RAAM – an acronym, Race Across AmericA…AKA, “The world’s toughest bicycle race” that literally travels across America, from west to east.
Ram – the correct term for the male bighorn sheep. These animals are named for their large, curved horns they use to show dominance. Bighorn sheep are found in North American mountains ranging from Canada to New Mexico.
So, it is quite fitting that the Race Across America has been shortened to RAAM…being that both are American and tough…and both are two things I personally would not want to encounter. After witnessing RAAM firsthand as a crew member (not a rider), I would much rather encounter a ram in the wild than endeavor to ride compete in RAAM!
Backstory: In 2010 I joined Team FARA for their RAAM experience. I was typically at the wheel of an SUV driving closely behind the trike of Kyle to keep other motorists aware that a small man-powered machine was traveling on the rural route we took. Most the time we encountered nobody. We traveled 24 hours a day. I saw the exhaustion that these competitors had to battle and the determination that they must possess to keep spinning their wheels. It was intense, to put it lightly. For the cyclists, who would sleep 2 hours and wake up in the middle of the night to jump back on their bike (somewhere in Kansas? for example), in the summertime humidity, and ride 50 miles. Well, it’s just something not many people would be interested in doing…over and over again. But Mike, John, Kyle & Sam are a bit crazy, like the ram. So they handled it well.
It’s been nearly 4 years since the journey, and sometime soon, you may get to experience the journey from the comfort of a movie theatre, thanks to the crew of “The Ataxian,3” film makers who will be releasing a documentary film. I’m fairly stoked.