Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Final Review for 2009 from the people of RAAM

Just in and released from the Race Across AMerica organization...
Team Strong Heart posted in FIRST PLACE.

RAAM 4-Person Male
1st Team Strong Heart (USA) 3021 miles - 6d 10h 30m (19.56mph)
2nd Austria Triathlon Team (AUT) 3021 miles – 6d 15h 07m (18.99mph)
3rd OC Quattro (USA) 3021 miles – 6d 16h 25m (18.83mph)
4th Vencendo Desafios Team Brazil (BRA) 3021 miles – 7d 8h 07m (17.16mph)
5th Team SaveBuzzardsBay.org (USA) 3021 miles – 7d 8h 42m (17.10mph)
6th Berliner (GER) 3021 miles – 7d 10h 23m (16.94mph)
7th Ari’s Angels (USA) 3021 miles – 7d 14h 35m (16.55mph)
8th Equipe Schwarz (GER) 3021 miles – 7d 21h 15m (15.96mph)
9th Drew’s Crew (USA) 3021 miles – 7d 23h 18m (15.79mph)
DNF Team Surfing USA (USA) 1911 miles – TS #32 – 3d 21h 51m (20.37mph)

Despite having all things crazy take place in that week, one thing was the clarifying of where we stood on the record. This sums up all speculation and will aid in resolving our minds and hearts even though we all know what we did on the open road. RAAM sent this email out as a final resolve to the race and I think I speak for all on the team/crew/sponsors and friends (along with the other 4 person teams) that this was what we all needed!

This is big for us, all of us. Enjoy the week and keep ridin'!


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

TSH and Fat Tire - Chequamagon 40

It appears that Team Strong Heart is going to represent in the Chequamagon Fat Tire Festival in Sept - Congrats to JayT and family for letting the creative juice flow on the essay. As we all seem to stride back to normal life - LOL - we are gearing up here and there for some major races/rides etc... Melinda, Amy, Jay and Neil (TSH 07-08) are team time trialing in the Firehouse 50 race in a few weeks and may the Good Lord have mercy on you guys...Melinda is on fire and not easy to draft behind. Love ya Melinda and fear ya on the bike.

The best part of RAAM thus far has been the new friends and added family to the TSH society. I have had a blast keeping tabs with all the crew/riders. We should have some posts of some of the 09 crew's crazy adventures riding here and there.

Chequamagon is right around the corner and I cant wait to wear the Team Strong Heart kit with pride and to race with friends and more over...enjoy this race for all that it is...painful and fun.

I see its raining outside right now and that means one thing...time to ride the mt bike in the slop!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

TSH Party July 11 @ Trailhead, More Photos

More random photos from this years championship RAAM effort...

Sunday, July 5, 2009

RAAM Pictures and July 11 Party

Hi all,

We are hard at work assembling and editing pictures from our championship RAAM effort this year. Stay tuned for the release of an official Team Strong Heart picture and video DVD. In the mean time, don't forget the party and raffle at Trailhead in Champlin on July 11 and here's just a few of the pics from this year's epic race...


Thursday, July 2, 2009

Raffle Drawing July 11th....

Andy and Brett (front) Climbing in CO. Long steady and steep climb

With the close of RAAM...or the break from RAAM as it seems many are now in the hunt to continue the adventure next year...we are having our raffle drawing and party on July 11th at Trailhead Cycle in Champlin, MN. Don't worry, you don't need to be present to win but you do have to have a purchased ticket to potentially win.

Might I add that you are all winners in this as your hard earned money and time have allowed TSH09 to WIN BIG on RAAM and most importantly your donations have fueled the dreams of so many at Camp Odayin - another successful year. Our goal has been simple - help our cause first and foremost...then leave it all on the road for the race. We were able to accomplish both tasks with victory - my hats off to all of you!

