Steven Perezluha’s 2011 Race Across America Summary

Including Pre and Post RAAM Activities

June 9th-June 30th 2011  

9th Place

10 Days and 8 Hours 

Oceanside, CA to Annapolis, MD via Bicycle

2,990 miles

Jure Robic Award Winner 

(Strongest hill climber, 2750 miles into the race.)

~2nd Youngest finisher in history of race

 About Race Across America (RAAM)

              The Race Across AMerica (RAAM) is an approximately a 3,000 mile coast-to-coast bicycle race from the Western United States of America to the Eastern United States of America. My Uncle, Danny Chew, has raced in it eight times and won it twice. RAAM can also be known as the worlds longest bicycling time trial. A racer will typically ride 250-500 miles per day for 7-12 days. Unlike the Tour de France, where the riders get plenty of sleep, the clock in for RAAM never stops. The Race Across AMerica costs quite a lot of money, usually around $15,000-$20,000 and requires much sponsorship. This is due to the long length of the race (3,000 miles), the entry fee, the hiring of race officials, food supplies for the racer (riders eat about 8,000-10,000 calories a day), food for the 8 to 12 person crew, biking equipment, and much more.

         This year the race started June 15, 2011. There is a 12-day limit for biking across the entire United States, and the winners in my division typically finish in less than 10 days. The race is a true test of one’s mental toughness, heart, endurance, and dogged-determination. The RAAM is typically dominated by older men and very few cyclists under the age of 23 compete in the event.  

My RAAM Summary

Thursday, June 9th 2011 20th Birthday:

In the morning I received the new Race Across America kits arriving from Murray Wilmerding in the mail. I rode the Quintana Roo (QR) bike out and around to pick up some last minute things including an Aero-Bar Bottle/Mount for the new QR Time Trial bike at Orange Cycles in College Park and rear tail-lights from the Compass Research. I said my goodbyes to Dr. Craig Curtis and thanked him for his excellent support he has had for me with my cycling up to this point. I then stopped by Retro City Cycles to get my water bottle mounted on the QR TT bike and to pick up a new Giro Atmos helmet that I ordered last week, socks, tail-light, and water bottle. I then said bye to the Retro City Cycles crew including Jessica Kinnee, Dave Dodd, and Mason then headed home.

Dejan Lukic came over who was one of the last RAAM crew members to get his hair bleached blonde. After getting his hair bleached blonde, Dejan and I ate dinner and packed up to head to Oceanside, California tomorrow. I ended up getting to bed around 2:00am.

Friday, June 10th 2011:

            I woke around 6:10am and received a text message from Ken Laroe who would later be heading to Downtown Orlando and on the way he would drop off his bike traveling case. After getting a little more sleep Dejan and I prepared to head to the Orlando International Airport. I still awaited a package with cycling socks and various cycling equipment from Bob Porter and the Florida Masters. The package was out wandering the roads with a mail-man somewhere. The package would later leave out with crew member Donald McGhee from Ocala when he leaves to head to Oceanside a few days later. My mom drove us to the airport after stopping at the post office then Retro City Cycles. Dejan, Mom, and I then headed to Retro City Cycles where I had my new QR TT bike disassembled and put into an airplane traveling case. Dejan and mom picked up Mamma B’s subs during the bike-packing procedure.

            Dejan and I were then dropped off at Orlando International Airport and went to wait for the airplane first leaving to Philadelphia then to San Diego. There was a fee of $200 to ship the TT bike on the airplane with us. Dejan and I watched EdBassmaster videos on the plane to Philadelphia.

            The transition from Philadelphia to San Diego was smooth and we did not have to wait long. After arrival in San Diego, Uncle Danny Chew picked us up and drove us north to Oceanside, CA. Having not eaten a dinner, Danny conveniently stopped at McDonalds on the way to our hotel in Oceanside. At the McDonalds stop we saw a wide variety of teenagers. The McDonalds seemed to be a key teen hang-out spot on a Friday at 10pm. Dejan and I noticed some cute girls our age there.

            We finally made it to the Oceanside Marina Suites where Dejan and I unpacked and organized our belongings. Dejan and I ended up getting to sleep around 1:30 P.T./4:30 E.T.

Saturday, June 11th 2011 :

            I slept in to around 10am .Dejan and I ate the breakfast at the hotel including Danishes, fruit, juice, and coffee. After breakfast I assembled the QR TT bike and got some things out of the R.V. which Uncle Danny and my Dad drove out a week ago.

            Next Dejan and I did a workout routine consisting of the usual 6 sets of push-ups, 5 sets of abdominal, and a good stretch. Danny, Dejan, and I then headed to a bike shop called “Pacific Coast Cycles” to pick up Carbon brake pads and carbon grease. We then headed to Subway in which I used one of the $20 gift cards donated to my trip effort by a Missouri Subway. We then picked up a $100 amplifier and a $30 microphone each with warranty at Radio Shack. This would later be used in the follow vehicle to play music and to speak with.

            Dejan and I then drove to the Oceanside Pier. Danny left the braking/parking lock on which I accidentally did not turn off and drove the rental car with a funny feeling and sporadic screwing noise. Dejan and I laughed as the screeching noise dominated the sounds in the parking lot garage where we parked. Dejan and I walked on the Oceanside pier and watched surfers and the relaxed sunset. Dejan and I observed the interesting characters on the Oceanside Pier. We talked about how the whole beach scene differed from that in Florida I found it interesting to see all the interesting people while Dejan felt slightly uncomfortable. I talked with a 16 year old girl named Erica playing a guitar with 2 buddies on the boardwalk. I thought she played well and also liked her red highlights in her hair. She had a little hat to collect money in it in front of her. I thought back to the tramping days with Uncle Danny on our bicycling-camping trips across North America. On my journey to California and back 1 year ago with Danny I raised money for the Big Cats Rescue along the way. I thought who knows she could be a future Lady Gaga or rock star one day. Her 17 year old friend Nikki walked briefly with Dejan and I which made Dejan uncomfortable for me to talk and walk with a complete stranger. After my cross-country trips across North America, mingling and meeting complete strangers was something Uncle Danny and I came quite comfortable with. I like meeting interesting and unique people.

            Dejan and I then went on the computer back in the hotel room and made up a fake 6 foot 5 inch woman named “Angela Simpson” to get my uncle stirred up and excited. He would go on to think she was real and finally came to realize she was fake in early July when Dejan and I would leave Pittsburgh to head back to Florida after RAAM would be completely over.

            After falling asleep, the hotel box fan caused a nuisance and collapsed on the floor while Dejan and I were sleeping. Dejan woke up alarmed and then we started laughing hilariously because we tried many times to tie the damn fan down but it wanted to move. Dejan and I would later notice more things around the hotel on the verge of breaking.

Sunday, June 12th 2011:

            Woke around 7:20am and headed out on an easy 1-hour/ 20-mile+ ride on the QR down the east/west San Luis Rey Bike Path. I stopped by the Oceanside Pier before heading back to the hotel. Two Swedish guys interviewed Danny and I for their upcoming documentary called “It’s all about an ULTRACYCLING MOVIE”. Danny and my dad picked up RAAM signage books, stickers, and magnets. I then put together a to-do-list and checklist before the start of RAAM on Wednesday. Danny, Dejan and I ate lunch at the hotel. Dejan was bewildered by Danny’s behavior of squirting mayonnaise directly into his mouth and shoveling in pieces of ham and cheese instead of making a sandwich. Danny’s animal-like eating behavior is something I grew well accustomed to on our cross country trips together. Danny and I get a kick out of it while others think it may be impolite or crazy. Danny then turned the ketchup container into a beverage bottle after eating all of the ketchup out of it.

            Dejan and I then headed to the Oceanside pier/ RAAM headquarters in which we picked up Hammer Gels and Endurolytes. Dejan and I then headed to a “99 cents” store to pick up a few little supplies for the trip. We then were in search of a beach north of Oceanside and headed 15 miles north on I-5 towards Los Angeles. We headed to the San Onofre state beach. I walked around and then laid in the sand while Dejan admired the surfers. We then headed back to the hotel in where Murray Wilmerding and Joy Potter arrived and started putting stickers on the R.V. and their Subaru station wagon (follow vehicle).

            Dejan and I went to the hotel hot-tub and then showered and ate dinner. After Uncle Danny and I worked on my QR time trial Bike and my Jamis road bike and put reflective tape on them. Twenty five year old massage therapist Dani Bobbi Lee arrived after Murray Wilmerding and Joy Potter picked her up. I ended up going to bed around 12:30am.

Monday, June 13h 2011:

            Woke around 8:30am. Put together to-do-list and checklist before the start of RAAM on Wednesday. This included sending in the QR Sponsor Form, chopping down the stem on the new QR bike, a testing of John Moorhouse’s web cam, testing amplifier, speakers, microphone, updating my website, organizing the R.V., and getting photos with crew and sponsors. Time slowly started ticking away and the last minute panicking and planning really started to catch up with the crew and me. I started to organize the materials to take in the R.V. for the RAAM. I wanted to do this entire procedure well before the start of the race but since the crew and equipment was not all together until right before the race started, this was not possible.

            The “Dan Crew” (Dejan Lukic, Danny Chew, and Dani Bobbi Lee) and I headed to the Oceanside Pier for the RAAM photos. Got the photos by the RAAM photography people and then picked up more Hammer Gels and Endurolytes from the RAAM headquarters. I then got an interview with a RAAM media guy named Andy Firchaw for about 20 minutes. I then picked up a RAAM t-shirt, sticker, and bottle. I talked to the cocky Brett Walker (Sebring 24-hour RAAM winner/480 miles) who said he was going to ride the first 48 hours and then sleep 90 minutes. To me this sounds like a plan to lead to failure and complete disaster before the race is even half over. I am not sure of the circumstances but Brett Walker did indeed end up having to drop out in Colorado.

            My RAAM crew (Murray Wilmerding, Joy Potter, John Perezluha (Dad), Danny Chew (Uncle), Dejan Lukic, Dani Bobbi Lee,) and I then sat through a 1-hour+ RAAM meeting which introduced the RAAM itself and RAAM riders. We then headed back to the hotel to eat a pizza dinner. After checking e-mail, Murray and I switched cassette clusters on my Jamis/ QR wheels. I then got a nice 1-hour massage from Dani Lee and went to bed around 12am .

