Tuesday, June 8, 2010
RAAM Logistics: The Hard Numbers
Inside of the pace van that follows Rob
As you might imagine, RAAM is quite the undertaking. In addition to almost a full year of training, the logistics are pretty mind boggling. I cribbed this from Rob's web site. It's a description of the 2008 logistics, but everything is pretty much the same.
How it works out on the road:
Three vehicles form the core of Rob's support infrastructure:
1.) Pace van - This is the van the follows Rob 24/7 and has his food, clothes, bikes, wheels, music - everything. Three people man the pace van: the driver and the navigator up front and the chef/mechanic in back.
2.) Shuttle van - This is the van the brings in a fresh crew to the pace van every 12 hours and shuttles the spent crew up the road for food and sleep. Two crew members will man the shuttle van. They will also be responsible for doing Rob's and the all the crew's laundry, as well as grocery shopping while the off pace van crew sleeps.
3.) Motor home - will connect with Rob every night (after the first couple of days) at around 2:00 AM so Rob can sleep for a couple of hours. Two people will man the motor home, including a massage therapist.
Most nutritional needs will be met with a liquid diet that Robs has sworn by for more than a decade. It is called Spiz. He drinks a bottle an hour, every waking hour, for the entire race. Each bottle has about 500 calories. He supplements this with electrolytes and vitamins, some solid food and, of course, plenty of water. This works out to approximately 11,000-13,000 calories per day.
There is also a crew of 10 to feed as well. That means that they will be eating a lot of their meals in cars, out of coolers. The shuttle crew goes grocery shopping every day, making sure that there is enough water for Rob and enough of whatever the crew wants, including cereal, cold cuts, bread, fruit, caffeine in various forms, candy, whatever they want.
No meal is too good for Rob's crew - as long as it can be consumed out of a paper cup in a car traveling 17 miles per hour.
The roster of equipment is almost too mind-boggling to imagine:
- 3 vehicles (Pace van, shuttle van, motor home)
- 3 bikes
- 8 spare wheels
- 6 spare tires
-10 spare tubes
- bike tools
-10 summer gloves
- 8 winter gloves
- 2 shoe covers and booties
- 3 helmets
- 6 pair prescription eyeglasses (clear and sun)
- 6 long sleeve jerseys
- 4 jackets
- 1 rain jacket
- 4 pair of shoes
- 3 first aid kits
- 1 tire pump
- 5 coolers
- 4 water jugs
- 25 bottles for Spiz and water
- 2 iPods
- 4 external stereo speakers
- 1 PA horn
- 1 power amplifier
- 3 CB radios
- bike racks
- wheel racks
- 1set of flashers
- 1 set of overhead spotlights
- 5 clipboards
- three calculators
- three cell phones
- medical supplies
- vehicle maintenance supplies
- digital cameras
- video cameras
In years past, Rob brought about 60 cassette tapes. Today, the iPod replaces all of that. He has about 15 days worth of music on the two iPods (There is a duplicate iPod as backup in case the first one dies out.) Much to the crew's chagrin, Rob will no doubt want to listen to certain albums over and over and over.
- airline tickets for 11 people
- two rental vans, plus a motor home
- hotels for the "off" crew across the entire country
- meals for the off crew, sleep crew and shuttle crew
All of this needs to be kept neat, orderly and in its proper place. As past crews know, Rob rarely complains about the pain of RAAM, but he can be quite a pain if he sees a pair of bike shorts in the wrong storage bin!