Getting ready for RAAM

RAAM is the Race Across America, a bicycle race from Oceanside California to Annapolis Maryland that starts in a couple of weeks. For solo riders it ranks up their with the Tour de France in difficulty. On the scale of crazy things to take on, this has to rank among the craziest! Cool, eh?

I was asked by some long time skier friends to join the team, Team Badger Bikers. I believe the qualification for me was that I like to have fun, so don’t worry about serious athletic expectations from this old boy. Actually, old boy doesn’t work at all on this team because the average age is 59 and I’m not quite ready for my AARP card. That makes me one of the kids on the team. Truthfully, every one of us has some fairly high expectations of ourselves, expectations that are driven by the athlete we dream of being. Having had a LOT of experience testing those dreams against reality, a reality that includes work and family life, discipline “issues”, genetic “issues”, and the real truth of how special our athlete heroes really are, it’s still OK to have dreams for motivation and face it, out and out fantasy. As citizen athletes we have one up on our couch occupying arm chair quarterbacks and coaches because we actually get out there and do it.

This race has a much more important reason to see it through. We are doing it as a charity fund raiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation of Wisconsin. From their own description:

Make-A-Wish Foundation
grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical
conditions to enrich the human experience with hope, strength and
joy. Wishes provide a special type of medicine, diverting thoughts
from the difficult routine of medical treatments and hospital visits
to dreams of possibilities, fun and hope.”

Many of you may know kids that have gone through serious medical issues and know how truly awful that is. We like the idea that our team, made up of up people from an older generation are reaching out to help these kids. Some of you have probably already heard my pitch for a donation or will soon. Anybody else that is willing to donate to the effort should download the form here, and cough up a few bucks for us. The team and I would really appreciate it. Our goal is to raise $50,000 on the attention a race of this magnitude should provide. So help us out! You can check out our progress at our team site.

My training log is kept at DabbleDB, a very interesting online data application (note how I didn’t say database application). There isn’t tons of hours, but the training has been very specific. We take off on June 11th and I think I’ll be ready. It will still be hard.


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