Tuesday, June 14th 2011:

            Woke around 8am. Donald McGhee, crew member from Ocala, FL who arrived last night, worked on the speakers and amplifier to be used on the follow vehicle during my RAAM. Danny, Dejan, and I then headed to the Pacific Coast Cycles shop in Oceanside to drop my QR Time Trial bike off to get the steer tube chopped down. We then headed to Wal-mart to pick up $400 worth of food, drinks, cosmetics, etc. Next we headed back to the hotel to organize the $400 Wal-mart purchase. Don McGhee ended up breaking something on the amplifier. Thankfully I got the warranty on it so it was taken back to Radio Shack and replaced with another one.

            In the evening the QR was picked up from the bike shop while Murray and Don McGhee worked on the speaker system for the follow vehicle and also put sponsor stickers and banners on the R.V. and follow vehicle. Murray and Joy picked up pasta, salad, bread, and dressing meal from a nearby restaurant.

            The remaining crew members, all of whom I am not familiar with, arrived including: My half sister Kristen Chernosky and her husband Matt Chernosky and Jan Beveridge. I started to feel an un-easy with the lack of time to organize the R.V. and time to organize and mingle with the crew members.

            Later in the evening, Dani Lee gave me a 1-hour massage. I was still adjusting to her touch but thought she was going to do a really good job and bring along a lot of good positive energy along with her. Afterwards Murray, Joy, Don, Dani, and I discussed the procedures and routine to be expected on the upcoming RAAM. I ended up getting to sleep around 1AM .

            With the anticipation waiting, I felt a similar feeling like I did on the day before heading to Alaska and California with Danny on my cross-country adventures.

Wednesday, June 15th 2011 : 1st Day of the Race Across America (Day 1)

*Starting at 12:34pm Pacific Time/ 3:34 Eastern Time.

*Daily Values rounded down to 12:00pm . 

*Day one’s value is from 12:00pm (6/15) Pacific time to 12:00am (6/16) pacific time.

*Total Time is the entire time for the actual day Day 1 is 12 hours. Every other day is 24-hours.

* Riding Time is the actual time on the bicycle. Excluding Sleep, shit stops, clothes changing, bike mechanicals, R.V. and follow vehicle mechanicals, crew flare-ups and arguments, massaging, showering, eating off the bike, and various other stops.

Day 1: Wednesday, June 15th, 2011  

( 12:34pm-12:34am ) *Rounded down to 12pm / 12am .

MILES: 230

Total Time: 12 hours.

Riding Time 11:15.(Estimation)

Start: Oceanside , California

End: California/Arizona Border (15 miles southwest of Parker, Arizona )

          Woke around 8:30am. The follow vehicle and R.V. were still not fully prepared and there were sponsor stickers being put on and supplies still being packing into them. I finally got everything into the R.V. that I needed and drove with some crew members to the start of the race near the Oceanside Pier.

We already made our first mistake of leaving the QR bike in the R.V. after dropping me off. I listened to music through the new Lady Gaga Heartbeat earphones upon the start of the race. With the chaos of last minute preparations and un-organization, I began to picture myself out near the Salton Sea in California with The All-American Rejects "Move Along" and Lady Gaga's music in my ears. I told myself to relax, just take all this in, enjoy it, and know that after you get out there and get 200 miles in you will feel better and more relaxed.

            At the starting line I gave Uncle Danny a big hug for this was the start of our 3rd journey together. Whatever laid down the road in front of me did not matter because I had a gut feeling in me telling me that I could count on Danny. I knew he would be behind me the whole race regardless of the little things that would drive each other nuts; I knew he would have my back from start to finish. Murray Wilmerding, a key part of this journey and ultimately a very loyal crew member, was also there beside me for the start.

            At 12:34pm I rolled off on my QR TT bike 2nd and every racer rolled off every 30-60 seconds later. I quickly caught up with the first rider Paola Aste from Italy. When riding next to him on the bike trail, I quickly found out he could not speak English and was of no use when asking him about some rules of the race. I had to call my support crew to clarify the directions and make sure of the rules of passing other riders in the first 10 miles. The start was kind of like a parade and supposedly each racer could not pass another one for the first 10 miles.

            The first 50 miles had quite a bit of traffic. I was the first to the first time station in Lake Henshaw, CA. I did not like the fact that the support vehicle had to “leap frog” all the way to Eastern Colorado except for night riding. After about 65 miles I stopped for a few adjustments/ snack and the eventual winner Christoph Strasser passed me. Shortly after I caught up to him, passed him, then he passed me going down the long descent called the “Glass Elevator”. The Glass Elevator descent was pretty awesome and epic. With strong winds around 25-30mph I felt a little shaky going down the descent. Murray Wilmerding and I planned to have ice packs underneath my cycling jersey during the hot desert sections the first couple days of the race. This worked but sometimes the icepacks fell out and became a nuisance.

            The temperature peaked at around 107 degrees in the desert of California but did not bother me too much. The night-time then arrived and I got the music playing on the speakers. I was not too happy with the poor quality of the sound of the speakers. If there was wind blowing and the follow vehicle was not within a few feet behind me, I could not hear the music too well. I told myself to make the best of it and know that it is the best my crew and I could do with the limited time frame and budget. I passed quite a few riders that snuck past me while I was stopped earlier. It was kind of fun riding through the rolling desert passing people with the Lady Gaga music playing loud on the speakers. My buddy Dejan played the role of the DJ and also mixed up bottles and handed out food for most of the night riding. I rode 230 miles the first 12 hours and ended up stopping around 3am . I rode 274 miles in the first 14.5-15 hours. While the majority of the riders rode through the entire night, I had my own plan and wanted to get on a schedule of starting around 6am and ending around 12am, 18 hours later.

            The stopping, shower, massage, sleep, ointment, and eating procedure took around 4 hours with about 2.5 hours of sleep. I crossed into Arizona and also the Mountain Time Zone before stopping for the day.

Day 2: Thursday, June 16th, 2011  

MILES: 230

Total Time: 24 hours.

Riding Time: 15 hours.

Start: California/Arizona Border (15 miles southwest of Parker, Arizona )

End: Cottonwood, Arizona

Woke around 7:15am Mountain Time. Started riding around 8am. The wake-up procedure consisted of showering to wake up and clean up, especially the crotch area to get healing/ diaper rash ointment off; Sunscreen, As-Master on crotch area, Neo-Sporin/ First-Aid Ointment if necessary; little meal/ smoothie; getting dressed.

 I started to feel knee pain toward the end of the first day and during the start of today. I started out with new Shimano Pedals and new cycling shoes which was probably a bad idea. The idea of having brand new equipment to start the race because it will take longer to wear out works good for equipment like chains, brake pads, tires, helmet, clothing, and other things. When it comes to the actual bike frame, shoes, and pedals, however, these items should definitely be well broken in before the start of a race like RAAM. With limited time to prepare, I did not really have a choice and needed more than one bike and pedals in case of bike mechanicals. I began to worry of how long the knee pain would last. The pain came only in the right knee. Before leaving on the trip I was worried about a possible hernia/ groin problems in the right leg which made me worry.

 My diet was all over the place for the first 5 days. I was probably overloading my system with SPIZ, Outlast Energy, snacks, and vitamins. I had a lot of shit stops for the first few days. The advantage to this is that I re-apply As-master/ ointments I did not deal with much saddle sore for most of the race. I also used a seat pad on both my QR and Jamis bike.

I took a 1-1.5 hour nap in the heat of the after noon at the Salome, AZ time station. This was the first and only time I did this and after this point I only slept at night.

The mountain climbs picked up near Congress, AZ. Here I switched to the Jamis bike with no aero bars. I felt great while climbing and slowly began to find out (despite being from Florida ) I am quite a good mountain climber. The route from Congress, AZ to Prescott, AZ intersected Danny and my California trip route. Big Checkpoint!!! This was the first familiar territory of the race. Danny and I did these mountain climbs with Bob-trailers a year ago.

 I went down to sleep in Cottonwood, AZ. With the knee pain and discomfort I got 4 hours of sleep and got a great massage by Dani Lee before going to sleep. The whole stop/sleep procedure took 6-6.5 hours.

 While sleeping I woke up full of sweat and in a fury to find the air-conditioner off and the fans off. My dad had accidentally turned the generator off which was very careless. The sleep time is very essential and I can not be losing liquids while sleeping. Most riders have I.V. fluid injected in their bodies to boost recovery and fluid intake. I told myself not to let this get to you, there will be mistakes made which my crew and I shall learn from.

 My placing slowly dropped but I told myself in the back of my mind; Keep doing your thing; you are a strong rider, not a weak one, get your recovery and you will kick some ass towards the 2nd half of the race. Be smart, treat your body well, and do not irritate your knee too much. Have Patience! Ended up getting to sleep around 3:30am MT.

Day 3: Friday, June 17th, 2011

MILES: 264

Total Time: 24 hours.

Riding Time: 16.5 hours.

Start: Cottonwood , Arizona

End: Mexican Hat, Utah

          Woke around 7:30am MT. Started riding around 8:45am MT. Started off on the Jamis with Aero bars. My knee was still irritating as I started climbing up to Flagstaff, AZ up to about 7,000 feet. After Flagstaff the tailwind picked up which was damn nice for the rest of the day. U.S. 89 was a nice fast-moving road with big sky views of the beautiful open land of Arizona. I remember riding through south-western Arizona with Danny and going through the Native-American Reservations. Contrary to many thinking of Arizona as a flat and boring desert state, I really like Arizona with its big-sky views, epic mountain climbs, great wide open range-land, and Indian Reservations.

            The crew and I took a stop in Tuba City, AZ. Cleaned up, switched clothes, ate a snack, got a little knee massage. Dejan and I noticed some fat pudgy Native-American girls in boys’ clothes which brought about some giggles. Kept rolling along.

