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REPORT ON THE 2006 RAD TEAM AT THE RAAM

 

 

Racing Against Diabetes

 

 

 

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Oceanside Pier—the start! 

 

We made a lot of new friends—who promise to train together for the race against diabetes.

 

 

Atlantic City Boardwalk!  We made it!

 

Stopping for a photo at an exchange in Colorado.

 

. . . Patty climbed it; Terry is supposed to be asleep.  Yup, those are undies.

 

 

How can we ever thank our crew enough?  We guess they’ll have to do the RAAM with us as their crew!

Next up? The 2007 Tour of America:

 

We bike-raced the Race Across America (RAAM) in 2006 as a two-person team—but didn’t get to stop and talk about preventing diabetes.  So beginning June 10, 2007, Patty will race the RAAM solo from Oceanside CA to Atlantic City NJ, to get attention for Racing Against Diabetes, and because she’s crazy enough to try it. 

Patty will definitely need your help cheering her on during the RAAM!

 

Then Terry will drive and ride back across the country and stop to meet everyone he can, and talk about preventing the diabetes epidemic.  He also wants you to join him for a short ride—and maybe finish with a sprint?!

 

We think it’ll get a lot of people a chance to learn how to prevent the epidemic—and it’ll get a lot of teams started.  Publicity won’t hurt, either—we have to start a revolution!

 

We’re doing this to get you and everyone training for the race of our lives, the Race Against Diabetes.  We want to convince everyone to start racing against diabetes.  For more info about the 2007 plan, click on Tour of America '07.

 

 

’06 RAAM:

Oof!  We’re glad we made it, and we’re glad we’re done!

 

We’re sure what the toughest part was . . . .  It wasn’t the 36-degree ride at night in Arizona, it wasn’t the climbing in Colorado, and it wasn’t the 50- to 70-mph crosswind in Eastern Colorado.  It wasn’t Terry’s need to check his blood sugar 25-30 times per day.  It wasn’t even the Midwest heat or the downpours or the steep Allegheny hills.  It was the giant RV we rented!  The darned thing shook so much we couldn’t sleep in it while it was moving—which had to be nearly all the time.  (Poor Rod, our Crew Chief, got almost no sleep because he had to constantly move the RV up the road for the next rider exchange.)

 

The high point of the RAAM had to be meeting people.  We need to go back to every town we went through, to talk to folks more about the race against diabetes, and get everyone to start family teams.

 

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Join us and Race against Diabetes!

 

Report on the ’06 RAAM from Terry and Patty:  We completed the bicycle Race Across America (RAAM) on June 23, 2006 as team Racing Against Diabetes in 11 days, 19 hours, 14 minutes!! We even set a record in the over-50 "mixed" two-person division (who else is crazy enough to attempt the RAAM)!!

So we made it in under the 12 day cut-off --despite the desert heat, the 36-degree cold overnight ride west of Flagstaff, 70 mph winds that blew Terry completely across the road, a downpour on Patty with a tornado ahead in Kansas (of course-what would a race be without those?), lots and lots of climbing, some climbs in the Alleghenies so steep we had to get off and walk, thrilling descents (some too thrilling).    Terry got the pig farms; Patty got the cattle trucks and flame throwers (they were putting down new asphalt using a machine with flames coming out from under it).    Terry got the late night shift and saw a lot of deer up close, including one that circled behind him and missed him by a foot!!    Patty got the early night shift and saw the full moon rise and, once across the Mississippi River, zillions of fireflies rising out of the grass on either side of the road.    We also saw a lot of night critters scurrying for cover, one fat toad looking square at Patty, the road covered with caterpillars, many tortoises, snakes, lots of birds, rainbows, and interesting cloud designs.    The scenery was awesome--Monument Valley, the Rockies, the lake around Cuchara Pass in southern Colorado, and impressive rivers.    We think we missed a lot of gorgeous scenery at night, but the amazing bike lights NiteRider provided us kept us safe, and sure illuminated everything around us and down the road.    NiteRider was one terrically generous sponsor!    We're sure the hills in West Virginia were lovely, too, but even riding them in daylight all either of us remembers are the steep rollers and more rollers.

