Sights from RAAM the day before it all breaks loose…

Oceanside, CA


The big event today for Team AFU was the vehicle and bike inspection.    By the way, AFU stands for “All Folked Up” as a majority of the members of the crew are avid participants of the Philly Folk Fest.  I (George) am an outsider to all this “Folk” stuff so I’m probably in for an education.   But I digress…. 

Gary the ref is not buying what Russ is trying to sell

Gary the RAAM official skeptically questioning Russ

So today was inspection day and it was pretty darn stressful for our all rookie team.  RAAM is specific in the requirements for all the vehicles (signage, lighting, supplies, etc.) and bicycles.  Annie our fearless crew chief was pretty stressed out as she drilled the team on our equipment and supplies.  I have to cut her some slack because Mark Pattinson’s crew was going through inspection at the same time that we were there and Charlie Coombs (Mark’s crew chief) had butterflies also even though he is a veteran and meticulously prepared.                                                                                   

Left side of Mark's follow van with storage boxes

Red Bull and Pringles Baby!!

 Inspection day is a chance to sneak a peek at how other crews organize themselves in their bid for RAAM glory.  I snapped a few pictures of how the Pattinson crew set up their “Follow Van.” Very impressive.  I also met Charlie and Pat Jenkins (husband and wife on a tandem) they are competing in RAW an 850 mile sprint to Durango, CO.  So we passed the inspection with flying colors.  And for extra brownie points, we gathered as a team highlighted and highlighted the route book in full view of the RAAM officials.  Thank God for organized people.  I’m not blessed with that gene.  

Women and men over 60 get a head start in RAAM, so we watched the start today of one man over 60 and four women.  Sabrina Bianchi got most of the attention, I’m not sure how well she will do, but you just have to admit the Italians have panache. 

We passed the inpsection!!

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