            I kept motoring along and finally we made it to Utah around 11:30pm MT. At the Utah state line crew member Donald McGhee stepped in a fresh pile of shit while trying to adjust speakers in the follow vehicle. Hilarious scene. To block the view of oncoming traffic, the doors to the follow vehicle would open up and act as a blockade from people seeing. The crew learned quickly that this area turned into a designated shit area and were not to walk in it. If one forgot, this area turned into a booby trap and in this case Don McGhee was the victim to the booby trap.

            Shortly after this my BikeRay headlight battery pack died and Danny and the crew in the follow vehicle panicked and took a good 15 minutes to find a headlight that worked. Dejan and I organized the box of BikeRay lights before leaving and after just 3 days they already got mixed all around! I became irritated with the lack of organization that started to arise. I ended in Mexican Hat, UT. The total stop procedure was about 5.5-6 hours but only 3.5 hours of raw sleep. Ended up getting to Sleep around 2:45am MT.

Day 4: Saturday, June 18th, 2011

MILES: 236

Total Time: 24 hours.

Riding Time: 16 hours.

Start: Mexican Hat, Utah

End: South Fork, Colorado

            Woke around 6:15am MT. Started out in the beautiful Ute Mountain Reservation and took a good 1.5 hours to warm-up. I began listening to headphones right from the start and started most of the days with music from Into the Wild along with other relaxing music similar to that. Usually after 1-1.5 hours I would stop for a shit, down a coffee drink and banana, and a few other little things. I passed quite a few riders all the way to Durango , CO which was the first time cut-off. Danny got me a 15-minute penalty (for failing to call into RAAM headquarters every 6 hours) which really did not do anything because I had a 30+ minutes stop in Durango for a Subway sandwich. We used the gift card gratefully donated by the San Diego Subway district. Crew members Kristen and Matt Chernosky drove in the follow vehicle for most of the day.

            We finally made it to the base of the climb up to Wolf-Creek Summit. Two riders that I passed on the way to the base passed me while I was stopped. I stopped to remove the aero bars off my Jamis bike. I easily passed the two riders that passed me on the climb up to the 10,800 feet summit (also the Continental Divide and highest point on route). I also passed 2 additional riders on the way up which means I passed 4 riders on the 8-mile climb up to the Wolf-Creek Summit. We hit the summit around 11:00pm and it was pretty chilly. I immediately changed into dry and warm clothes and drank some hot cocoa. We descended down the summit and stopped in South Fork, CO (the highest {over 8,000 feet} time station on the route).

            Problems with the R.V. started to arise including the side R.V. door breaking making people have to climb in through the front two seats. I got another great massage by Dani Lee before sleeping in the R.V. Ended up getting to sleep around 1:45am MT. Since the RV only had room for 5 people to sleep in it, Uncle Danny & Dejan slept outside on the ground in sleeping bags. 

 Day 5: Sunday, June 19th, 2011

MILES: 332

Total Time: 24-hours.

Riding Time: 16.5-hours.

Start: South Fork, Colorado

End: Manter, Kansas

          Woke around 5:30am MT. Started riding around 6:10am and took a while to warm-up. Started off around 37 degrees and warmed up to 55 degrees in about 2 hours in which I stripped down clothes. Competitor Brett Walker had to drop out of the race for some unknown reason. I feel bad for the guy but could not help from bursting into hilarious laughter. Little things like that helped lift my spirits as the race went on. It was Brett Walker that celebrated as I was stopped off the bike for over 75 minutes during the 2nd half of the Sebring 24-hour race due to digestive problems. I was by far faster than any other rider while I was riding. Take out the stop times and I would have won by far.

            Riding on U.S. 160 was quite nice although traffic picked up at times but overall it was damn nice. There was a nice tailwind most of the day. I hit 50 mph twice on the descents on U.S. 160. Colorado S.R. 12 was nice and we climbed over Cuchara Pass on it. The R.V. crew stopped to swim at North Lake, but the wind blew their on-shore towels into the filthy water so they ended up getting showers at Monument Lake Resort just down the road.  Descending out of the Rocky Mountains , I rode past the spot where Bob Breedlove was killed in the 2005 RAAM before riding through Trinidad, CO where Kristen & Matt left the crew (as previously planned). This meant the crew dropped from 10 to 8 people. 

          I rode neck and neck with rider #419 (Nicholas Rice McDonald from this point all the way to Missouri where I finally got far out of reach). He would pass me as I slept and I would pass him while I was riding. After Trinidad, CO it started to flatten out and the tail-wind picked up. I switched to the QR bike. My knee started to bother me a little bit.

           Just before the nightfall hit, while getting the music to play through laptop computers instead of my PSP or Walkman, Donny McGhee cut wires to 2 of the 4 speakers which made me furious! The poor quality of the speakers and the boring long stretch of prairie land through the nighttime started to get to me. I ordered the crew to shoot off fireworks that I had packed in the R.V. My dad was hesitant and then finally agreed to shoot them off. Follow vehicle driver Murray Wilmerding became furious at the idea (Eastern CO is very dry and RAAM headquarters warned riders about fires already going on in the state) and drove his mother’s Subaru (the follow vehicle) towards crew members standing outside the R.V. before slamming on the brakes just before hitting them, and caused a big brouhaha. People on the crew then began to argue and we almost had a breakdown. Murray Wilmerding had some bad past experiences with fireworks and lawsuits.

            At that point I had to dig deep and say forget the fireworks to appease the crew. I told myself, hey you just ride, forget about lights, forget about fireworks, just RIDE! The crew has got you covered. I was getting quite irritated with the lack of motivation and organization the crew was provided. Most of the time the R.V. would drive too far ahead and people would not even get to cheer or anything.  The R.V. simply would park and the majority of the crew members would be sleeping. It took a good hour to get into my zone and finally I thought about what a stupid excuse it would be to tell people my crew broke down and quit because I demanded fireworks. I reminded myself how boring and uncomfortable it must be to be a crew member and to be glad their supporting you. Just pedal and look forward to that Kansas State Line. After the fireworks fiasco, more R.V. crew members did start getting out of the R.V. and loudly cheering me on.  Later they would make signs and cover their bodies (some of which appeared naked) with them to encourage me. 

          I took a quick stop and put on my Lady Gaga headphones which completely block out outside noises and sound incredible. I finally got into a rhythm and apologized for nuisance that was caused earlier. I then pondered back to my Alaska trip and thought about the long almost 2 week stretch Danny and I had through Colorado and Kansas. I told myself how easy I got it with tailwind, warm weather, and crew behind you. On the Alaska trip it was 35 degree rain with cross/ headwind and no support.

            The only other stop between the crew brouhaha and the Kansas line was to switch a battery pouch for a headlight. I was quite relaxed at this point. Unfortunately the follow vehicle driver Jan drove the car right into a big pile of FIRE ANTS. Danny and Dejan went to get my light battery pouches out and stepped in fire-ants then dropped the box of lights in the fire ants. I said my common line to Danny “You’ve got to be fucking kidding me”. LOL. Danny then did a fire-ant dance in the middle of the rural eastern Colorado countryside in attempt to shake the fire-ants off him and the battery pouches; Quite the scene.

            I finally got moving along again and cranked up the Lady Gaga Born This Way folder. I flew into Kansas and then started to cool down and ended in Manter, Kansas. We crossed into the Central Time Zone after crossing into Kansas. I ended up getting to sleep around 2:15a.m. MT/ 3:15a.m. CT.

Although he didn’t get much sleep while Steven was sleeping, mechanic Jan had luck on our first night in Kansas – he used the inside of a tiny post office to get out of the wind to clean and check over both of my bikes. Jan had the amazing ability to sleep in the moving R.V. (even getting bounced around in Steven’s bed at the very back of the R.V.) during the day so that he would be rested up for his night time driving and mechanic duties.   

                                                                                 Day 6: Monday June 20th, 2011

Miles: 323

Total Time: 24-hours.

Riding Time: 16.25.

Start: Manter, Kansas

End: Eureka, Kansas

          Woke around 7:15am . Started around 8:15am CT. I started out somewhat slow and Danny told me that the strong tailwind from yesterday had changed to a cross-wind. So here I had it in my mind that I would be battling a cross-wind all day. Little did I know what would happen after the first hour into the ride. After warming up for about 1+hour which is usually the worst hour of the day, we turned and started to head due east on U.S. 160 in Johnson City, KS.

            Kansas is typically a very boring state to ride through but what happened next made Kansas one of the most exciting and exhilarating states of the race. The wind slowly started to pick up from the west and people driving in the opposite direction started screaming at me. A driver in a truck passed from behind and screamed “Hail Storm!” “Hail Storm!” I turned my head around and said “Holly Shit”. There was a gigantic storm in the distance that looked dark and nasty. I picked the pace up from 25 to 40-48mph. I was spinning so fast that I ran out of gears. I could have used a 68x53 gear. I was flying! I started to lay the GaGa down and just kept on riding. I waved my hand from behind signaling for my support car to stay as close as possible. 30 minutes later the rain started to pick up. Thankfully I dodged the hail which could have been a nuisance.

            I ended up riding the first 100 miles in 3 Hours and 42 minutes, including the slow first hour/ warm-up hour of only 13.5 hours. I estimate that from miles 15-115 the time was about 3 hours and 25 minutes. A near 30mph average for 100 straight miles! Danny got me out of my rhythm by turning me down a wrong road briefly. We got moving along again and before I knew it we were half way across the state. I did stop in Ford Kansas to shit, change clothes, drivers in the follow vehicle, etc. I had a rear flat tire heading east on U.S. 54. The next stop was in Pratt, Kansas where I got a slushy and burrito from Taco Bell. After 200 miles with an exhilarating tailwind, this really hit the spot.

Pratt was where I intersected the return route of my Alaska trip with Danny in 2009. One of RAAM’s biggest fans, Steve Strecker used to own a McDonald’s in Pratt where he offered as much free food to any person associated with RAAM!  His McDonald’s became a time station, but when he sold his McDonald’s, RAAM lost one of its biggest sponsors –Steve Strecker. Although Danny & I stayed with him on our Alaska trip, Steve was out playing golf, and was unable to catch up to me or my crew. 

