Update 2019-07-29 (Team-Tactics)

Racing Mode

We decided, to work in two shifts. One shift will be called Racing-Shift, the other will be called Resting-Shift. In addition, we do have a Media Crew, in general operating independent from the both mentioned shifts before.
The race route is divided in 54 stages with a length of average 80 Kilometers. End and start of the stages are named “Time Station (TS)”. Knowing, that Time Stations do have an at least minimum of infrastructure (Parking Space, Phone Coverage, Toilets, Fuel, Shopping possibility etc.), we, when ever possible, will try to make changes of shift at a Time Station. In general, each shift will last 8 hours plus the time to reach the next Time Station. In exceptional cases a shift can last up to 11 hours.


Racing Shift

The Racing Shift consists of 2 Follow Vehicle (FV) both manned with 1 Driver, 1 Navigator and 1 Racer. The two racers do race responsively. The length of one stint is on the discretion of the racers. A duration of 45 to 60 minutes is recommended. Exceptional circumstances as like severe rain, strong wind, extreme temperature may shorten the stints. The academic duration of a shift hat does not affect the load in 24 hours. This never changes. The load on four 6-hours layers is the same as for three 8-hours layers or two 12-hours layers.


Resting Shift

The resting shift consists of 2 racers, 6 crew members and 2 RV. The term “resting shift” is a little misleading. Here is an example:
It takes about 30 minutes from the end of the previous shift change to the departure to the next shift change point. The shift change point is usually about 250 kilometers away. Experience has shown that the journey time is about 4 hours. From waking up to the next shift, it takes about 60 minutes for hygiene, breakfast and race preparation. This means that as a rule, only 2.5 hours remain to rest per shift. The times for various tasks as there are shopping, dining, maintenance and small repairs are still to be deducted from this. The longer the shift, the longer the resting time and the sleep.


Update 2019-07-28 (Racer)

Racers

Peter WIELAND

Country: Norway
Racing Age: 54
Occupation: Computer Scientist
RAAM-Experience: Rookie


Kjell TEIGLAND

Country: Norway
Racing Age: 56
Occupation: Datawarehouse Business Intelligence Consultant
RAAM-Experience: Rookie


Jürgen GOOS

Country: Germany
Racing Age: 57
Occupation: Professor for Design
RAAM-Experience: Rookie


Sjur MIDTSKOGEN

Country: Norway
Racing Age: 46
Occupation: Sales Manager Car Dealer
RAAM-Experience: Rookie


Update 2019-07-27 (Terminologies)

Vocabulary

The use of the following terms is intended to facilitate communication.

Team Captain (1)
He leads the overall personnel and material organization of the team
During the race, as the Crew Chief, he is a member of the crew.

Racers (4)
They drive the race with their bikes.

Replacement Racer (1)
He is available for the possible failure of a designated racer. If none of the racers fails until the start, he will be a member of the crew during the race.

Crew Chief (1)
He leads the team during the race and is the official contact person for the members of the RAAAM organization. He is part of the crew. His major tasks are

  • leading the team
  • human ressource and material planning
  • to make tactical decisions concerning the progress of the teams race

Deputy Crew Chief (1)
He is the deputy of the Crew Chief. He is part of the crew

Crew (10)
They do support the racers in many ways. Their major tasks are

  • driving Follow Vehicles (7-Seat Vans) and Support Vehicles (Recreation Vehicles)
  • navigating the racers
  • supplying the racers with food, drinks, clothes
  • communication matters
  • purchase of nutrition and material
  • bikes preventive maintenance and small repairs

Media (2)
The accredited Media-Team is to escorts the team for photograpic documentation.
They do operate with an own Support Vehicle (7-Seat Van).

Tests

We decided, to make no practical test prior to the US-Phase of our project.

