The Annual Race Across America Bike Ride Begins Tomorrow

800px 1989 Race Across America competitor empties his bladder while staying on the bike

For many cyclists the RAAM (aka the Race Across America) is one of the best annual events to take place in the sport. The ride begins in Oceanside, California and proceeds 3000 miles (4828 km) across the United States before ending in Annapolis, Maryland. Typically it takes about a week to ten days for the solo and team riders to complete the journey. Challenges along the way include climbing over the Rocky Mountains, battling unpredictable weather, and dealing with endless miles of open road on your own.

Tomorrow, the RAAM solo start will take place in the morning, and teams will get underway from the same starting point on Saturday, staggering the different categories to allow single riders to have a bit of a head start. Tomorrow will also mark the start of RAW (Race Across the West), which is a shorter race that covers 860 miles between Oceanside and Durango, Colorado. That event serves as a qualifier for the much longer RAAM.
This year there are approximately 45 teams taking part in the event, as well as 41 individuals. They’ll all be competing in their various categories, while also helping the RAAM organizers raise funds for charity. 
Amongst the teams is a four-woman squad from Australia called Team Veloroo who are riding in support of the Amy Gillette Foundation, which is dedicated to ending cycling deaths on the road. The ‘Roos will also be a part of a documentary about their RAAM experience, as they push themselves to ride all the way across the U.S. as quickly as possible. You’ll be able to follow their progress on Facebook as they launch their journey, and get a taste of what the ride is actually like. The video below also gives you an idea of how the four ladies have trained in preparation for this epic challenge.

Good luck to Team Veloroo and the rest of the riders setting out on the RAAM and RAW over the next few days. It will be an amazing experience for sure. 

Veloroos Training-Day from NothinButShorts International on Vimeo.

Kraig Becker