Race Across AMerica RAAM 2003
Rick Ashabranner on his bike before the 7 am start time in San Diego, California.  RAAM is a bicycle race across the United States.  This year the route starts in San Diego, crosses 14 states and finishes on the boardwalk in Atlantic City, New Jersey.  A transcontinental journey from the shores of the Pacific Ocean to the shores of the Atlantic Ocean.  This year one female and 18 male solo riders start RAAM.  Only 14 solo males finish this year.
This is a view of the start line.  I am one of six support crew members.  The crew splits into two teams, nominally a day crew and a night crew.  We follow the rider and provide food, water, medical, mechanical and emotional support.
In California the route runs through some really hot desert.  Later the mountains provide more difficulty.
A rare moment in RAAM, two solo riders stopped at a traffic light together.  This is in Ohio.  Riders usually are many miles apart and only occasionally pass one another.  The other rider here is being passed by Rick, the other rider is Marco Baloh from Slovenia.
Because the riders ride almost nonstop, we see many sunrises and sunsets.  This one is in Kansas.  The route follows mostly state highways and avoids large metropolitan areas.  The scenery is across the states is mostly very pleasing to me.  The size of the country and the difficulty of completing RAAM comes into sharp focus.
Rick on the AC boardwalk on day 10 of RAAM 2003.  Rick took twelve breaks judging from the average speed graph, the winner Larsen took 10.  Rick's breaks lasted no more than four hours each.  The crew got anywhere from 3 to 8 hours of sleep between 12 and 20 hour shifts.  Overall is was an amazing experience, more exciting than boring.
My favorite photo, Irene looks on as Rick holds Megan at the finish line stage.
The whole crew and rider celebrate together.