RAAM is on my mind often. I’m hoping to take my first attempt at conquering the country in 2016, a year after I finish my PhD, which means I’ll have time to actually put in enough riding miles to (hopefully) make it across on my first go.
I also know from talking with those that have done it and reading blogs, books, and articles, and having done some shorter ultra races, that the mental aspect of the race is in many ways the hardest part. I always find small measures of encouragement, from crew antics to words of support online, a joy, even when I discover them after the race, and especially when they make me smile or laugh, like my dad texting me to “Drop the hammer on the pack” during N24HC this year at about 1am — there was neither a pack nor any hammers in my legs — but reading it during the rain break was great.
Other bits of encouragement can be built into the very race plan itself, which brings me to the greatest idea I had this week:
Burritos Across America
During my race, I’ll combine two things that I love more than most: riding my bicycle heinous amounts and eating tasty burritos!
The current RAAM route passes through 12 states. The plan will be to eat a burrito from each state, creating a diverse sampling. Some states might yield only a frozen convenience store burrito, but so be it, they’ll get marked down on my ranked list of state’s burrito quality. Each burrito eaten will be posted online along with a review from the road. Those last few burritos out east, where burritos quality tends to be lower, combined with beleaguered taste buds and a squishy brain will hopefully yield some good humor.
It might be the theme of the whole RAAM experience, where I can make a custom jersey along the lines of this
Only three years to go. I should probably start planning…