June 25, 2009

Team RANS 2009

Well a new team is on the road for 2009. Glenn and Tim have been joined by Karta Atehotua and Rick Ashabranner. The new members are no strangers to RAAM - Rick rode solo in 2003 and Karta rode in 2005. As we speak the team is in the hills of Ohio and well ahead of the other 4 man teams and a few of the 8 man teams too. An amazing effort.

April 07, 2008

Bad news for Team RANS - Glenn Druery has had to withdraw becasue of injury and RANS have consequently chosen to withdraw as sponsors

Tim Woudenberg will do a 1,000 miles of RAAM in 2008 and we will hope that the talk of multiple recumbent teams in 2009 holds true.

Meanwhile we shift our thoughts to supporting John Schlitter in his solo attempt.

January 12, 2008

Team RANS assembles

The phone lines have been buzzing and pressure is being applied as the next assault on RAAM by the recumbent contingent.

Team Velokraft will transform itself into a 4 man team. It is early days yet but it is clear that Tim Woudenberg will ride. Looks too as if Peter Norris will ride - more Down Under flavour. Glenn Druery is wavering - one day yes and one day no.

Crew is assembling too. Richard Philabaum will be crew chief - time to test those military organisation skills. Denny Cook will be back as RV chief. His wife has given him leave to go - she'll stay behind on the farm to manage strawberry harvest.

Big news is the bikes will be built by RANS and they will be main sponsor.

So it is all go and to keep following us head to http://www.teamRANS.com

June 25, 2007

The privilege of crewing RAAM

Extract of an e-mail from Richard Philabaum - a true gentleman and fabricator extraordinaire and able to sleep anywhere anytime. We all endorse his kind words

"I had the opportunity to crew RAAM for Team Velokraft. Having followed RAAM for a number of years I jumped at the chance to crew after seeing Tim Woudenberg’s ad in the Bentrider Classifieds. After contacting Tim and David Bradley I was selected for the Team. I was also asked to design and fabricate the rack to hold the NoComs on the Leap Frog Van.

My crew duties had me on all three of our support vehicles at one time or other throughout the race. This put me in a unique position to watch our Team at work as well as move through the pack and see other teams during the race. It was certainly an experience of a lifetime. I met many interesting people and hope I made some lasting friendships.

I would like to thank everyone for their contribution to the Team and my first RAAM experience.

My thanks to all of the members of Team Velokraft:

Glenn Druery – Glenn is a tenacious, driven competitor with TRUE GRIT. I will miss his wonderful sense of humor and propensity for fun. He maintained this sense of humor in the face of adversity as well. Glenn also had an endless supply of amusing cycling stories to tell. I would crew for him again.

Tim Woudenberg – Tim, while quieter and more reserved then Glenn is still the consummate long distance racer. This quiet determination and drive was a constant inspiration to everyone. He maintained a cheerful, driven attitude throughout the race. His constant compliments to the crew where wonderful for us. I loved our phone conversations before we met in person. Tim is interested in EVERYTHING. I am looking forward to talking with him about his work and other interests in the future.

David Bradley – As Team Chief, David had an awesome responsibility. I admired him for keeping his temper through out all the difficulties RAAM had to offer. A special thanks to David for making it possible for me to stop in Midland Texas on the way back from RAAM. The visit I had with David Eggleston and his wife Lois was wonderful. I have a Flevo Alleweder kit on order from him.

Phil Bradley – Phil’s previous RAAM experience was a great help to us all. Good luck on your collegiate cycling!

Mark Carrington – I loved Mark’s many stories about his life experiences. He passed up many hours of sleep during RAAM to keep the fans updated via the tweeter and blog. He did a wonderful job creating the Team’s web site. His computer skills and journalistic flare was a tremendous asset to the Team.

David Cohen – David stepped into the breach to apply expert first aid for both riders after many crashes. He also did a great job of navigation for me when I drove the Team’s RV Support Vehicle. I enjoyed meeting his family and talking with him about his work and Power Tool Drag Racing hobby.

Dennis Cook – Dennis did a wonderful job as RV Captain. He maintained the vehicle expertly and got us across the country in a safe, sane manner. We shared many hours of pleasant conversation and I hope built a friendship for the future. Dennis is a great guy and very much the Gentleman. Thanks again Dennis!

James Druery – James did a great job of putting up with all us “Old Farts”! He was great to talk to and did a wonderful job of cooking for his dad, Glenn. James' support for his dad was instrumental in Glenn’s success. My hat’s off to James for soldiering on through what would be uncomfortable circumstances for some people.

Tom Kingsbury – Tom’s previous RAAM experience was very helpful to the Team. Tom was tireless in his support of the riders. I wish we had had more time to talk about his 2006 RAAM experience with Tim. Hope to talk to you again, Tom.

Fernando Mandujano – Fernando is the consummate bicycle mechanic. He did double duty as driver for the Leap Frog Van as well. He is quite the gentleman and I hope to work with him again in the future.

Vicki Pelton – Vicki’s constant enthusiasm was a boost to the riders throughout RAAM. She also helped David Cohen administer first aid to the riders when needed and shared driving and navigation duties with me in the Pace Van.

I would also like to thank the other people who helped outside of the RAAM crew:

Kathy Wasserlien – Kathy is my lovely lady friend. Her support of my dream of participating in RAAM was great.

Dana Lieberman – It was wonderful to finally meet Dana in person. His sponsorship of the Team was essential to the Team’s success. It was a boon that he let Fernando take the time off from his duties to support the team in person.

Jonathon Dietch – I have e-mailed back and forth with Jon for sometime now. It was great to finally meet in person. Jon did yeoman service updating things through my lady friend Kathy after I dropped my phone in Arizona during a bike hand off and his computer skills where an asset to us all. Looking forward to working and playing with you in the future Jon!

