starting Mid-june 2017
Race Across America (RAAM) is a 3,000-mile cycling event that starts in Oceanside, California and ends in Annapolis, Maryland. The course goes through 12 states and racers have to climb over 170,000 vertical feet. Solo riders, like Andy, will ride 250-350 miles a day to complete the course in the mandatory 12 days. Riders operate on as little sleep as physically possible, some days as little as 30 minutes. The majority of RAAM racers are not professional riders and are ordinary people with a passion for cycling. There is no other endurance event in the world like RAAM. Here are some numbers for comparison:
- The RAAM course is 30 percent longer than the Tour de France
- RAAM riders have about half the time to finish the race than the Tour de France.
- RAAM is a continuous race - meaning the clock never stops until the finish line, while the Tour de France is a stage race so the clock stops and riders can rest at night.
- In the history of RAAM fewer than 200 solo racers have officially finished, while over 200 racers compete in the Tour de France every year.
THE COURSE WITH NOTABLE SECTIONS
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How does he and the crew go to the bathroom?
He stops riding to use the bathroom, which is usually done on the side of the road. Occasionally, he and the crew have the luxury of a gas station bathroom. But, no, he doesn’t “go” while riding the bike.
Where and when does he sleep?
Andy, tries to sleep as little as possible, but when he needs to, he typically sleeps in the passenger car seat of the follow vehicle parked exactly where he stopped riding. During his 1,000 mile race in Texas, he only slept about 6 hours of the 85 hours it took him to complete the course. For RAAM, in order to finish within the 12-day time limit, he can't afford to sleep more than about 4 hours a day.
How much does he eat during a race? and how?
He eats about 200-400 calories every hour of a race and we aim for about 24 ounces of liquid intake an hour. He burns thousands of calories each 400-mile race so it is impossible for him to consume calories as fast as he is burning them. He consumes almost all of his calories while pedaling. The crew hands him food and drinks either out the car window or as he is passing on the side of the road.
What is the general process of the races?
Andy always has a crew with him, the longer the race the bigger the crew. For safety reasons, the crew is always with Andy. During the day, the crew can go about a mile or two ahead of Andy and pull off to the side of the road. From sunset to sunrise, the crew must follow directly behind Andy. If the crew needs to stop, Andy must stop. Other than that, its pretty straightforward, the crew has a cue sheet with all the turns for the course and they communicate to Andy via headsets. He rides until either he finishes the course or can’t physically pedal any further.
Why is Andy doing race across America?
Read here to learn why Andy has decided to do Race Across America.