          The tailwind remained and the road turned divided which I really like. It was amazing. I ended up setting my new 100-mile record of 3 Hours 25-30 minutes and tying my 12 hour record of 260 miles. In Maize, Kansas there was a detour. I had to get driven 5 miles and then started up again. The whole stop and detour dilemma was about 1-hour. I finally got started again and rode into the night. One of the BikeRay lights stopped working and I got angry and threw it. We then switched BikeRay lights/ battery pouches. My knee started to hurt again about 2 hours from ending. I sat down a little, drank a coffee drink, took an Ibuprofen, and was moving along again. I blew past a rider and ended up finishing in Eureka, Kansas. It was a great day and I probably passed about 8+ riders throughout the day.

            The R.V. generator stopped working throughout the day. This along with the door being broken and things started to get unorganized and thrown about left the crew in disarray. I had a great day of riding and was not about to take a paper towel bath (like on my Bob Trailer trips with Danny) and sleep with out air-conditioner in the R.V. I insisted to go to the closest motel. We had to drive ½ mile back to the Blue Stem Lodge Motel in Eureka, KS.  Murray and Joy got the motel while Danny attempted to organize the crew. Meanwhile Danny ate about 10 oranges and yogurt for dinner. People started to have raving tempers including my Dad and Jan Beveridge who had the worst tempers on the entire crew. I am glad I had Dani Lee there to calm stuff down. She was the most relaxing person to be round when the crew started to flare up. I was also glad to have Dejan there for he has witnessed times when my family gets into fights and has raving tempers. We decided that Dejan, Dani Lee, and I would share a room. Dejan and Dani Lee would sleep in the same bed together.

            After showering and getting a massage by Dani Lee, Uncle Danny came flying into the room and says “I gotta blow, I gotta blow!” I know my Uncle, when he says he’s gotta blow and is running about, he’s about to explode. Dejan was finishing up in the shower/ toilet area and before Danny could land on the toilet seat, he exploded on the hotel floor and attempted to make it into the trash can on the way. Dejan, Dani, and I were irritated but also amused. “Are you fucking kiding me?” I asked Danny. Danny’s shit stench made it hard for the poor Dani Lee to give her massage in peace. Dejan being in the room for the massage was enough and then throwing Danny in the room shitting on the floor just made things worse! Danny and I look back in hilarious laughter on the situation.

            I was making good time and was not about to let this R.V. bullshit and Danny’s shit incident slow me down. I stopped riding around 12:15am but finally got to bed around 1:45am. While sleeping the crew cleaned both of my bikes extra well due to the heavy rain storm early in the day. The crew continued using Dumonde Tech Chain Lube which worked very well throughout the entire RAAM. It is not super thick so it dose not attract a lot of dirt and it also smells good.

Day 7: Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

MILES: 263

Total Time: 24 hours.

Riding Time: 15.5 hours.

Start: Eureka, Kansas

End: Jefferson City, Missouri

            Woke around 5:30am. Dani Lee was the best person in aid of the wake-up procedure. She helped the getting-ready process by applying sun-screen and lubrication/As-master. Got moving around 6:15am and passed a rider (#410 Donncha Cuttriss) shortly into the ride. I then had a flat tire and then passed #410 again, while passing him I gave him some words of wisdom, telling him “Don’t you quit until the finish! We’re in this together! Keep Moving Along!” We finally closed in on exiting Kansas and took a stop in Fort Scott just before doing so.

            The crew is continuing to get sleep-deprived and irritated with one another. We got into Missouri and Dejan started talking over the speaker for encouragement. I was determined to make it to the capital city of Jefferson City but not past it, but my crew wanted me to make it about 50 miles beyond JC so they booked two rooms at a motel in Hermann. When my father heard I was only able to make it to Jefferson City, he got raving about losing the reservation $, but luckily my mother was able to get it back. 

          About 5 miles from ending on my Jamis bike, I accidentally jammed the chain into the spokes of my Reynolds wheel.  It was so bad the crew couldn’t get the chain out, so I hopped onto my QR for the final few miles into JC. Just like the past nights I told the R.V. to go ahead to the motel/ ending spot to prepare dinner, post riding procedures. Still when I finished riding the stuff was not ready. This is something that should have been planned and discussed to save time. The average ending stop time was around 6.25+ hours. Roughly 3.75-4 hours of sleep. This whole stop time could have had 1-hour shaved enough and kept the 3.75-4 hours of sleep had things had been more organized and planned out. At this point I tried to stop hassling the crew for they knew what should be expected of them at this point. I reminded myself that this stop time and recovery will only make me stronger on the bike. I told myself “You’re doing awesome, just keep hammering away, get your rest, and finish strong!”

            I ended the ride around 10:30pm , ended up falling to sleep around 12:00am. Ate at taco bell meal and got another awesome massage from Dani Lee. She also began “tucking me in” which made the transition from massage to sleep more smooth.  After this the crew created a nickname for me called “Baby Gaga”. 

Day 8: Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

MILES: 318

Total Time: 24 hours.

Riding Time: 17 hours.

Start: Jefferson City, Missouri

End: Sullivan, Illinois

            Woke around 4:00am and ended up starting at 5:07am. I started out riding on the Jamis with aero-bars for the first 35 miles. Had the crew remove the aero-bars for the consistently hilly section from 35-125 miles. I felt pretty good in the hilly section and continued to pass people throughout the day. Most of the riders I passed were not looking good and quite weak. I believe it was due to fatigue, lack of intensity training, and lack of sleep.

            Approaching the Mississippi River Danny got us lost and we also had to get detoured and had a car-shuttle section. During the whole detour-getting lost brouhaha, tempers started to flare between the two females on the crew- Dani Lee and Joy Potter. I told the follow vehicle to tell the R.V. to go pick up Subway and have it ready at the detour. We would then cross in to the EASTERN TIME ZONE .

            I cleaned up in the gas-station restroom and then got a quick interview from the RAAM media crew. I thanked my sponsors, talked about the race, and got some pictures. I then got shuttled in the R.V. north. The whole shuttling procedure was about 1.25 hours. During the R.V. ride I got a lackadaisical massage from Dani Lee. I asked her what was wrong and she said she was ready to leave. She thought deeply about leaving and abandoning us. I could not blame her; Being trapped in a broken R.V. with disorganization, raving tempers, negative energy, and unfamiliar people. I strongly convinced her to stay and told her what a great job she was doing. I like her positive energy, her great massages, and her unique character. She was one of the things I looked forward to at the end of the day.

            Upon leaving I had come to the conclusion that Dani Lee was going to leave and said fuck it, do not stress, keep moving along, other people can do massages, she is not that special. Keep doing your thing. It is not like she has magic powers and other people on the crew can not do what she’s doing. I said goodbye to her in what I thought was the last I would see of her.

            The tailwind was strong and I flew past a 4 and 8 person team and then a solo guy. I was furious. I kept telling myself: “Do not let the crew drama and bull-shit get to you, all you gotta do is stay strong and MOVE ALONG!” That is exactly what I did. I then listened to my favorite song “Move Along” by the All-American Rejects for 2 straight hours. “Move Along” is the one song I can listen to over and over and never get sick of. I then took a quick shit stop and switched helmets. After believing that Dani Lee was gone, I told Danny, Dejan, and Murray “Hey it doesn’t matter if she or Jan Beveridge leaves, why because I still got you guys and my Lady Gaga”. My music will always be with me in my ears and mind when everything else is going wrong; Especially Lady Gaga and Move Along. I also had a gut feeling I could trust and count on Dejan, Murray, and Danny to be behind me and not quit when the other crew members start to fail. I did not know Dani Lee too well and question the loyalty and sincerity that exists inside her. If a crew member were to quite it would indeed be one of the wild-card crew members: Dani Lee, Jan Beveridge, or Donny McGhee.

            The crew informed me of the media crew person Ernie Holly wanted to ride along in the follow vehicle and do some interviewing. So Holly popped into the follow vehicle (squeezing out poor Dejan in the rear seat) and filmed and recorded audio of my crew and me. I felt on my guard and had to control my pissing whenever I felt like it. I thanked my sponsors, did some stretches, and talked a little about the race as I rode with Holly.  He was very impressed with my elaborate on-the-bike stretching routine, assured the crew it would most likely make it into the final hour of finished movie, and finally got out of the follow vehicle at the time station in Effingham, Illinois.

          At the next stop in Effingham, Dani Lee had still not left which actually made me happy because I felt bad for her due to all the shit from the crew that she has had to deal with. She also had to deal with Danny and my demands and silliness at times. She was doing a rock-solid job and I hugged her and gave her a little kiss on the cheek and told her I was glad that she had second thoughts. I ate a can of cold soup (one of many items Danny picked up at Aldi’s before the RAAM started to keep from having to pay ridiculously high prices at convenience stores in tiny little towns along the route), got a knee massage, put the lights on the bike and then finally got moving along again. In the follow vehicle was Jan, Dani Lee, and Dejan. Dejan convinced Dani Lee to stay.

            I then had to deal with a long section of rough road for a good 10-15 miles. I got excited when we finally passed into Indiana. Just after this the damn follow vehicle got a flat tire which wasted a good ½ hour of time. We finally made it to Sullivan, Indiana in which we spent the night. Ended at 1:07am and got to sleep around 2:30am ET . 

At the time station in Sullivan, Uncle Danny (in the R.V. crew) stood outside the entrance to the Days Inn Motel so that the follow vehicle & I knew where to go in the middle of the night.  After the stop in Effingham I accidentally left my aero helmet at the time station in Effingham. A 4-person team picked it up and dropped it off at our motel while we were sleeping.  Although some crew members criticized Danny for not getting out of the follow vehicle every time I stopped (he was fearful of getting sunburned), he did call my arrival time into headquarters at all 55 time stations, and kept my mileage splits every 12 hours on his “yellow sheet” much the same way he had crew members do for him on all 8 of his RAAM’s.  Also, in the follow vehicle the most, he took good notes of stuff happening in the route book. 

Day 9: Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

MILES: 288

Total Time: 24 Hours.

Riding Time: 17 Hours.

