On Sunday night I watched the DVD Bicycle Dreams, a documentary about RAAM (Race Across America). The film follows the 2005 race, an unusually challenging year for the event. I instantly fell in love with the song on the main page of the link, which is featured in the film as well.
While I’ve never been inspired to do RAAM myself, I’ve had a certain amazement and curiosity about the athletes that do this remarkable race. The multiple-award winning film does an excellent job of educating viewers about the race and allowing us to meet several of the racers up close and personal.
What I mean by “up close and personal” is that the film makers allow us to see what makes a RAAM racer tick, including plenty of moments with their support crews. Racers reveal their thoughts, what they fear and how they feel before the race. The cameras then capture the race itself, including the assumed - and unimaginable - hardships.
One of the things I really liked is that the film makers were able to draw out of these racers what I think, to some extent, lies in the heads, hearts and souls of all endurance athletes.
To race across America, over 3000 miles, from coast-to-coast on a bicycle in a goal time of 10 days is beyond my imagination of the possible, normal, reasonable, rational. In the trailer, one rider’s crew commented that in the last 23 hours, the rider had been off the bike a total of 8 minutes. I can’t imagine what it feels like to be on a bike for that long. While I don't want to do RAAM, I will say the film was really inspiring.
If these people (humans, just like you) can do RAAM, you can find a way to reach your first, or next, endurance goal.