Our crew did a terrific job!    Rod Lorang, our crew chief, drove the whale RV and kept us all going.    Bob and Laurie Guthmann kept great track of Terry and his blood sugar.    Judy Quinn and Pete Masiel took great care of and inspired Patty.    And Judy's daughter, Jesica, drove the "off" follow vehicle when it was not being used.    Patty's high school classmate, Greg Hartman, joined us across Kansas and helped drive so crew could sleep.    In spite of that, our poor crew still had very little time to sleep.    They were busy taking care of us, our bikes and our three vehicles--two follow vehicles and the giant RV (whale) where we ate, tried to sleep, and used the bathroom.    The riders got first dibs on the bathroom, and our very dedicated crew had to use bathrooms at gas stations and time stations, and got very few showers. One highlight of the trip was in Greenville, IL, where Patty's former student had three motel rooms reserved for a few hours--thank you, Joy!

We were so exhausted by the time we got to Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania, we don't remember much of the ride, except that it was long  rollers and more rollers. Terry does remember riding through Gettysburg, though—he says it was very moving to see everything the way it was 150 years ago.

When we finally made it to the Delaware River we had to wait for a police escort in order to cross the Delaware River (gee, we'd crossed the Mississippi, the Ohio, the Missouri, and the Monongahela without one).    We'd raced in shorter pulls to get to Atlantic City in time, so when we arrived, we were . . . ah, very tired (an understatement).    Unfortunately everything had to be sorted out and packed into the two follow vehicles--five bikes, four sets of spare wheels, a couple of big coolers, and all the gear we all needed to get back to San Diego.    Patty gave up and went to sleep while Terry and the crew worked.    At the awards banquet that night we each received a medal and a terrific wood plaque for winning first place in the two-person mixed division (since we were the only ones in that division-it helps to plan what race to enter).

Our crew all took off, and the return trip for all of us was a continuation of the adventures we'd had.  We had to drive both follow vehicles back to San Diego.  Terry's brother, Ron, flew out from Casper, Wyoming, to Philadelphia to help us get as far as Casper.    We drove up to meet him in Philly--and managed to drive both cars under the motel canopy.  Yup--you guessed it.    Wiped out two bike seats, thought we'd dented the frame on Terry's Klein wonderbike, and tore the front part of the bike rack off one car roof.   The other car had a slow leak in the tire -- it'd been punctured somewhere in the boonies from constantly driving on dirty highway shoulders.    We took the tire to Pep Boys and met two terrific people.  The tire couldn't be patched, and it took Bill an hour of very hard work to get the spare out from under the car and mounted.   His mother has diabetes, and he refused to accept any payment for his work!   Laura, the assistant manager, who has a friend who's lost his feet from diabetes, told us to go see her Cousin Eddie who would fix the roof for free.    But it took so long to get the tired fixed, that Cousin Eddie's was closed by the time we got there.  

From Chicago we drove to Council Bluffs where a former student (and head of elementary p.e. for one of the school districts) had reserved a room for us.  Then on to Casper, Wyoming.  On the way Ron got sick and in Cheyenne he was in agony.  We don't know if it was food poisoning along the way, or whether it was flu that his mother-in-law had while we were staying with her in Chicago.  Anyway, he threw up so forcefully that he tore his esophagus.  He wanted to be driven home, where his wife is an ER nurse. So for three hours Patty drove as fast as she could and stopped whenever Ron needed to throw up. He was thrashing around in the passenger's seat from the pain (we didn't know about the torn esophagus until later, but the thrashing around made sense after the diagnosis).  Poor guy--he was in the hospital  over three weeks   One moral of the story is, if you have to throw up, do it daintily!  --Another has to do with eating at [to be named later] . . . . 

We must have gained 5 to 10 pounds driving home. The only way either of us could stay awake was to eat constantly and drink diet pop with caffeine.  We haven't thanked our crew enough, if we ever can, and we haven’t yet thanked the kind people along the way (like you--sorry!).  But grateful—and lucky—we are indeed!  Thank you, team!!  (That’s big “T” Team, too—all of you!) 

We met a lot of diabetics, friends and family of diabetics. Four little kids each gave us a dollar of their vacation spending money because they were impressed by the race and our cause.  A group of elderly people in somewheresville were gathered for supper and listened to our message about exercising and diabetes. One woman in Missouri wanted to know what we were doing and was so impressed she gave us $5.  At a gas station in Wyoming on the return trip a man came over and thanked us for what we were doing.   He's been Type 1 since age 6, is blind in one eye, has a kidney donated by his brother, and also got a pancreas transplant.   We've got a lot of work to do.  When we got home, a neighbor across the street (an intelligent, educated guy) wondered what all the ruckus was about; his brother became diabetic a few years ago, and he didn’t realize type 2 could be prevented--he just thought he was doomed to get it!    Guess we need to get to work on spreading the message of preventing diabetes!! 

 

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