Start: Sullivan, Illinois

End: Chillicothe, Ohio

            Woke around 6:00am ET and started riding around 6:37am. Got moving along quite nicely throughout Indiana and felt better after the normal 1-1.5 warm-up hour and shit stop. I then began passing more riders throughout the day. I passed rider #406 with the huge “Rock Star” tour bus for his R.V. I finally was able to talk with him and found out his name: Thomas Lavalle from the Sebring 24-hour race. His team name is “The Children of the Fallen Patriots”. He also has some attractive young girls on his crew which my buddy Dejan has told me about a few times. After passing him I rode with an 8-person team and went through each of their 3 riders they had out at the current time.

            Not only did riding with the 8-person team help to bring me to life and wake me up, but it made me feel better to know that other riders, even team riders, had problems of their own including crew disarray and chaos. It was nice to know that I am not only and there are other riders out there dealing with similar and even worse problems than my own.

            While motoring along the follow vehicle got a flat. I was wondering what the hell was happening so I had another team call my crew to find out what was going on. Jan Beveridge turned into a raving lunatic and got into a fight with my bro Dejan. Jan ordered me to pull over which I refused to do for I was motoring along and felt good.

            A good buddy of Uncle Danny’s named Ty Provosty of Cincinnati showed up in Ohio on a motorcycle and helped support me for a few hours. This really made my day. He was nice and full of positive energy. He also comes from a cycling background and is used to driving a motorbike at road races. Ty and I ended up getting ahead and avoided getting lost after stopping at a gas-station about 15 miles from Blanchester, Ohio. Ty bought me energy drinks, chocolate, and other snacks at the gas-station which also really lifted up my spirit. Ty continued to follow me to Blanchester.          

          Arriving in Blanchester, Ohio was quite the scene. Things started out smoothly with time station people and RAAM Media taking pictures and cheering me on. I was feeling mighty fine. Nice wind, body feeling fresh and not too bloated or full feeling. I was in a good rhythm. I had my lights put on, got a little knee massage, drank an energy drink and started rolling out with the RAAM media congratulating me. ½ mile later my raving dad and other lunatics on the crew followed me to tell me the follow vehicle would not start. I painfully got driven back to the time station while the follow vehicle was getting fixed.

            During the chaos I did not get a relaxing chance to meet a very generous and kind-hearted lady named Amy McFaddin who was at the time station and wanted to help me in any way she could. Amy was a stranger with a kind heart who said she was willing to follow me all the way to Annapolis if my crew failed me. I apologize to the RAAM media and supporters that had to deal with the lunatic and animal like behavior my crew had at this time station. Ty and Amy really made my day.  Danny called RAAM headquarters, and while they were willing to let the R.V. follow Steven at night, they were not willing to let Amy because her vehicle hadn’t been inspected (for safety reasons) by RAAM officials before the race. 

          I told Ty I really wanted him to stay to the finish. He would have if he had planned it out better. Regardless, his few hours really made my day. While Ty was following close by on his motor-bike, Jan Beveridge had ass-hole like behavior and drove closely next to Ty almost threatening him by pushing him off of the road. If it was up to me I would have dumped Jan off and had Ty replace him right there. Ty seems much more loyal and would have been behind me more during my Race.

            Meanwhile, Dejan and Jan got into brouhaha in the follow vehicle. After Ty left, I had to painfully thank Jan for being on the crew and the support he was having. I always told myself, I would take someone that doesn’t get a whole lot done over someone with a raving-lunatic temper.  Unfortunately two of my hardest working crew members (my father who drove the R.V. the entire RAAM route and night diver & while I was sleeping mechanic Jan) also had the worst tempers. 

          We finally made it to Chillicothe, Ohio where we stayed at the America’s Best Value Inn. Ended riding around 12:50am. Got to sleep around 2:00am.

Day 10: Friday, June 24th, 2011

MILES: 260

Total Time: 24 Hours.

Riding Time: 16.5.

Start: Chillicothe, Ohio

End: Keyser, West Virginia

            Woke around 5:55am . Left around 6:50am . The day started out smoothly but Uncle Danny continued to miss turns which aggravated me. I started the day out on the Jamis and had the first major stop in Athens, Ohio. Shit, ointment re-application, knee massage. Donny McGhee, Danny, and Dani then were in the Follow Vehicle. Uncle Danny drove the follow vehicle for the first time. I switched to the QR bike 5 miles after the stop and it also began raining.

            I began listening to Jon Lajoie over the loud speakers for amusement. I enjoyed riding on U.S. 50/ S.R. 31 on the road into West Virginia. I then switched back over to the Jamis where the hills started to pick up. I really enjoyed the divided highway and hilly parts of West Virginia. I rode past a 60 year old cyclist named Steven Shia who was riding to Washington D.C. with some support.

            At my stop at the time station in Ellenboro, WV I took a shower with a hose outside a gas-station with Energy Shampoo and Conditioner. I also ate a chicken salad wrap at this stop. Shortly after the stop I felt drowsy and sleepy. This did not last long after I drank a red-bull and a 4-person team caught up to me. I stopped for a piss then caught up to the 4-person team. I rode with each of the 4 riders and then pulled away from them. I continued to feel strong throughout the mountain climbs.

            The 3rd and final crossing of my Bob Trailer trips with Uncle Danny occurred as I was riding East on US Rt. 50 through the tiny town of Fellowsville, WV.  I had ridden through there heading North on WV Rt. 92 on my ride from Florida to Pittsburgh in 2009 before picking up Danny on our Alaska Trip. 

          I passed rider #392 again and then had to make my own stop and say bye to the 4-person team. I quickly caught back up to rider #392 (Rainer Kiworra). I passed him and then passed #406 (Thomas Lavalle). I felt strong all the way until the final hour where I got a little chilly and dressed a little too warm and cozy for the final descent down to Keyser, WV

            I ended riding around 1:06am and got to sleep around 2:15am in the Microtel Inn in Keyser, West Virginia. The Time Station was at a nearby Wal-Mart. It was a good thing Danny was there at the entrance because the hotel sat up on a hill far away from the Wal-Mart. Dejan jumped out of the follow vehicle, and walked about a half a mile up the hill to the hotel with Danny. The 8 person Team member named Andreas Niedrig (who Danny had met & ridden with at the start in Oceanside) was just checking out of the hotel, so he gave us his crew’s two rooms. This meant that everybody on the crew (for the first time since the start) would have a bed – even Jan after he finished working most of the night away on my bikes. 

Final Day: Saturday, June 25th, 2011

MILES: 246

Total Time: 20 Hours.

Riding Time: 13.0 Hours.

Start: Keyser, West Virginia

End: Annapolis, Maryland

            Woke around 6:00am . Left on the Jamis around 7:15am . Excited and ready to rock n’ roll the last day and win the “Jure Robic Award”. I started the day as usual with my normal easy 1-1.5 warm-up hour. I took a couple stops to lighten up some bowels and prepared to dominate the “Jure Robic Award”. The “Jure Robic Award” was given to the fastest rider from Time Station 48 to 49 ( Cumberland , MD to Hancock , MD ). This 37 mile section has the most feet of climbing per mile between any two time stations on the route.  Also, most riders are extremely exhausted from severe sleep deprivation so close to the end of the race and sometimes barely make it through this section.

            I passed through the Time Station in Cumberland and got ready to lay the GaGa down to win the “Jure Robic Award”. A professional racer named Christopher Gottwald who ended up getting 6th place, rode the 37-mile section in 2 hours and 8 minutes/ average speed 17.7. I knew I could beat this. I measured my splits for 9.25 miles, 18.5 miles, 27.75 miles, and then 37 miles. The first split was an average of 17.5mph, then 18.0, then 18.3, then 18.5. O YA!

            We confirmed the winning time and then rolled through Hancock, MD where I had my crew pick up Subway from the Hancock Subway. With the help of Tony Bonetti and Nikki Rauser, the Hancock Subway and owner Mr. Labib agreed to feed my crew and I for free. I did not want to bloat up so I kept moving and took a mini-stop and drank a smoothie drink after entering into Pennsylvania. I rode shirtless for a little while then put a top back on shortly after. I then switched to the Time Trial bike and motored along to Rouserville, PA. There I saw my mom for the first time since leaving Orlando back on June 11th; only 2 weeks but almost 3,000 miles later. Pennsylvania seemed to drag on and on. After a stop for chocolate and energy drinks and riding with the 4-person women’s team, I finally got out of a sleepy period and into my rhythm.

            I got the hell out of Pennsylvania and was closing in on Mt. Airy. I told my crews to plan it out to have the Subway employees meet me on the road for some pictures but somehow they did not manage to make this happen. I took my final big stop about 20+ miles outside of Mt. Airy to put lights on, change clothes, etc.
          The crew for the final 6 hours was Dani Lee, Danny Chew, and Dejan. AKA the DAN CREW!!!  I stopped again briefly in Mt.
Airy in where the crew was in some kind of unknown disarray and I wanted to keep moving. Dani Lee continued driving. I lost a little focus for a good 1.5 hours after Mt. Airy. The part from Mt. Airy to Odenton, MD seemed to drag on forever. My Mom, Grandma, Joy and Murray in the Chew’s car lifted up my spirits after handing out a milkshake drink to me.

            I continued to play the music through my GaGa earphones and mile by mile got closer to the finish. About 30 miles out I started to see lights and more civilization. I thought back to my memories on my cross-country trips with Danny and how exciting it felt to be riding for miles and miles in the country and to finally see a town with lights in the distance representing the ending destination for the day. I started to feel relief and a high feeling take over. At last the final hour is on its way!!! We passed the final time station in Odenton, MD and I felt on like I was on Top of the World. I picked up the pace to about 25mph. With about 1-hour out we had to take a quick stop to replace the battery pack and get some chewing gum. I drank about 5 red bull shots the last 2 hours. I did not care anymore at this point. This 3,000 mile race was almost over!!!!          

“Move Along, Move Along like I know you do... And even when your hope is gone Move Along Move Along just to make it through”

            “Ooo there ain't no other way Baby I was born this way. Born this Way!”

Baby loves to dance in the dark ‘Cuz when he’s lookin’ She falls apart, Baby loves to dance in the dark”

Never Say Never, 2009 Tour De France , Move Along, Heavy Metal Lover, Hair, Just Dance, Dance in the Dark, Born This Way, Poker Face, ScheiBe, Heart of a Champion. All of my favorite songs closed up my final hour of the race!

