Thursday, May 1, 2014

TandemThings to Race Across America in June 2015

Riding for Love Sweat & Gears, and Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

As we’ve previously mentioned on the blog, this year we are trying to get faster. We are pleased to announce our reasons behind this: TandemThings will be riding Race Across America (RAAM) in 2015!

Back at the start of the 2014 (on New Year’s Eve, to be exact) we were contacted by Andy and Kami White, who were working with some friends to put together a team for riding the Race Across America next year (2015) as a 4 tandem team, and amazingly they were keen for us to join their team.
We knew that to do this would be 18 months of hard training and commitment, and so we needed to spend some time considering our response. It would undoubtedly be the biggest cycling challenge we have ever taken on, but the more we thought about it the more we realised that it was an opportunity that we couldn’t walk away from.
RAAM 2014 is just over a month away, and anticipation is building. And having been quietly working towards our 2015 ambition, and so very soon it will be just 365 days to go until our own transcontinental adventure!


Race across America

For those that aren’t familiar, the basic format has changed little since the first race in 1982, or 1992 when team categories were introduced.
Riders have to cover the 3000+ miles from Oceanside, California to Annapolis, Maryland, within a 9 day limit (or 12 for solo riders). Category winners are generally around 6.5 days, meaning riders must average 21 mph non-stop, 24 hours per day, crossing on average 500 miles and 2 states per day, in order to challenge for a podium position. Read more about it on the RAAM fact sheet.
Unlike the self-supported randonneur riding we are more familiar with, this is fully supported with  a crew and following vehicles on hand at all times, and in the team categories only one bike is on the road at a time, typically arranged with one pair of bikes taking in turns for 30min pulls for 6 hours at a time, while the remaining riders get food and some sleep.

Love Sweat and Gears, and Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

We’re really fortunate that our team that is under the stewardship of the well established Love, Sweat & Gears non-profit organization; who have successfully fielded teams in RAAM for 3 prior years.
Besides finishing with a great time, the LS&G Tandem 2015 team (as we are known) will be riding to raise money for Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, a charity several of the are close to, especially our team founder and crew chief, Jay.
The minimum budget to enter a team into RAAM is very considerable, and to have the best chance of a record time costs even more. So aside from training the next 14 months is going to require a lot of work in securing sponsors and general fundraising to allow us to meet our targets.

What’s next?

So for team TandemThing, right now we’re working hard on our summer goal of riding two 1200km brevets, putting a good time on each, before we start to shift our focus to getting faster over 30min efforts. We feel very confident we’ll have the endurance to do our share of the 3000 miles, but the real test for us will be doing so at a speed that does our part for the team. We have plenty of time to improve, but it’s going to be a very long and hard process to get there.

We’ll keep our usual collection of ride-reports and blogging here, but for anyone who wants to know more regularly updates on RAAM specific aspects, we’ll be aiming to put them on our Facebook page. And as ever, our ride updates can be followed on Twitter or Strava!

Expect to hear more from us soon about our fundraising activities! If you’re already inspired to help get us on our way, our donation page along with biographies of all our team, is now live on the LS&G website: http://lovesweatandgears.net/donate/lsg-2015-tandem/

As well as each other’s, we’ll need the support of our friends and family to get through the months of training and to onto the start line, let alone through the days and nights to reach the finish. So we’re really deeply grateful that Stefan - a longtime colleague and friend - has volunteered to be on our crew.

Read more about the full LS&G 2015 line up, as it is announced, here.

Wish us luck, and see you on the road!

Joth & Emma