People often ask, "What is RAAM?" It may seem like an easy question to answer, "It's a non-stop bicycle race across the United States." But, for the riders and crew RAAM is so much more. RAAM is an adventure, something that is to be experienced, a personal challenge, an accomplishment that few will achieve, and a race that will tests the limits of what the human body can do. RAAM tests each rider’s resolve to complete the race and challenges the crews ability to manage a multitude of tasks simultaneously.
This year Janet and crew met RAAM's challenges head on and beat the RAAM course in 12 days, 3 hours, and 54 minutes. My fellow crew members and I will forever live in awe of her accomplishment and are incredibly proud to have taken part in her success. We will recount this adventure to friends and family for rest of our lives.
For me, it was truly an honor to serve as this team’s crew chief. Each crew member met every challenge in good spirit and tackled tough moments with humor and unending dedication to the task at hand. The crew gave of their time and comfort to see Janet to the finish line safely. They met many challenges such as lack of sleep, constantly working on the move, bike issues, rider comfort issues, and navigation through back country roads. This race is simply not possible without a crew and we had one hell of a team!
Greg: The mild mannered team member extraordinaire who jumped into the crew at the last moment and met every challenge we threw at him with a smile and a constant sense of calmness. Thanks to Greg, and his company WatchMyRace, our fans were able to follow us across the country using the GPS tracker- an awesome tool for any race! Greg was also responsible for many Twitter and blog updates. Job well done Greg.
Kat: Our massage therapist and humorist. Kat could lighten even the tensest of moments and always greets everyone with a smile. She is a wonderful crew member who always brightened the day - and the night. She was always flexible, eager to help, and a great person to have on your team. Kat also kept race fans up to date on Twitter. Thanks for all your dedication Kat.
Patty Jo: The one and only Snow Kitty. I can’t begin to express how grateful I was to have Patty Jo as a member of our team. There is no other crew member that I have ever worked with, that has more experience and expertise at crewing than Patty Jo. She could read Janet like a book and took amazing care of her through the night. She was an invaluable member of the team and kept us all smiling.
Lisa: Our assistant mechanic and navigation expert. She spent countless hours before the race locating resources that we may need in the smallest of towns. Her time was well spent as we referenced her document on countless occasions saving us a lot of time while on the course. She stepped up to meet all tasks including driving/navigating virtually solo when Kat became ill. Way to step up to the plate and keep our race going!
Tom: Our bike mechanic and one of our returning veterans. He kept four bikes working across the country (one of which was supposed to be only for parts but he pulled it together at Janet’s request). He stayed flexible even as we adjusted shifts to give him more time to work on the bikes in a more stationary situation (during Janet’s sleep breaks). Great job on keeping us moving down the road Tom.
Kathryn: Another returning veteran that gave us our logistical genius and co-crew chief. She was an integral part of our planning for this year’s RAAM which started at the end of RAAM 2008. She was always positive, organized, and could anticipate Janet’s needs. She was also my crew partner and helped keep me on track. Thank you for all your incredible dedication to this year’s RAAM efforts.
Lastly, I have to thank our ground crew – these are the individuals that supported us and fed us a constant stream of information about the race that helped Kathryn and me make decisions.
Richard Newton: Thanks for helping us build the best RAAM van on the course. We had other RAAM crews ogling over it at the start and finish lines. I also want to thank you for the morning calls with the race statistics and rider positions- those calls were extremely helpful.
Brooks and Marion Reid: Thank you for helping us prepare the weekend before the race, the race statistics, and the words of encouragement (some fantastic poems which will be posted soon). Brooks it was great having your views and stats as we crossed.
Sam Beal: Last year’s crew chief and this year’s sounding board as things came up while making our crossing. Thank you for taking my calls.
Tom Miller: A consummate friend, last year’s co-crew chief, and the person responsible for getting me into the sport of Ultra Cycling- thank you.
Together the Osprey Crew accomplished the near impossible, we got our rider across the finish line safely and well within the time cutoffs while keeping our wits and our humor. Thank you Osprey Crew for your devotion and efforts. And, thank you Janet for allowing me to be part of such an absolutely amazing adventure.