Thursday, February 23, 2006


So I competed in the Sebring 24 Hour RAAM Qualifier in my homebuilt streamlined recumbent on February 18-19 in Sebring, Florida. This road event started at 6:30 am with three 3.7mile laps on the Sebring International Road course, followed by an 89mile out and back long day loop, then laps on the 12 mile short day loop till dark, then they move you onto the track again to do 3.7 mile laps until 6:30am the next morning. The RAAM Qualifier is a non drafting category, in order to qualify for RAAM you must complete 450miles in a 24 hour non drafting race. Not that I have any intentions of doing RAAM.

So that was pretty fun.

I guess I lapped the field during the three starting laps on the track and then held a one mile lead till the turn around on the long loop at 48 miles out. Averaged well above 25mph on the way out. Then the sun came out and I fried. My support vehicle didn't catch up until after I had made my first lap on the short day loop, this means I cooked the whole way back on the long loop with the windsheild on and my camelback on my chest at about 17mph. I ditched them as soon as I got to the second checkpoint, but all my food was still in the support vehicle. I made twelve laps on the short day loop, two less than the leaders. It was not exactly a flat course, I was using all 9 gears on the day loops. However, the hilly sections were where I seemed to catch the most people. They would coast down the hills where I would be winding up the momentum to shoot over the next one.When nightfall finally came thats when the real fun began. Hot laps on the Sebring International Road Course, in the dark, wee! It cooled down enough for me to put the windshield back on, and my speeds came back up. The HID lit the corners and straights up quite well. All was well other than the fact that I couldn't stay awake. 27mph for three laps and 15mph on the next as I swerved all over. Still had some of the fastest lap times though, just couldn't stay in the bike as long as the leaders. Darnit.

Not my fastest, but I spent more time building the bike/fairing/trailer than training so thats about what I expected. Good amount of streamliner training here, bike handles good, and I finished. No crashes, although I did fall over twice. I weighed the bike today. 55lbs dry. No wonder those little hills hurt....still. Deep tissue massages are darn painfull, but they work. Time to build something lighter. Time to start training for Ouichita.

All times include stops
366.7 miles in 23:49:57
First 101.5 miles in 4:24:45
3rd fastest 3.7 mile night loop at 8:45
24th of 79 overall 24 hour finisher16th of 41 overall RAAM Qualifiers(nondrafting)5th of 8 overall recumbent RAAM Qualifiers

Jim Kern won the 24hour event overall on a Bacchetta recumbent with a new course record of 516 miles. The Bacchetta people were my best cheerleaders, great folks.

Finishing placings here and splits here


Sean Noonan said...

You should do RAAM.

Neve_r_est said... first. I would like to tour the country by bike, but I would like to be in a conscious state when I do so. RAAM is real hard on the body and pocket book, prolly not in my cards. You should try a road 24 hour, mtb 24 hours are easy in comparison.

Anonymous said...

sorry, I'd go to the mtn bike race, but 5 hours is a long drive and I'll probably have a lot of homework to do on Sunday.

Sean Noonan said...

Do RAAM! I have faith in you!

No I shouldn't do a 24 hour road race...they're hard cause they're boring as hell. And that's why I don't do them.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Dennis, nice job to you too. I'll upgrade later on this season. Just waiting for the right time. I think I should conquer the mountain bike racing while in the process.