Travelling Concept

We have to decide the terms of travelling during this year. Team start will be at Saturday, 20th 2020, 12:00 p.m. (PDT). The concept is that the advance-party consisting of the four racers, the reserve and three of the crew members, will arrive at the team’s basecamp in or around Oceanside six days prior to the race team start. This will be Sunday, 14th, 2020. They will pick up the RAAM and Race Supplies in the RAAM-Office and accomplish the initial setup by

  • get acclimatized (racers & reserve!)
  • collecting the rental cars (Follow Vehicles & Media-Vehicle),
  • assemble the bikes,
  • buy equipment.

The rest of the team will arrive Tuesday, 16th, 2020. Their main tasks will be

  • collecting the Recreation Vehicles (RV)
  • attending a Crew Chief Meeting (Mandatory for the Crew Chief)
  • preparing and attending the Team Inspection (mandatory for the crew)
  • prepare the Follow Vehicles and Support Vehicles (inside & outside)
  • buy supplies, food, nutrition & drinks for the race
  • attending the photo session (mandatory for the racers)
  • attending the team presentation (mandatory for the team)

Destination Airports

There are three airports possible for travel. The first choice is Los Angeles (LAX). Alternatives are San Francisco (SFO), with the disadvantage of longer travel time to the start in Oceanside, or San Diego (SAN) (no frequently departures from intercontinental airlines from Norway). Direct flights from Europe to Los Angeles (LAX)are preferred in order to avoid stress through transfer immigration.
All flights will be arranged by or in close contact with the Team Captain.
Most likely, we will fly back from the airport in Washington. The Return of the Recreation Vehicles may force us to designate other airport, e.g. Newark (EWR) or Denver (DEN).

Follow Vehicles (FV)

The primary task of the Follow Vehicles is to support the racers by

  • navigating on the race route
  • provision of fluids, nutrition, clothes and equipment
  • shielding from upcoming traffic

We will rent two Follow Vehicles (7-Seat Van). Usually they are DODGE TOWN&COUNTRY or CRYSLER GRAND CARAVAN. Almost perfect for our needs.
When renting a car, as many crew as possible will registered as drivers to each car. This keeps us flexible to the maximum extent possible.
The car rental firms usually allow registration of up to six drivers per vehicle. Sometimes more. When registering drivers for a vehicle, the drivers have to be present in person. After-registration is possible, but the drivers must be present in person as well and that takes additional time.
We will hire for similar vehicles as following cars. Not only similar car classes but also the exact same vehicles. The advantage is that the drivers can swap vehicles without the need of getting familiar with a new vehicle. The vehicles will preferably be in different colours.
One mandatory exercise during preparation for all crew members will be in the exchange of tires. Because the active following car usually drives halfway on the emergency lane, flat tires are daily business during the race.
Each following car has seven seats. All seats behind the driver/co-driver are retractable. Enough space for a madras. This madras enables people to rest (primarily the racers, if spare, also other crew members). The madras can be replaced with the 4th seat if needed (one of the jumpers gets into the car and all 4 persons in the car wish to sit).

Recreation Vehicles (RV)

The Recreation Vehicles will be used by all team members to

  • transport personell, equipment & luggage along the race route
  • accommodate the resting crew for sleeping-, eating- and personal hygiene purposes

We will rent two RVs US-Type C-30. They can be driven with the regular drivers Licence Class “B”.
The advantage of this Type RV is, its space is suitable to accommodate all equipment, personal belongings and supplies. Still enough space to accommodate the resting crew in an almost convenient manner.

Mobile homes also have a few disadvantages. The RAAM-Organization does not allow mobile homes as Following Vehicles. The onboard toilet gets full after one or two days. The use of the cooking facilities is time consuming and reducing valuable sleeping time. The waste water (black & grey) can only be disposed on a campsite. Recreation Vehicles are clumsy on the road.

Media-Vehicle (MV)

We will rent one Media Vehicle (7-Seat Van). Usually it is a DODGE TOWN&COUNTRY or CRYSLER GRAND CARAVAN. Almost perfect for our needs.
When renting a car, besides the media-crew, as many crew as possible will be registered as drivers to each car. In addition the inside & outside setup will be similar to the Follow Vehicles. This keeps us flexible in the case of unwanted brake down of a Follow Vehicle by just changing the vehicles.

