UltraRaceNews will be monitoring and documenting the progress of two separate race entries in this year’s Race Across America (RAAM) which begins this week in Oceanside, CA. One of these entries is 4 – person Team Sarcoma Powered by Bacchetta Bikes who will get the green flag with the entire field of Team racers on Saturday, 6/16th. This will be Team Sarcoma Powered by Bacchetta Bike’s first attempt at RAAM and we look forward to sharing their experience with our readers.
Team Sarcoma member Allan Duhm will be providing periodic team updates as they streak across the continent, so stay tuned.
All the Best for a Safe and Successful race gentlemen!
The cross-country that is Race Across America (RAAM), is only experienced after the task of “getting to the start line” is successfully completed. Team Sarcoma Powered by Bacchetta Bikes began as a vision of team member Alex Miller, following his crewing effort for a record-setting two-woman RAAM team. Alex placed several investigatory calls to well respected ultra-marathon sources inquiring about logistics and for rider recommendations. Once the team framework was sketched out, more serious talks, invitations and preparations ensued.
Partial sponsors were found, a $40K budget was estimated, and the work of training and additional fund-raising began in earnest. However, only a couple months into serious planning the first “obstacle” appeared. Team member Larry Graham experienced significant work-related, schedule and management changes which effectively eliminated him from being able to ride for the team. The team regrouped, licked their wounds, and soon found a very qualified replacement rider. It now consisted of Alex, Allan Duhm, Dana Lieberman and Chris Kaiser. Preparations flowed nicely for the next few months, including fervent fund-raising activities, until about 45 days before RAAM when the team Crew Chief, David Bradley, was knocked from the ride due to an emergency surgery. This “obstacle” bumped their recently recruited co-Crew Chief, Ron Smith Jr., into the role of #1 Crew Chief on the road. Onward they went. It should be mentioned here that the team hopes to raise awareness of the devastating form of cancer known as Sarcoma. This little understood cancer strikes all ages, and in fact David Bradley continues his personal ongoing battle with Sarcoma via surgery and chemotherapy. To learn how you can help in this effort, please visit the Liddy Shriver Sarcoma Initiative pages at http://sarcomahelp.org/.
Okay, it should be smooth sailing from here on in, right? We’ve replaced a key rider and we’ve replaced a Crew Chief. NOT! Just two weeks after receiving David’s bad news, and only 31 days out from the start of RAAM, team member Allan Duhm tore the meniscus in his knee while walking his bike into his garage. Are you kidding me?! He hoped for a quick and nearly immediate recovery following required surgery, but the surgeon strongly recommended against riding so soon, and especially so hard. Allan held out hope but was forced to pull the plug on his participation. Fortunately, again the team had recruited a very capable back-up rider (Steve Petty) for just such a short notice situation. With a quick phone call to Steve and his acceptance of the challenge, they were instantly back to full “rider” strength. Obstacle #3 had been overcome for the time being, but the solution also led to an escalating obstacle #4. Steve was a crew member, David was a crew member, and Allan’s elimination cost the team one of his recruited crew members.
With 25 days to the start line in Oceanside, the team was now short three crew members, along with the altered logistics accompanying such a loss. David (continuing as “pre-race” Crew Chief) and Ron put their heads together and rallied to find two more crew. Almost there! Then with 16 days left, Allan’s doctor gave him the green light for normal/light activity on his knee and he re-joined the team as the 14th and, for now, final crew member.
The team walked on egg shells those last 16 days, finally coalescing at the start line in Oceanside,CA for the challenge that is RAAM. Alex Miller (R), Dana Lieberman, Chris Kaiser (R), and Steve Petty (R) are the riders for Team Sarcoma Powered by Bacchetta for RAAM 2012.
(* “R” denotes RAAM rookie. Dana has one team RAAM ride under his belt.)
Team Rider (and a few crew) Introduction:
Associate Dean in the College of Business, Universityof Tennessee
Alex is a two-time veteran of Paris-Brest-Paris (PBP), having started randonneuring in 2007. At Sebring he has topped 400 miles (24 hr) and 245 miles (12 hr) under the guidance of his trainer Kelly Moylan. A 7th generation East Tennessean, he and his wife Shannon run the Lick Skillet Cattle Co., train border collies, and are helping raise their grandson. Alex’s son Levi will be a crew member for RAAM.