Dan Langmade – My boss Dan was generous (as always!) to contribute the materials to construct the Team’s NoCom rack. He also allowed me to take time off work even when I had no vacation time available. I have not worked for a nicer, more generous, understanding boss in my life. I am looking forward to working for you as long as you will have me.

Jose Moura and the Brazilian Four Man RAAM Team – Jose found my Motorola Q Phone where I dropped it in Arizona during a bike hand off. He tracked me down through my friend Kathy and transported my phone to Atlantic City where he returned it to me. Jose was a wonderful gentleman. I am sorry we did not have more time to get to know each other. Thanks again Jose!

Phil Plath, John Schlitter, and all of the Bacchetta B Team – I was able to observe both of these great competitors first hand. It was an inspiration. The rest of the B team was always friendly and gracious when we encountered them. All in all, worthy competitors. I would have been equally proud to have crewed for the B Team.

The Staff of RAAM and all the RAAM volunteers – Last but not least my compliments to all of the RAAM staff and volunteers who make this monumental event possible. Your efforts are well appreciated.

June 20, 2007

The last 48 hours

As I write this Tim Woudenberg is riding solo down the Interstate into Atlantic City. he has been riding solo since yesterday morning at 6:30 am (i.e., nearly 24 hours). And on the day before he pulled close to 12 hours on his own. Not often will you see a team rider ride a RAAM share and then do a Furnace Creek event on the last day.

These two riders showed what can be done with grit and determination. They recovered from some very difficult crash situations on the first night - they gave up 2 and a half hours to Team Bacchetta. Then they clawed that back especially on nights 3, 4 and 5 and put down the hammer through Kansas. The hills of Missouri found the true cost of Glenn's accident manifested in a sore knee. A first visit to an emergency department - during which time Tim rode 4 hours solo during the day - allowed Glenn to put in some blistering riding during the night through Illinois. In one time station segment he gained 22 minutes on the team behind. Waking the next morning was the telling moment with the knee very stiff and painful to ride - with the hills of West Virginia to contend with, it was no surprise that Glenn was again off the bike and Tim was riding solo.

Another visit to Emergency Department in Cumberland Ohio was not enough to get Glenn's knee right. Decision was made to get him off the bike and to finish the race as a solo effort around 350 miles from the end. At 1 am yesterday the whole team pulled up and slept on the roadside until 5 am - the aim was to test Glenn on the downhill and flat sections. That lasted 20 miles before Glenn chose not to risk his future cylcing career and Tim stepped up to the plate to finish this thing. We split the crew up and the majority of us took Glenn down to Atlantic City.

This morning at 4:30 am Tim reached Atlantic City and the team was finished in 7 Days 11 hours beating Tim's time from last year. An amazing feat

The middle stages - surging up the field

It's taken time for both riders to recover from the crashes on I10 near Salton City. It's taken time for the crew to get into a good working rhythm ensuring changeovers work well, ensuring riders are properly fed and getting some sleep themselves. The strategy is simple: 1. leverage the design of the Nocom on the downhill and flat sessions and 2. work the nights harder and 3. Don't lose time in the mountains.

The effort up Wolf Creek Pass was the start of this race to close the 2.5 hour gap to Team Bacchetta (it was also the time to stop feeding good information to the web about team situaiton and strength). Glenn and Tim ran short pulls to the summit at 10,500 feet above the snowline with Glenn taking over a half mile from the summit and then taking the descent in the dark. It was pretty hair raising stuff following behind at such speeds. Into South Form average speed wa a little lower than Team B - into Alamosa CO, Glenn was able to run a TS at 24.94 mph (close to a time station record) - over 3 mph faster than Team B - and a pace diffferntial that Tim was able to sustain into La Veta CO. Riding like this on these machines requires a control of fear hard to believe.

Then on the flatter lands of the Colorado/Kansas border the riders put down the challenge with 4 successive time stations averaging over 20 mph - mush of this into a headwind of 8 to 10 mph. In fact the whole journey across Kansas was completed at over 20 mph as the riders pushed relentlessly into the wind. By Collins, Missouri - the first time station over the border the gap over team B had opened to 1 hour and 10 minutes. This is the point that the RAAM gods decided to set up the next challenge for the team - Glenn pushed hard into the Missouri rollers just short of the Illinois border and started to feel pain in his left knee - pushing really hard in a big gear on top of damage sustained on that first night. Glenn checked into Memorial Hospital, Greenvill Illinois to treat his knee. Tim went onto the road and pulled for 3 hours to give Glenn enough time to get back to the race.

And back he came with anti-inflamatory treatment working wonders to mask the pain during his night shift through the flatter parts of Illinois. He was riding like a man possessed at the time we were pacing behind him and the gap started to open up again. The train was back on the road. Well so we thought until Glenn woke from his night rest with severe pain in his knees now that the masking effects were gone.

It became very clear in his pulls after this that any uphill effort was very difficult and that he would have to scale back the effort. And no shotage of uphill in West Virginia and beyond. Tim stepped up again to fill the breach and rode a long spell (6 hours) in the afternoon session while we worked out strategy. the plan was to rest Glenn for 12 hours and test the knee before committing him back to the battle. That plan changed a bit when Glenn chose a further round of treatment in Cumberland Ohio - we got him to ER and back in 3 hours and put him on the road for his 4 hour night pull. the idea was to let him ride as far as he could and rest Tim for 4 hours. On the top of the hills before TS 53 Glenn stopped and the whole team stopped for a 5 hour rest. The first time since the start we had all been together.

June 16, 2007

Quick look at two men in fine form

Just a quick look at Tim and Glenn as they zoom down the roads of the US in the Race Across America - Glenn on his Nocom and Tim sporting his yellow ear and riding the VK2