Sunday June 26, 2011 ; after midnight :

          I first ended about 6 miles from the official finish and then rode along with a 4-person woman’s team for the final 6 miles. I rolled through the finish line and got a bunch of pictures. Random people I have never met congratulated me. I hugged Danny and went up on the finishing stage to say a quick thanks to my sponsors. I felt pretty good. My body was a little physically out of it but it was not that bad. I then devoured a subway sub and got a few more pictures. I met Dani Lee’s father Jeremy and boyfriend Dave.

          After leaving I ended up driving with Dani Lee’s father to the Double Tree Hotel in Annapolis, MD. At last I could go to sleep and not stress about waking up early. I showered and then got a brief massage by Dani Lee. I went to sleep peacefully and Dejan and Uncle Danny slept together.

Post RAAM Summary

       The finishing hours was some of the most remarkable feelings of any race in my entire life. All of the struggles fights amongst the crew, disorganization, countless hours of farmland, euphoric times, boring times; everything seemed to come together and the bad feelings seemed to start to fizzle out. I kept telling myself during the times my crew and I got in flare ups and were on the edge of breaking down mentally: "Just relax, and know that once it’s all said and done, all of this chaos and adversity will make the finish that much more enjoyable". Once RAAM was finally complete, this was definitely true. Murray Wilmerding told me when our crew was on the verge of breaking down: "remember Steven, you came here with a purpose". The purpose being to conquer my first RAAM and have a remarkable experience along the way. While the finish of my RAAM was euphoric and gratifying, I was not too thrilled about following a RAAM official vehicle to the finish from 6 miles out. Just like at the 24-hour race in Sebring the overall crowds cheering and supporting during RAAM and even at the finish line was pretty small compared a Road Race, Criterium, or even Time Trial. At the time I was a little bummed that it was not that spectacular of a finish. I look back and remind myself of why people really race across America. It is not to get their name on in the spotlight of Hollywood, nor is it to gain world-wide attention, ultimately it is for self-satisfaction, and to have conquered something that very few people on the planet can every say they have accomplished.

          I got up on the RAAM stage and said a few words thanking all of my sponsors. I could not have entered RAAM if it had not been for my sponsors. I then spoke to the same media guy who interviewed me at the beginning of the race. I gave him some words of my wisdom and told him how I like to be different and how RAAM was one of my goals since high school. Cycling to Alaska was my dream and I did not want to do want thousands of other high school students do by going right into college after high school. College can wait a half a year; the amazing experiences and life-long memories I got from the Alaska trip can not wait and would not have come true; ultimately my dream to ride my bike to Alaska and bike would not have come true.

          I was pretty proud of the results considering the last minute preparations and lack of overall time to put the race together. If I were to do this race again I would have to meet all of my crew members well in advance and get them comfortable with each other. I treasure a life lesson learned on my Alaska trip with Danny; to appreciate and work with the only ones you are stuck with on a trip. At times my crew was about to fall apart but the most important thing was that we all finished healthy together.

          Just like my cross-country trips with Danny, we ran into problems and adversity during the trip. Without the problems and adversity, the finish would not have been as enjoyable. The RAAM was a good learning experience and accomplishment that will stay with me forever.

I realize that when writing this summary that I am thinking of the negative aspects of all the money spent and wasted on certain things that Danny and I hate paying for and feel like it is against or morals to blow money away on. Putting money aside and resources being used up, completing RAAM is one of my biggest physical accomplishments of my life. It was very stressful at times and like on my cross-country trips I often thought to myself: “why am I doing this?” I thought back to climbing up the cathedral of learning stairs for 24 hours, then to the Sebring 24-hour race. I had the same thoughts of “why am I doing this?” while doing those. To make it through I blocked those thoughts out and started to create checkpoints and though of mental motivators. I thought of my favorite song “Move Along”. In all of my hardest and most stressful physical feats I reach a point where my hope starts to get down, sometimes my body feels really week, but I remind myself... this will come to an end...at one point this will be over.  You do not want to look back with any regrets. Just keep moving along! Spill your guts out here now and you will look back with not a thing to regret. Give it a 100% honest effort and there will never be any regrets. You do not want to look back and think: what if I had kept going or pushed harder? What would have happened if I had kept going, going after my dreams. Completing RAAM reminds me to continue to set my goals and dreams high and go after them like there is no tomorrow. For what will come out on the other side will be the most euphoric and gratifying life experience you will ever have. I will conquer this ready to take on the world.

I also remind myself that you have just completed something that very few people on this planet will ever do. Be proud and look back on all the positive things that came out of it.

My Diet

Another lesson I learned on my RAAM was to trust my body. This means not to pound too much food and liquid into my system. Sometimes I told myself to just relax and let the stuff digest. I used Murray Wilmerding’s pHit Pills consistently throughout the entire race. I consumed an average of 2 extreme endurance pHit Pills per hour. These pills help to reduce the lactic acid out of my muscles and balance my PH in my body. My major liquid consumption was Spizerinctum, Gatorade mixed with Emergen-C and Red Bull, Outlast Energy, Vitamin Water, and Red Bull.

 Waking up I enjoyed eating banana’s, smoothies with fruit and protein, coffee (Hot Coffee, Starbucks Coffee Drinks, and Starbucks Double Shot Espresso Drinks. I sometimes ate power-bars, cliff bars, protein bars, bananas, sandwiches with ham and cheese, subway sandwiches, burritos, hot-pockets, and much more.

I also learned that I must ride with the mentality that it is not what tastes good and what the mouth taste buds want, but what is going to work well in my body. What foods and liquids will go in and digest well and make me strong. This is the Spizerinctum, the healthy fruit and protein shakes. As the race went on I learned to trust my body, trust my crew, and Just Ride!

          My Crew

          I do thank and appreciate my crew and the help they had for me during my race. If I had organized and met with each of the crew member’s well before the race started I think things would have gone smoother during the race. Also if I had organized my belongings including biking equipment, clothing, music, lights, food, etc; into storage bins neatly labeled; the crew would have been able to get at stuff conveniently so it would not have seemed like I was asking for much. The R.V. and follow vehicle got so un-organized it became very hard for the crew to find stuff and keep stuff together. I have to take the blame for this due to the lack of time to organize and talk to the crew beforehand. I was stubborn and dead-set on completing the RAAM in the summer of 2011 come March of 2011. While many questioned how I could put together all that was needed in a short period of time, I was determined to make it happen and not prolong my dream to complete RAAM another year. I should have pre-organized all the materials and shown the crew where everything was. That way I would not have been so irritated when it took much longer than it should have to get stuff I wanted.

          While the crew did all make it to the finish 3 crew members including Dani Lee, Donny McGhee, and Jan Beveridge all left without saying respectful goodbyes. This shows me their lack of loyalty, patience, and companionship. The TRUE COMPANIONS remain. The one person that I knew I could count on if everyone else failed was my uncle. Even if it came down to the crew becoming abandoned Danny and I could have rolled into Annapolis with a Bob-Trailer. Perhaps against the RAAM rules and finishing deadline, but the point is we would have found a way to make it to the finish together. He has the dogged determination and loyalty to finish a goal that is started. I have no doubt he will ride 1,000,000 miles in his lifetime if he stays healthy. Yes this may be a selfish goal but it is respectable.

          The other loyal crew members did indeed end up being the people with blonde hair. This includes the people who got their hair dyed at my home back on June 1st, 2011 . The “Blondies” or “Blonde Bitches” or “Little Blonde Monsters” or “Blonde Posse” included Uncle Danny Chew, Father John Perezluha, Murray Wilmerding, Joy Potter, and Dejan Lukic). The blonde hair represented loyalty, commitment, and a sense of companionship. Dying their hair blonde was the first step to of getting sworn into the RAAM crew. 

THE CREW: THANK YOU!!!

            My Body and Riding

          I started off with some knee problems and also un-organization of the crew and my diet and sleeping plan. After the halfway point I finally got into a rhythm. This included riding from approximately 6am to 12pm or 18 Hours. In that 18 hours there was usually about 1.5-2 hours of off the bike time either an extra long wake-up or going to bed procedure, eating stops, crew stops, knee massages, clothes changing, bike mechanics, crew or R.V. mechanics, missed turns/ car shuttles, car shuttles from detours, etc. I estimate that I was off the bike a total of 75-80 hours. This means my actual riding time was around 7 days or 168 hours/ 17.8mph riding average. The actual riding time is not officially recorded but estimated individually amongst each RAAM rider. The winner Christoph Strasser reportedly only slept about 75 minutes a night with little tiny stops/ cat naps during the day. His total off the bike time was probably around 12-15 hours. Hence his riding time was around 7 days and 20 hours/ riding average 16.0mph. Had I cut my stop time in half from 80 hours to 40 hours I would have been 2nd place maybe first.

If I did the Race again and planned to win it:

                 If I were to do this race again and hoped to win it my goal would be 3.5 hours of sleep (About what I got this time, 3.5-4 hours), 1 hour going to bed/ wake-up procedure (The going to sleep procedure usually took 50 minutes to 1 hour 45 minutes, waking up 30 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes; Total 1.75-2.5 hours), and kept the stop time down to around 30 minutes per day (The stop time while I was awake was around 45 minutes to 2 hours). This total stop time would have been about 5 hours per day. If everything went smoothly and was organized this could have happened. If I kept the same riding average of 17.8 and had an average stop time of 5 hours per day instead of 8 my total time would have been around 8 days and 16 hours. 2nd place and had I been so close to the winner I would have gone to chase him down and cut down my stop time or sleep.

          I would also go into the race with equipment that was well worn in and would not cause knee troubles. My riding average for the first 4 days and ultimately overall could have been faster (perhaps 18.0+mph) had I not developed knee problems most likely due to the new equipment.