Update 2019-09-04 (Crew & Media)

Crew Chief (Klaus KÄFER)

Country: Germany
Racing Age: 64
Occupation: Officer German Air Force (retired)
RAAM-Experience:

  • RAAM 2009: Crew 4 Person Team Mixed 50+
  • RAAM 2011: Racer 4-Person Mixed 50+ (Winner with record)
  • RAAM 2012: Crew Chief Solo Racer 18-49 (Christian Mayer)
  • RAAM 2013: Team Captain & Deputy Crew Chief 8-Person Team 50+
  • RAAM 2014: Team Captain 4-Person Team 1 50+
  • RAAM 2014: Team Captain & Crew Chief 4-Person Team 2 50+
  • RAAM 2016 Team Captain & Crew Chief 8-Person Team
  • RAAM 2017 Team Captain 4 Person Team 18-49
  • RAAM 2017 Team Captain & Crew Chief 8 Person Team 50+
  • RAAM 2018 Team Captain & Crew Chief 4-Person Team 50+
  • RAAM 2018 Team Captain 4-Person Team 70+

Deputy Crew Chief (Rolf Nett)

  • Country: Germany
  • Racing Age: 66
  • Occupation: Logistic Manager
  • RAAM Experience:

RAAM 2009: Racer 4-Person Mixed 50+ (Winner)
RAAM 2011: Racer 4-Person Mixed 50+ (Winner with record)
RAW 2013: Racer 2-Person Team Male (Winner)
RAAM 2014: Crew 2-Person Team Male (Winner with record)
RAAM 2015: Racer 4-Person Team Male 50+
RAAM 2017: Racer 4 Person Mixed 50+(Winner)
RAAM 2018: Crew Chief & Racer 4 Person Team Male 70+


Crew 1 (Bettina BAACKE)

  • Country: Germany
  • Racing Age: 44
  • Occupation: Industrial Designer
  • RAAM Experience: Rookie

Crew 2 (Hans-Jan BAKKER-Owe)

  • Country: Norway
  • Racing Age: 61
  • Occupation: Merchant
  • RAAM Experience: Rookie

Crew 3 (Kristian-Meinich BAKKER OWE)

  • Country: Norway
  • Racing Age: 30
  • Occupation: Student
  • RAAM Experience: Rookie

Crew 4 (Katja BRAUER)

  • Country: Germany
  • Racing Age: 46
  • Occupation: Trainer Fitness & Health
  • RAAM Experience: Rookie

Crew 5 (Fritz GEERS)

  • Country: Germany
  • Racing Age: 25
  • Occupation: Professional Roadbiker
  • RAAM Experience: Rookie

Crew 6 (Sabine KELLER)

  • Country: Germany
  • Racing Age: 50
  • Occupation: Software Engineer
  • RAAM Experience: Rookie

Crew 7 (Eva MÜLLER)

  • Country: Germany
  • Racing Age: 51
  • Occupation: Doctor
  • RAAM Experience: Crew RAAM 2017 & 2018

Crew 8 / Back Up Racer (Tom Christian AASEN)

  • Country: Norway
  • Racing Age: 43
  • Occupation: Fleet Manager
  • RAAM-Experience: Rookie

Media 1 (Ingar Storfjell)

  • Country: Norway
    Racing Age: 64
    Occupation: Photographer
    RAAM-Experience: Rookie

Media 2 (TBD)

  • Country: TBD
  • Racing Age: TBA
  • Occupation: TBA
  • RAAM-Experience: TBA

E2 Team Application

“Depending on your life experiences, crewing on RAAM will be the most amazing or awful thing you ever do, it may be both.”

These are the words of David Styles, summing up his experience as a RAAM crew chief in his RAAM Guide for the support Crew.

We are in the final stage of putting together our Team for our RAAM 2020 adventure. In the past, we received some requests from interested persons. In order to structure the teambuilding process, we established an area with descriptions for the different roles in our team including the possibility to apply online. Our goal is to have the core team ready by end of August 2019.

