In the year before her 40th birthday, Kate Bevilaqua will have checked two important boxes off her bucket list: Over Thanksgiving weekend she won the three-day, 321 mile Ultraman World Championship women’s crown. And this May she will marry her Ultraman crew chief Guy Crawford aka Captain Awesome at home in Australia. Read the full artical on www.slowtwitch.com
"Through Janine Kaye’s camera, we take a closer look at Kate Bevilaqua’s win at the three-day, 515km (320mile) Ultraman World Championship adventure" http://www.witsup.com/photo-journal-kate-bevilaquas-ultraman-world-champs/
Rolf Prima professional athlete, Chris Ganter recently gave a review of his 2016 racing set up including his new Alsea wheel set.
"A good friend of mine, Eric Lagerstrom turned me on to Rolf Prima Wheel systems at training camp in Poway, CA. I had ridden a pair of Rolf Vigors back in the early 2000’s and they were sweet. This year, I was lucky enough to start a new partnership with them and they really have delivered the goods. The new Alsea Carbon racing wheel set is fantastic. The paired-spoke lacing system provides significant rigidity that takes a 29er wheel to 26er stiffness and handling. The lower/paired spoke count decreases the “sail” effect I get from 29″ wheels while flying over waterbars in high cross-wind situations. So it’s nice not to lose your bike from under you whilst airborne.
I think that the most noticeable (and important) difference between the Alsea and other leading brand wheel sets (Yes, I’ve ridden them) is that they “spool up” or accelerate noticeably quicker. I assume this has something to do with equations containing pi, moments of inertia, and tangential forces. Regardless, if you are an XC racer this is just an important fact. I’ll leave it at that.?"
With training and logistics getting the final attention they need, Race Across America (RAAM) is getting closer and closer every day. Under 100 days, not that we’re counting. From the start in Oceanside, CA to the finish in Annapolis, MD; we will cross over 12 states, pass through 88 counties and 350 communities. While we continue hammering out the details for this massive undertaking, here are five little tidbits we thought you’d find fun to know about the team.
When preparing for RAAM people try to figure out the logistics of follow vans, a leap van and an RV for sleeping and eating. They weight the benefits of having a big vehicle for sleeping and changing against the downside that it’s a big vehicle. In a move to simplify this process we’ve decided to use two Sprinter Vans for our follow vans and a minivan for our leap van. This way the riders and crew will be able to more easily sleep and rest, while still being able to have any vehicle move into another role as needed.
Every team has their goal and our Rolf Prima team is no different. Though some aim to finish, we are not going out there aiming for second place. So we have set ourselves a time goal. The only thing is… we’re not telling.
There are a lot of topography changes throughout the country and at first when we were planning I was thinking “man, it’s nice to have a wheel company because we are going to bring an arsenal”. The reality is that our wheels are pretty versatile and we don’t really need an arsenal. Here is what we are thinking:
1. Bring two bikes: one TT bike and road bike. Plus a spare to part out if things get dire.
2. TT bike: We plan to have an Ares6 (or Ares4) front and Disc rear which we will use everywhere we can. I know from my long course triathlon background that a TT set up is fastest wherever you can use it. It won’t excel in the mountains but in the plains and rolling terrain, it will be the way to go.
3. Road bike: The primary will be Eos3 wheels. When we are not in full TT mode, these will be our workhorses. Great for climbing because they are feathery light but also great aerodynamics for the windy, rolling descents.
4. In the Quiver: Vigor’s. I don’t know that we will use these but because they are such a great all conditions, all-terrain wheelset, we have to bring them. These are the wheels we train with so they can ride shotgun and be ready to go.
Through the thick and thin of training and figuring out logistics the Lego dudes have been there – so much so that they are starting to look like us. It would feel like a part of the family was missing if we didn’t bring them along. I mean if Legos can be a part of the Jupiter Probe with NASA and fly all the way to Jupiter, surely they can make the 3,000 + mile cross country endurance ride with us. Mike has already claimed the one with the helmet and Carrie the one with the blond hair so I guess I just get the good looking one.
People who do endurance events understand the race. However, friends and family who don’t, just don’t get it. My parents talk about the “tour” I am doing this summer. I figure it will be a “tour” just like the dictionary is a page-turner. We have done other things to know that we should be able suffer well; from Ironman’s, the Cape Epic, climbing expeditions in the Himalaya, to Leadville, to other sufferfests. This should be an added layer of sleep deprivation suffering and we are trying to keep a focus on keeping a good attitude. My wife’s heroine, Chrissie Wellington, powered through gutty Ironman wins with a smile – that is our goal.
Carrie Ward is one of the members of the four person team heading to RAAM from Rolf Prima. We recently had the opportunity to chat with her about the different aspects of RAAM and the challenges the team will be facing, from training to logistics.
Since you started preparing for RAAM what has been the hardest part of the training?
The hardest part has been the weather here in Oregon. We are having a true Oregon winter which means I am NOT riding my bike outdoors. I am closing in on 2000 miles on the trainer since October. I did get to watch all 4 seasons of Arrested Development though.
We know you were invited to be on this RAAM team by Mike Bishop but what made you wake up one morning and decide to do RAAM?
Oh, this idea did not occur in the morning....it happened the way all really good ideas happen - we agreed to do RAAM after having a beer (or two). After initially declining Mike's invitation, I started thinking you know what? We are not getting any younger or healthier, and the opportunity to do RAAM with good friends probably won't happen again.
RAAM is a huge undertaking and requires endurance. What type of ultra-cycling events have you done in the past?
I have done a couple of double centuries, a handful of Ironman triathlons, the ABSA Cape Epic 8 day mountain bike race and several years ago Brian and I rode across the country (self supported) 100 miles a day for 30 days.
While preparing for the more detailed parts of RAAM, what do you think the most challenging part of the course will be?
I think the east coast will be the most challenging. The hills in the east are really steep compared to out west. Apparently they didn't know about switch backs when they built their roads. And we will be fatigued and sleep deprived by the time we hit those hills. Did I mention the heat and humidity on the east coast?
What are people's reactions to hearing you're doing Race Across America, an over 3000 mile bike race?
I've only told a couple of friend's. They just laugh and say "of course you are." Other than that, I haven't really told anyone.
Because RAAM is a multi-day nonstop race, how are you preparing yourself mentally and emotionally for this endeavor?
I am telling myself I will need to trust the crew to make good decisions, and I will need to follow their directions and advice (with minimal questioning). My main objectives are to eat, sleep and ride.
Throughout your training and preparations so far, what has been the most surprising thing you've encountered?
So far there are two things: 1. I thought Brian was the king of Excel spreadsheets, but Mike has taken over the title. 2. We did a team training in Sacramento a couple weeks ago. We practiced transitions and following a rider with a big van in traffic and on back roads - it seemed pretty sketchy, especially when cars passed. I have a much better idea of the inherent dangers of this race - I am much more nervous about our safety during RAAM than I was initially.
We look forward to hearing more from Carrie as the days and weeks pass bringing us closer to RAAM - Race Across America.