My RAAM compared to my Cross-Country Adventures

          Finishing the Race Across America felt great but it also felt like something was incomplete. The entire race flew by compared to my past 2 cross-country journeys with Uncle Danny. Danny and I self-supported ourselves pretty much for each of those entire trips. Initially, the ending of the Race Across America was not as euphoric and fulfilling as it was to end the 140 day and 13,769 mile Alaska trip. As the months rolled on after RAAM I began to look back and think about how proud I was to make it through and stress my body to its limits. The most important thing on my RAAM, like on my trip to Alaska and back, was that I learned to overcome the obstacles thrown in front of me, never giving up along the way. After that journey I got to return to a home I was deprived of for almost 5 months. I got to sleep my own home and got back into a live of civilization with friends and family. After ending the Race Across America I no longer get waited on and having support from my 8-person support crew. The cross-country journeys also had a lot more interesting things happen and interesting characters that we met. During RAAM I was not deprived of people, lodging, family, and meals; however I was deprived of sleep which felt great to catch up on after the race was over.

          I challenged my body and made good time carrying a 120 pound bob-trailer with all my gear on my cross-country trips. Danny and I each spent about $15 a day on mainly food and occasional biking supplies. Most of the sleeping was free camping, meeting strangers, or planned people to stay with. We did get an occasional motel but only if necessary and the cheapest one we could find: usually no more than $50. On the Alaska trip I spent close to $2,000 of my own money excluding the support my parents provided during the 2-week period in Alaska . Danny probably spent around $1,600. This entire trip was 140 days! Even with the money my parents spent in Alaska probably close to $2,000 my total expenses for the 140 day trip was around $4,000. Here in just 2 weeks the cost of the Race Entry Fee, Airfare, Lodging, R.V. expenses, gas money, food, and other expenses racked up to over $20,000. Absolutely ridiculous!!!!

            Finishing RAAM ultimately is not for money or any kind of material good or prize. Ultimately, finishing RAAM and giving a 100% effort along the way is for one of the greatest self-satisfaction feelings on the planet. In reality the $3,300 entry fee only produces a handshake, a cheap medal, a t-shirt, a jersey, a water bottle, a sticker, a meal, some gel packs, snacks; maybe a $300 value. Not much more than one would get from completing a 26.2 mile running marathon. Maybe more sponsors and doors will open up but overall the total expenses to complete the race are totally not worth it. Nor is it worth making 8 people wait on my hand and foot for 10 days in a crammed R.V. and support vehicle. To some racers this is their biggest bicycling trip of their lives but to me I have already been across the country 4 times. I have not been on some of the roads and seen some of the sights I encountered on the RAAM but I might just as well have done another cross-country trip with Danny and did the same RAAM route for about 5% of the price of RAAM.

                      During RAAM, the actual riding without a 120-pound bob trailer was enjoyable and I was finally able to test myself against the terrain trailer free. I found out that I am a very good mountain climber. Most of the mountain passes I have ridden previously have been with a 120-pound bob trailer. This includes mountain passes from 4,100 feet on the Alaskan Highway to 11,300 feet in Colorado .

            I am an environmentally friendly and self-conscience person and felt kind of bad making and R.V. and car follow me 3,000 miles across the country. Burning up all that fuel for something I am perfectly doing on my own with a bob-trailer. Many RAAM riders and crew also are probably oblivious to how much resources are wasted in RAAM. In addition the gas and oil, many crew members will likely waste hundreds of plastic bottles, forget out re-using plastics, and carelessly waste many other materials all to support someone biking across the country. With an R.V. and mini-van and a plethora of space compared to a bicycle with a trailer, there is no reason to waste so many resources and forget about recycling and saving stuff.

My Race Across America Conclusion

Total Miles: 2,990

9th Place out of 50 starters, only 23 finishers.

Total Time: 10 Days and 8 Hours. (248 Hours)

Total Average Speed: 12.05mph

Estimated Total Riding Time: 7 Days (168 Hours)

Estimated Total Riding Average Speed: 17.8mph

Total Estimated Time off the bike: 75-80 Hours

Post RAAM Entries

Sunday, June 26, 2011 :

MILES: 0

In Annapolis, Maryland

At Double Tree Hotel by Hilton

I woke around 10am and got about 7 hours of sleep. I organized a few things and got some stuff out of the R.V. Danny, Dejan, and I ate a huge buffet breakfast at the hotel. Murray and Joy were there eating and we all ate together. Donny McGhee was also there. I then took a 2-hour bathe and shaved my entire body except head and back; the usual. I then went down to the R.V. and follow vehicle area and talked with Murray, Dejan, Joy, and Danny as they unpacked and organized left-over materials.

I talked with the massage therapist Dani Lee who was staying at a hotel on the other side of Annapolis . I wanted to get a full-body massage but she wanted to get paid for it. Murray paid for her Airplane ticket, her food and lodging was provided before and during the race, and we paid her $500 for her massages before and during the race. I refused to agree to pay her and tried to talk her into massaging for free. I told her we could give her a container of pHit Pills or Spizerinctum and joked that we would have Danny or Dejan sign the bottle to increase its value.

The remaining crew (My father John Perezluha, Murray Wilmerding, Joy Potter, Dejan Lukic, Danny Chew) along with my mom and grandma attended the finishing RAAM banquet. Dani Lee did show up but left because her boyfriend felt uncomfortable and I did not agree to pay her for the massage. I am thinking the boyfriend was jealous and did not like the fact that Dani Lee watched as I walked around the R.V. and motels naked then got massaged naked, then got ointment rubbed onto my balls and crotch area. Also Dejan slept with her and I slept in my own bed in one room.  She also supposedly felt uncomfortable around Danny. Considering I did not know her at all to start nor did she know the rest of the crew; I can see her feeling of freedom and escape after being trapped in a cramped and broken down R.V. with eccentric people and raving lunatics. She also seems to be easily influenced and persuaded by others and seems to be a follower and has somewhat superficial feelings. I think her friends, especially her boyfriend, persuaded her to leave. Hence she did not say bye or stick around for the Banquet.

 We enjoyed a delicious meal and I met and mingled with other racers including the winner Christoph Strasser, Thomas Lavalle, Rainer, Kiworra, Donncha Cuttriss, and more. Dejan and I saw the girls who he said he thought were cute throughout the race. My crew along with RAAM media got a lot of pictures. I got the “Jure Robic Award” which was a rock stacked up on a wooden base. I drank a glass of Red Wine which is very rare for me; only 1-2 days in the year do I do this. Dejan and I ended up going to bed around 10:00pm

  Monday, June 27, 2011 :

In Annapolis, Maryland at Double Tree Hotel by Hilton

Dejan and I slept in to around 12pm but I woke before Dejan and ate leftover subway food including a foot-long sub, cookies, chips and chocolate milk from the hotel buffet yesterday. I then took a 1.5 hour bath and shaved. Dejan and I then walked around the hotel and explored a little bit. I then went on the computer and made a few phone calls. I went through my emails in which I had over 120 in the past 11 days. Mainly congratulations. I called Dani Lee, Sean Stanton, Craig Curtis, and Tim Ballenger. The remaining crew “The Blondies” and I went out for a celebration dinner at Outback Steakhouse. We enjoyed a big dinner. Dani Lee left a phone message saying she was safely arrived in Connecticut; this was the last I personally heard from her since.

Dejan and I went on the computers in the computer room of the hotel. Amy McFaddin sent a nice message on facebook. She was the women at the Blanchester, Ohio time station who wanted to help me in anyway she could. She had to witness the crew blowing up. She said she would have been behind me to the finish because her heart was pulling for me.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011: in Annapolis, Maryland then ending in Pittsburgh, PA at Uncle Danny’s Home

Woke around 9:30am . Showered. Dad frantically wanted to leave to head to Florida in the R.V. Danny and I went through and picked out the food items from the R.V. in fear that may dad would throw some of the food out. Danny, Dejan, Murray, Joy, and I then packed and organized the Chews’ car and Murray's vehicle. We ended up leaving the hotel around 1:00pm to head to Pittsburgh. First we stopped at some clothing store for joy. Next we headed to Mt. Airy and met the subway employees at the Subway that fed my crew and I for free.

We got photos and ate a huge meal at the Mt. Airy Subway. Really nice people. Owner Mr. Doshi was not there. We then forged on to Pittsburgh . Had a couple stops on the way for urination and gas. Murray, Dejan, Joy, and I arrived at the Chews’ home first. I made a couple phone calls and then unpacked a few things. Mom, Danny, and Grandma picked up Mineo’s Pizza on the way back to the chew’s home. We all enjoyed a tasty Mineo’s Pizza dinner and ate in the backyard. Dejan and I went to bed around 12am . Murray and Joy spent the night.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011: in Pittsburgh, PA at the Chew’s home

Murray woke before Dejan and I and he got ready to leave so Dejan, Danny, and I woke up to say bye to him. We got pictures and talked about the future including races. Murray took 4 pieces of the RAAM clothing and agreed to add Lady GaGa, Subway, BikeRay, QR, and the All-American Rejects logos on to the clothing.

We said our final goodbyes to Murray Dejan, Mom and I drove to Oakland and parked then walked over to Primanti Bro’s for a meal. Mom and I ate a Double Egg and Cheese sandwich. We then walked over to the Cathedral of Learning and went up the 36th and 40th floor.

We then drove to the Radio Shack and Target down at the Waterfront area. Got a camera battery charger, Skullcandy headphones, and screen protectors. At the Radio shack I transferred my contacts from my old Nokia phone to the new Android Phone.

Back at the chew home I made phone calls in the back yard and thanked all of my sponsors and the people who helped me on my Race Across America. Dejan and I then ate dinner. Danny, Dejan, and I then headed to the Bud Harris Cycling track to watch a bike race. I saw Stephen Cummings and met Danny’s 24 year old friend Abby. Back home Dejan and I listened to music and I sent thank-you emails to all who helped me on my RAAM journey.

Thursday, June 30, 2011: in Pittsburgh, PA at the Chew’s home

Woke around 11am. I checked E-mail, Facebook, etc. Got ready to go to the Kennywood Amusement park with Dejan. Ate a big meal. Mom drove us to Kennywood and on the way we stopped at Rite-Aid for mom’s prescription, zip-loc bags, and dry-skin cream.

Mom dropped Dejan and I off at Kennywood. We each paid $25. We first rode on some new Roller-Coaster ride then some old roller-coasters. Dejan’s favorite ride was the Phantom’s Revenge. We noticed people checking out our blonde hair. Quite funny. Saw a few cute girls. The final rides were the Exterminator and Phantom’s Revenge. I bought 2 3x5 pictures of Dejan and me on the Phantom’s Revenge.  

