.  These guys came the furthest to do Team

Team Tyler is raising money for Tyler's Home for Kids -- they've raised over
$250,000 in pledges for this respite home!!  They were featured on Good
Morning America yesterday.

Team New York has 2 Doctors on it (a Pairadocs) (Michael's Joke).  They are
raising funds for the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.

Team Men in Motion are four guys from Motion Industries -- Two from
California, One Texan, and one from Alabama.  

Team Colorado consists of four avid cyclists from Fort Collins, Colorado.

Team Action Sports are from Bakersfield and look out: they are ready to smoke.

Team RAAM leaves from the Holiday Inn in Irvine at 9:00 AM PST tomorrow,
Sunday, 7/26/98.  I will ride out with them to the "Real Start" at Gypsum
Canyon Road and will report back!!

Chuck Bramwell

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