There is still space for a 4th and 5th racer, crew, photo, medical, mechanics and others ;-). Some details:

E2 Crew

Each of our 4 racers will have their own following car (4 cars in total). Each following car will be a minivan with its own fixed crew of 2 persons, one driving and one navigating. The crew may swap roles as often as they want during the race/day/shift. While in active race mode, the car will follow the rider in short distance (at night within the light beam of the car). During her/his break, the cyclist will have to get the best possible recreation in the back of the minivan. Thus we are looking for experienced and calm drivers with additional talents (bike mechanics, medical, physio, …).

Expect – beside the pure driving/navigating job:

  • to take care of the bikes (load/unload/repair),
  • to take care of the cyclist (food and beverage),
  • take care of the car (fuel and everything essential),
  • take care of the course (5000 km are long enough so no detours),
  • take care of traffic rules (breach of them cost the whole team a penalty),
  • take care of motel stops (check-in, unload the car, prepare for the night, being the alarm clock, prepare or buy food, check-out and load the car).

All this for 7-8 consecutive days with as little as 5 hours of sleep during each non-active shift.

Good Characteristics of Crew Members (taken from here)

  • The desire to crew with an urge for adventure able to rough it.
  • Able to not shower or put on make-up.
  • Able to get dirty and keep smiling.
  • A sense of humour.
  • Thoughtful to others.
  • Able to avoid arguments by biting their tongue.
  • Smart and inventive.
  • Able to maintain some semblance of hygiene even during the rough parts of the race.
  • Someone who is totally committed to the rider even if the rider does not perform to his or her own expectations.
  • Able to catch short naps and still remain alert.
  • Able to drive safely.
  • Not too verbose (silence is often golden in the support vehicles).

Bad Characteristics of Crew Members

  • Egocentric.
  • Will not wash even when the opportunity arises.
  • Does not clean up after him or herself after preparing food.
  • Lazy.
  • Poor attitude.
  • Lacks enthusiasm because a rider is doing poorly in the race.
  • Wants to be in the limelight.
  • Moody, sarcastic, rude, lewd, and crude.
  • Talks too much.

E2 Captain / Crew Chief

The Team Captain is kind of the project manager of our RAAM2020 project. He is a crucial part of our crew moving from the west to the east coast in the US. During the race, we expect to meet challenges that go beyond the pure performance of cycling and driving. Even if we try to be prepared as well as possible, we will have to cope with difficulties that require a clear and calm head, the ability to find creative solutions and the decisiveness to implement them even if the might not be unanimous.

In addition to the general characteristics of a crew member, we are looking for a person who is:

  • calm
  • stress-resilient
  • decisive
  • creative (able to think out-of-the-box)
  • result-oriented

E2 Racer #4

So far we are one Norwegian cyclist, one German one and one hybrid. We are looking for one more to join our RAAM E2 Team. The 4 riders will split into 2 sub-teams with 2 riders each. Each sub-team will switch between an active and passive state in an 8-hour rhythm.

During the active race state one person will be cycling (followed by his minivan) while the other is transported in his minivan to the next exchange point. The riders will switch every 30 – 60 minutes, depending on circumstances like elevation profile, track, strength, temperature, day-/nighttime to mention just a few.

During the passive race state, the two sub-team members will drive to a motel, eat, sleep and prepare to take over at the meeting point the team in active race mode most likely will reach during their active shift.

As we don’t aim for a new record, good mood count more than strong cycling performance. Yet you should know what you are going to be 7-8 days on your bike (you have 2 of them). During your active state you cycle as constant as possible, not overpowering yourself, but still strong enough to bring your whole team a sound stage towards the finish line in Annapolis. While off the bike you get as much rest as possible, your next active state will come! And don’t forget: even if your 2 drivers will do everything possible to keep you going, they are humans too, most likely tired like a dog and happy for any support they can get!