With that being said - we have some quality prizes to add to the mix and more coming. Eric Kenney - of EK Endurance - has offered some free coaching as a prize for the raffle. He has given to me three coupons for his services to try out. If you are wondering who he is and how good he is - ask Steve or myself. We followed his plan - Steve more than myself - and look at the results. 1st place finish doesn't lie. Thank you Eric for your contribution to help TSH and to see people enjoy biking more and more!

From high dollar Hed Wheels to vacation stays at Rainbow Resort to various gifts in between...make sure to attend the raffle to not only claim a gift or two but to also hear the great stories of RAAM2009.

A side note - the recovery of the TSH team is going well. Easy does it is the key phrase. Give us a week or two and we will be back in the hot seat laying down some serious miles and it looks like Steve may be sporting a new frame here soon...he rode so hard he destroyed his Orbea...that is pure power!

See ya on the road and thank you for your continued support!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

In my quest....

I was able to find a video of TSH on RAAM 09. Well, its actually me and the story is funny. When we came to the salt lake area, we had lost Steve off the front. What that means is that the wind was so fast that all the riders were flying past the time stations and gaining enormous amounts of time on their crew. Steve continued on the path across the landscape that looked like the Iraqi plains. The bad thing is we didn't know exactly where he was b/c he was so far out front.

After about an hour of searching here and there, we knew he was up the road but wow...it took a LONG time to find him. The cars needed gas and night time was soon to follow so we had to fuel up and that meant Steve was alone in the tailwind. This normally isn't a bad thing - but come 8pm we had to have a car behind us... Brett and I were in the RV heading up the road at 70mph and the two cars were concerned that Steve may have taken a wrong turn so they were looking on other roads - it was a bit confusing at that station. After about an hour we were worried that Steve was out of water - he was - and it is hot. We put the pedal down and found a yellow / green jersey about 1/2 mile ahead of the RV. We didn't think it was Steve b/c there was NO way anyone could have made that kind of ground on the cars...it was Steve. We passed Steve quickly then and yelled to transition to get him OFF the bike ASAP. I got out and realized that my bikes were on the Jeep and Steve had his back up bike on the RV - we have the same pedals.

In haste - I grabbed his bike which is about 3 sizes too small and Steve blasted by at about 35 mph - not stopping. Back into the RV and up the road we go. I yelled again - GET OFF THE ROAD WHEN WE STOP!!!! In this transition - I found out why Steve was so far ahead - 30 some mph tailwinds had ALL groups holding major speed for miles on end. Problem - Steve had compact cranks on his back up bike and it was TOO SMALL. Just then, a car came up from behind and I thought it was our Jeep....I had been riding for about 40 mins at that time at 35 mph and at times 40 mph and figured my time on the bike here was to just relieve Steve until Tim could make it up. The car turned out to be a Media Truck and they took some pics and vids of me cruzin - maxed out spinning on the compacts biggest gear...LOL. I look like a circus performer on a small bike - no offense Steve as you are not a circus performer...but one bad #$$ biker instead.

So the vids are of me on Steves bike...lacking leg extension and with close to an hour or just under on the bike I was dry as the salt air was creating breathing issues. The Jeep finally got up to me with 1 min to go before lights and follow veh became mandatory. In this stretch - Steve and I were able to make ground on the 8 person team - donate life - and passed them. they eventually passed us for good in Missouri I think but it was a healthy battle for 2000 miles...yes, they were an 8 person team.

Just a note - the form here is not that good as the bike is too small for me...I did end up sitting way off the back of the seat to make it work so my knees wouldn't break but my quads were burning. That was the most fun on a bike in a long time. 35-40 mph for about an hour on a flat. I made a comment to the media truck as they rode along side me saying " So this is what its like to be Eddy Merckx on a training ride..." We all laughed a bit and I pressed on ... wondering if our Jeep was going to make it up in time for night riding. They did and it was dad and Ed that brought relief. Steve and I later said it was way too much fun on that section but the heat and salt were too much to deal with at times.

Looking for more vids....