Friday, July 2, 2010

A nice tribute to the crew

There's always a ton of great stories on RAAM. One of the best this year was the fantastic 3rd place RAW finish by Terry Lansdell. To finish on the podium was a pretty great accomplishment, but Terry managed to do this without the benefit of a derailleur. In other words, he did it on a fixed gear bike. I don't know who keeps track of records like this, but it should go down as the fastest 860 mile time trial ever on a fixed gear bike. After all, there's only a few of us guys crazy enough to try something like this (especially on what I consider the toughest 3rd of RAAM).

To add drama to the story, Terry's bikes were destroyed on the way to Oceanside. Surfing the net I found a couple really cool videos that tell just how difficult this actually was.!

Congrats to Terry on a great finish, and also to his crew (only 3 people for 860 miles) for an outstanding performance. By the way, I've often contemplated doing RAAM (or RAW) on a fixed gear bike. I think I'd have a good chance of finishing, but I don't believe that I could match Terry's speed. I did 750 miles fixed at PBP in just under 64 hours, but RAW has more challenges. It still might be fun to try (one day).

One final note: Terry could have got replacements bikes pretty easily (they were everywhere), but it was much more of a challenge for them to find fixed gear bikes (in his size). His whole purpose for doing this race was to set a fixed gear record, and I doubt he would have got nearly as much satisfaction from a geared RAW finish. Also, it must have been quite an adventure to race that far on bikes that he'd never ridden before.

Kevin Kaiser