E2 Reserve (racer #5)

Yes, in spite of participating in as a 4 person team, we need a 5th cyclist. Why? Things can go wrong (accident, health, …). Things can change (motivation, plans, …). And some team roles are easier to replace than others.

The 5th cyclist will prepare as if she/he would participate as one of the 4 main cyclists in the team. She/He will fly to the USA together with the other drivers, including bikes. If one of the 4 main cyclists for one reason or the other is unable to start (which can basically happen until 5 min prior to the start whistle), racer #5 stands ready and is saving the conduct of the project (and thus makes the rest of the team extremely happy).

If all 4 main drivers are able to start, cyclist #5 will join the team taking the role of a driver. Once the start whistle was blown, there is no possibility to substitute racers. If one of the 4 racers cannot continue, the remaining 3 will have to continue as a team of 3.

Our offer

This is not a commercial undertaking, i.e. all E2 team jobs are unsalaried. However, the E2 RAAM 2020 project will cover expenses for the flight/stay/food/etc. Why you should spend 3+ week of your time in volunteering supporting 4 racers on their RAAM? There might be plenty of reasons: fun, challenge, experience,  preparation for doing your own RAAM one day in the future, being part of a wonderful team, opportunity to do something extraordinary, a once-in-a-lifetime chance, friendship, memories (also illustrated by a photo book), and many others.

The goal it to the team roughly in place by the spring of 2019.

Still interested?

Apply for one or more roles of the RAAM 2020 E2 Team.

Kick-off

We gathered Kjell, Axel and Peter in Oslo and Jürgen joined us via Skype from Karlsruhe for the kick-off meeting of our RAAM2020 project.

We identified the goals for our project:

  • having fun and positive memories after this unique experience
  • riding and driving safe
  • finishing (within 8 days – if possible)

Next steps will be:

  • to find a forth rider and a deputy rider/crew member
  • to find the 10-15 crew members necessary
  • to make a proper project plan for the entire project ending with RAAM2020 post party – including milestones.

Here we go …

Trigger 4

A couple of weeks ago, Peter received a reminder from Axel saying: “If you mean serious with your participation in RAAM 2020, I’d recommend to start planning this summer. You will need the two years to get the best possible experience”. OK, enough talking … let’s move into action!

Step 1: register the domain RAAM2020.de and establish this blog.
Step 2: call for a kick-off …

Trigger 3

The idea to participate in RAAM really gained momentum July 1st 2016. On Peter´s 50th birthday, he received not one but two RAAM related gifts: from his wife Kristin the allowance and support to participate in 2020 including the time-consuming preparation phase; and from his friend and RAAM record holder Axel the commitment to support the project with his invaluable knowledge.

Through his wife’s gift, the participation received its deadline: 2020

During the next couple of years, the plan slowly but surely matured in his head and the topic was addressed on several occasions with different people.

Trigger 2

Peter’s good friend Axel Fehlau and his mate Anders Åsberg had the goal to finish RAAM in 2014 and take the record for Team 2, male, below 50. Peter followed the  preparation and conduction of this project, which planted the loose idea in his head to participate in RAAM himself. Not in a team of 2, but as part of the 4 riders team should it be possible. He started to communicate this idea to a couple of other people.

Take a look at RAAM 2014 with Axel and Anders

Trigger 1

Many (about 20?) years ago, Peter watched a documentary about RAAM. He was overwhelmed by how much a human can perform if he or she decide to. For the years to come, one impression kept staying in his mind: a following car playing high volume songs through its roof-mounted loud speakers to prevent a rider from falling asleep while riding downhill (it must have been towards the end of the race while descending the Appalachians).

He tried to find the documentary on youtube, so far without success. It was about two solo riders, one sleeping 3 hours and the other one 4 hours. The three hour rest rider had an advantage in the first part of the race but was beaten by his competitor because rest is just too important to skip during such an endeavour. If you know the documentary, please drop us a note! Btw: there are a couple of films about various RAAM projects on youtube worth watching!