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RAAM ‘08

Day 2
Time Station 3, Blythe, CA. 13:03EST

It’s the morning of day two of RAAM 2008. On course are the two solo women and one of the age 60+ men. I’m sitting at RAAM Time Station 3 in Blythe, California, not far from the Arizona border. Up the road eighty or so miles is our current overall leader, Janet Christiansen.

It’s often said that you can’t win RAAM on the first day, but you certainly can lose it. So far all three riders have put in good, smart rides with no major problems. Christiansen has been at the front of this race since yesterday afternoon. She now has about a one hour advantage over second place woman Caroline Van de Bulk. Both women have yet to sleep, having ridden through the night. Richard Rupp reportedly took a 4 hour stop in the night and is currently back on his bike somewhere between Blythe and Time Station 4 in Hope, Arizona. All three riders are on track to put in 300 miles or more for these first 24 hours of RAAM. Impressive.

Last night after filing my last report I headed up the road to get some night-time photos of our racers. All three appeared in good spirits and greeted my appearance with smiles and waves. Christiansen gave a quizzical look as I pulled alongside for a photo and pointing to the roof rack of my Toyota asked “What’s the bike for?” “For riding, of course!” I answered. I guess she didn’t realize that I’m the same “imbedded reporter” who rode with the parade start yesterday.

My plan throughout the race is to occasionally ride along with the riders to do some mini-interviews. My thinking is that that’s really the only way they’ll have time to talk—when they’re off the bike they’re either eating, getting cleaned up or getting some shut-eye.


PHOTOS
IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT
It may have been night, but temperatures were still sultry for Janet Christiansen in the California desert South of Blythe.

SMILING FOR MILES
Those pearly whites reveal that Richard Rupp is enjoying keeping a 300 mile a day pace.

SWEET CAROLINE
Canada’s Carline Van de Bulk is keeping an impressive pace to maintain her position about an hour behind leader Janet Christiansen.
 

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iliveonnitro said:
I would laugh at those handlebars and how ridiculously positioned they are, but riding 300mi a day for days on end gives her bigger cojones than me.
Maybe one positions the bars differently when its about riding more than an hour at a time.

Just a guess.

These people are lifers. They're not out there trying to look "PRO" or impress the average person.
 

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All 3 of those bar setups look pretty "neutral" in their setup to me. Or are you talking about the bolt-ons? Keep in mind that those have more to do with comfort/fatigue than with getting aero.
 
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