Danny picked us up and we headed home to eat a big chili dinner that grandma made. Went on the computer and then went to bed around 12am .

Special Thanks To:

1.   As-Master (Conrad):

The Asmaster chamois butter really help to sooth saddle sores and kept the crotch area protected.

 

2.   BikeRay Lights (Patrick Choi):

The BikeRay lights not only kept me safe while riding but it allowed me to see close on during the night on dangerous descents with switchback turns. Thanks for your money donation as well.

 

3.   Boston Market (Debbie Jordan and Area-Manager Kelly):

I drank the vitamin water consistently throughout the race. Thanks for your donation as well.

 

4.   Compass Research (Sean Stanton and Craig Curtis):

Thanks to your ongoing help and helping to pay part of the entry fee.

 

5.   Dumonde Chain Lube (Andy Devol):

The chain lube worked great for not only lubing but cleaning both my Jamis racing bike and QR time trial bike.

 

6.   Faddis and Faddis (Eric and Tiffany Faddis):

Thanks for helping in paying the entry fee and your ongoing help with my accident case.

 

7.   First Green Bank (Ken LaRoe):

 Thanks for helping to pay part of the entry fee and for you ongoing help in lending me bike parts. Also thanks for the awesome First Green Bank Jackets worn during the RAAM.

 

8.   Gold’s Gym (Gary Anger):

 Thanks for training with me with your legendary “Super-Slow” workout.

 

9.   McGraw Hill:

Thanks for you money donation.

 

10. Outlast Energy (Tim Vollack):

The Outlast drink worked great and worked well combining it with various foods.

 

11. pHit Pills (Murray Wilmerding) Extreme Endurance:

Perhaps some of the best nutrients that went into my body not only on my cross-country adventure to California and back with Danny but also on my RAAM. I took the extreme endurance pHit Pills consistently throughout the race along with the Vital 40 vitamins.

 

12. QR (Heather Sweet and Cary Brown):

Thanks for providing me with a good deal on the QR Time Trial Bike.

 

13. Retro City Cycles (Dano Kinnee and Dave Dodd): Thank you for working on my bicycle before the RAAM and for lining up other sponsors including Asmaster, Dumonde-Tech Chain lube, and Ryder’s Sunglasses.

   

14. Ryder’s Sunglasses:

The sunglasses worked wonderfully on my RAAM. The photo-chromatic pink frame glasses as well as the orange frame glasses with various shades.

 

15. Scott Roberson:

Thanks for your money donation.

 

16. Specialized Tires and Tubes (Fred Hewett):

The tires held up in harsh road conditions than any other tires I have used during my training.

 

17. Spizerinctum (Randy Ice):

The Spiz worked well inside my body. It worked best when just consumed alone with nothing else. Towards the 2nd half of RAAM, I finally got my diet down better by mainly drinking Spiz. I told myself to give my body what it wants, not what the taste buds want. 

 

18. Subway (Angie Chazelle, Niki Rauser, Ognie Chin, Tony Bonetti):

Thanks for your gift-card donation support. My crew and I enjoyed the subway sandwiches immensely during my RAAM adventure.

   

        Special thanks to all of those who attended my RAAM fundraising banquet on Thursday May 19th. Also Special thanks to all of those who donated on my StevenPerezluha.com website. Your help was greatly appreciated. Every amount is appreciated! 

You’re all amazing!

        A very important aspect of RAAM was the help from cycling friends, supporters, and sponsors. I thank all of you for the support and aiding me in conquering my RAAM. There always seem to be people behind me that support me on my goals and dreams. It is these people that keep me moving along and give me that extra spark to help me reach my biggest dreams and endeavors. I also thought to myself that this is a great learning experience and step up for bigger things in life. 

        Qualifying for RAAM

  At age 19, I just recently qualified for the Race Across America (RAAM) by riding 462 miles in 23 hours and 56 minutes at the Sebring 24 hour race in Sebring   Florida  . This was 2nd place in the RAAM division. In this race I had to battle breathing in smoke for forest fires nearby and had to stay mentally tough due to riding the last 13 hours around a 3.7 mile non-lit track. Last year I rode 419.7 miles and was 2nd place as well. Each year I completely shattered the course age group record. I also believe I now have the UNDER 20 YEAR OLD WORLD RECORD for a 24-hour non-drafting bicycling race. However, I am still trying to get my 462 mile result at the Sebring 24-hour race recognized as the under 20-year old world record. My Uncle, Danny Chew, and I have yet to find any other rider under 20-years old to have ridden that far.  

Alzheimer’s Disease

        As you may know, Alzheimer’s disease affects the lives of the elderly population throughout the United States  and the rest of the planet. With the help of my sponsors and my cycling talent I will try to battle the detrimental effects that Alzheimer’s disease can impose on people. At 86 years old my Grandfather passed away, and in the final years of his life he had to suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. My Grandpa Hal had a PhD in special education and was a beloved teacher and literally saved many students from jail or death. His mind was stolen by the horrible ravages of Alzheimer’s disease and it broke my mother’s heart. I plan to use my cycling ability to battle Alzheimer’s disease. I also hope to make the Race Across America (RAAM) get more recognition and respect. The event does not get much publicity and many people do not even know what RAAM is. I would also like to get more recognition among young endurance riders.

  I am currently sponsored by Compass Research, LLC, which includes my major contributing sponsor and world expert in Alzheimer’s disease, Craig T. Curtis, MD. Dr. Curtis is collaborating with all the major researchers across the world to find a cure or treatment for Alzheimer’s disease. Sean Stanton is Dr. Curtis’ right-hand man and is also a huge contributor to my cycling.  

Alzheimer’s disease affects the lives of the elderly population throughout the  United States  and the rest of the planet. With the help of my sponsors and my cycling talent I will try to battle the detrimental effects that Alzheimer’s disease can impose on people. At 86 years old my Grandfather passed away, and in the final years of his life he had to suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. My Grandpa Hal had a PhD in special education and was a beloved teacher and literally saved many students from jail or death. His mind was stolen by the horrible ravages of Alzheimer’s disease and it broke my mother’s heart. I plan to use my cycling ability to battle Alzheimer’s disease.

My other Grandpa, “Pop-Pop” or Tony, passed away in July of 2011 and suffered from Alzheimer’s disease as well during the final months of his life. I am thankful that both of my grandfathers lived long and healthy lives but it is still unfortunate to watch elders and loved ones suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. During my upcoming cycling adventures and races I will plan to raise more awareness for this disease. 

2011 Race Across America Results for Under 50 solo males

Country

Rank

Entry

TS#

Miles

Arr DT 

Race TM

Avg

Status

  

 377 -   Christoph Strasser

55 

2989.50 

06/24/2011 0:03 

8 d 8 h 6m  

14.94 

OFCL 

 

 349 -   Mark Pattinson

55 

2989.50 

06/24/2011 16:40 

9 d 0 h 41m  

13.8 

OFCL 

 

 279 -   Marko Baloh

55 

2989.50 

06/24/2011 19:03 

9 d 2 h 59m  

13.65 

OFCL 

 

 402 -   Alberto Blanco-TeamRAPD

55 

2989.50 

06/24/2011 23:17 

9 d 7 h 27m  

13.38 

OFCL 

  

 276 -   NICO VALSESIA

55 

2989.50 

06/25/2011 8:14 

9 d 16 h 9m  

12.88 

OFCL 

 

 381 -   Christopher Gottwald

55 

2989.50 

06/25/2011 10:44 

9 d 18 h50 m  

12.73 

OFCL 

  

 429 -   Paolo Aste

55 

2989.50 

06/25/2011 12:52 

9 d 21 h19 m  

12.6 

OFCL 

 

 414 -   Joshua Kench

55 

2989.50 

06/25/2011 21:10 

10 d 5 h27 m  

12.18 

OFCL 

 

 428 -   Steven Perezluha

55 

2989.50 

06/25/2011 23:34 

10 d 8 h 0m  

12.05 

OFCL 

  

10 

 392 -   Rainer Kiworra Team >>ride for help<<

55 

2989.50 

06/26/2011 2:31 

10 d 10 h38 m  

11.93 

OFCL 

 

11 

 406 -   Children of Fallen Patriots

55 

2989.50 

06/26/2011 7:18 

10 d 15 h30 m  

11.7 

OFCL 

  

12 

 331 -   Claudio Clarindo

55 

2989.50 

06/26/2011 7:49 

10 d 15 h49 m  

11.69 

OFCL 

 

13 

 410 -   Donncha Cuttriss

55 

2989.50 

06/26/2011 15:44 

10 d 23 h57 m  

11.33 

OFCL 

  

14 

 403 -   Andreas Dengler

55 

2989.50 

06/26/2011 16:07 

11 d 0 h18 m  

11.31 

OFCL 

  

15 

 413 -   Jens Glad Balchen

55 

2989.50 

06/26/2011 19:25 

11 d 3 h41 m  

11.17 

OFCL 

 

16 

 419 -   Nicholas Rice-McDonald

55 

2989.50 

06/26/2011 19:50 

11 d 4 h10 m  

11.15 

OFCL 

  

17 

 412 -   Haller Karl

55 

2989.50 

06/27/2011 5:12 

11 d 13 h27 m  

10.77 

OFCL 

 

18 

 411 -   Geoff Brunner

55 

2989.50 

06/27/2011 15:46 

12 d 0 h 0m  

10.38 

OFCL 

  

 

 400 -   Samim Rizvi

55 

2989.50 

06/27/2011 16:31 

12 d 0 h40 m  

10.36 

DNF 

 

 

 427 -   MickRooCrew

55 

2989.50 

06/27/2011 16:21 

12 d 0 h46 m  

10.35 

DNF 

  

 

 316 -   Gerhard GULEWICZ

46 

2674.80 

06/23/2011 15:00 

7 d 22 h58 m  

14.01 

DNF 

 

 

 330 -   Brett Walker

17 

959.70 

06/18/2011 20:15 

3 d 4 h 14m  

12.59 

DNF