Chris is involved in a software support business.
His riding experience includes extensive randonneuring, including two PBP completions, four additional 1200K brevets and two R5000 awards. Chris was the UMCA 2010, 12hr and 24hr age group champion for both the Central and Eastern divisions.
Dana is well known on the CA cycling scene as the owner of Bent-Up-Cycles.
Besides 4-man RAAM, he has completed numerous long distance brevets, including the Big Wild Ride 1200K (2011) in Alaska.
Steve started riding in 2006 on a Bacchetta Cafe and fell in love with it.
In his brief career his riding credits are impressive, including: Texas Time Trail (TTT) 2007- 500 mileteam 1st place; TTT 2008, – 500 mile team 2nd place; TTT 2009 solo 24hr, 2nd place; RUSA R-12 award 2009, Sebring 24hr Solo 1st place age division 2010 (359 miles); and ACP Fleche 2010. He accomplished these fetes after four consecutive years of back surgery. Steve is also a TEAM BACCHETTA member.
Jeff got a taste of ultra-cycling riding in a couple of Sebring 12/24 events, and has completed 4 Cross-Florida (170 mile) rides. An accomplished road and off-road cyclist, Jeff has also crewed for numerous Sebring 12 and 24 hour events, for the Ultra Midwest 24hr event (3 riders), as well as a UMCA record-setting state crossing (Florida –400 miles). He is a certified bike mechanic and a registered Masseuse, as well as a martial arts instructor.
Due to surgery, David had to forgo his road duties this year. His past experience is too extensive to list completely here, but includes: Crew chief for 1-RAW, 4-RAAM, 2 Furnace Creek 508, 4 Race Across Oregon; and Co-Chief for another RAAM. David has also raced on both DF and recumbent format bikes at Sebring 12 and 24 hour races, Furnace Creek, and Race Across Oregon. Wow! For full details of his cycling career, check him out at TeamRavenLunatics.com
Ron Smith – “On-Road” Crew Chief, age 44, San Francisco, CA
A richly experienced Bacchetta rider, Ron also has considerable crewing experience, to include: RAAM – solo 2006 (recumbent); 2-woman 2007, solo woman 2008, 4x recumbent 2009, and solo 2010 (recumbent). Additional experience includes Furnace Creek 508 – 2006, 2009, 2010 and 2011 solo, and Hoodoo 500 2008 (2x 60+).
A Bacchetta rider for about 4 years, Allan has crewed for RAW 2010 (solo) and RAAM 2010 (2x 60+ woman). Endurance experience as a rider includes Sebring 24 hours 2009 and 2010, Sebring 12 hours 2011 (age group record), Calvin’s Challenge, Cross State (Florida) UMCA record ride (25 hours –400 miles) and 8, cross-Florida rides (the short way –172 miles).
Goals and Concerns – The riders and crew were asked to address these topics before the ride.
- Enjoy an epic adventure while making new friends and strengthening existing friendships
- Perform in a manner that makes all team members proud, while being safe, civil, and giving 100 % to the team effort
- Finish in less than seven days
NOT Concerns –
The team understands that there WILL be times on the road when things will go wrong. That’s part of RAAM. If you don’t like it, don’t sign up! Solving problems is what will bring the team together.
Concerns the crew will have to deal with –
- Rest – it is critical that the crew find time to get sleep and remain fresh and focused.
- Laundry – Gotta get keep those riders in clean kits as much as possible
- Communication – always critical to be able to communicate between support vans as well as between rider and van, especially in high population/traffic cities
- Crew blending – getting new crew members who in most instances do not know each other, to work in an ultra-fast-paced environment, on little rest, in stinky clothes, to handle feeding, clothing, motivating, following and bike exchanging for our riders.
- Create calm – our job is to make the riders feel totally at ease, so they can concentrate completely on one and only one task – their next pull on the road.
If all of this sounds like work…IT IS. But as our team motto states, “We choose the obstacle as our path.” That’s what RAAM is all about. Overcoming the obstacles that WILL come. We’ll find our joy in the overcoming.
Friend request Allan Duhm on Facebook as he’ll try to post ride updates as available from the road. He’ll also report your encouraging words posted, to the riders and crew.
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