It’s Almost Go Time!

This time tomorrow Marshall will be riding eastward! (old news)

TODAY Marshall will be riding EASTWARD.

More accurately, Marshall will be racing eastward. You see, this is the RACE Across America (RAAM), not merely Pedal Across America (PAAM).  And I know Marshall intends to race.  Since it is a race, he has competition.  RAAM organizers divide the solo racers into 4 categories with separate male and female divisions:

  • Under 50 years of age:  29 male & female racers
  • 50 – 59 years of age: Marshall’s category, he’s 58 years; see below
  • 60 – 69 years: 4 male competitors
  • 70 – 74 years (holy cow!) – one bad arse man = Russian Sergey Zimin (someone, get his autograph for me!)

Here’s a list of Marshall’s competition:

According to the competitor’s biographies, nearly 80% have competed in RAAM before – whether as a solo or team competitor.  Jacques Bourreau, Ed Garrison, and Bob McEnaney are RAAM rookies.

There are several ways to follow Marshall, his competition, or perhaps septuagenarian Russian rock star Sergey while they race through California, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Maryland.

  1. Tractalis – this is the official RAAM web tracking ware. Click on the hot link to download the mobile app. This app is for folks that need a visual.
  2. RAAM Leaderboard – find the racer’s latest checkpoint location, miles completed, total time racing, and average speed. Prefer hard data?  This is your place.
  3. Ridefarther.com website – lots of media coverage, highlights, photos, videos, and recaps. This web site reminds me of People magazine:  less data, more photos and happy stories.
  4. Infinity Bike Shop’s Marshall Reeves RAAM Facebook page – our live correspondent, Nanette, is going to try to provide as much information and photos as possible. Check often, my fellow Facebook users!
  5. We’re modern & use twitter: #marshallreevesraam

 The Weather

HOT. DRY. SUNNY.  Brawley, California, is listed as checkpoint #2.  Here’s the forecast:

The Weather Channel - Weather Underground - AccuWeather

The Weather Channel – Weather Underground – AccuWeather

The course slices through the Arizona desert in the summer.  Notoriously hot. The forecast for checkpoints #3 – 6 (all within Arizona) show temperatures hovering in the 100’s.  Relief ought to be found in the evening with temperatures in the lower 70’s.

I look forward to learning how Marshall plans to cope with the heat.  Will there be ice chests? Special heat reflective wear? I doubt there will be cold beer and sprinklers on the course.



2014 Team Marshall has landed in California


Oceanside pier

Oceanside pier

Good Afternoon from Oceanside, CA! This is Nanette. I am one of the support car drivers for Marshall’s RAAM team, and I will also be photographing and blogging here along this incredible journey!

Most of the team arrived here last evening from many corners of the US; Florida, MA, Maine, and North Carolina.  The rest of the crew arrived today! We flew into San Diego airport and were greeted by Steve, our crew chief, and transported to our hotel where we will be staying and prepping for the race for the next couple of day before it begins this Tuesday at noon.

Today, we had a chance to get to know one another, see some of this gorgeous Pacific coast area, and get over any jet lag anyone may be feeling. We are staying in Carlsbad, CA about 20 minutes from Oceanside. I personally have never been to California and am struck by the beauty of the coast, the comfortable air with low humidity, and the very friendly people.  I headed over to the Oceanside Pier with Steve this morning for him to take care of  the team’s registration. After waiting in line for a bit with other teams and racers, he pick up the required vehicle stickers and all of the other documents necessary for RAAM.  Most of us met for lunch and our first team meeting. Then individually, we starting rolling on our jobs. Leslie is cooking some food ahead for the road, and the rest of us are taking care of equipment, supplies, preparing the RV, etc.

Here are a few shots from our day so far.  We’d love to also have you follow along over on Marshall’s official Facebook page for the most recent info on how his journey is progressing, and photos from the road.

We are all very excited and honored  to be here to support Marshall in this 2014 Race Across America. Go Marshall! Go Team!

~ Nanette Gordon

Nick making new CA friends

Nick making new CA friends

Carlsbad Beach

Steve and Mike checking out Carlsbad Beach


Oceanside Pier RAAM start area

Oceanside Pier
RAAM start area

Registration time!  Steve Lufkin, Crew Chief

Registration time!
Steve Lufkin, Crew Chief

steve registration
RAAM #417

RAAM #417


Team Meeting

Team Meeting

Mike showing off the vehicle stickers

Mike showing off the vehicle stickers

mike with 417

Mike, team mechanic! #417 Marshall’s RAAM race number

RAAM 2014 Upgrades

The successful man will profit from his mistakes and try again a different way.     – Dale Carnegie

7 Changes that are sure to make a difference in RAAM 2014

  1. Crew experience.  Steve Lufkin is once again serving as the crew chief.  He is equally invested in Marshall’s effort for a fast and successful RAAM completion.
    RAAM 2011 Crew Chief Lufkin & Rider Reeves.

    RAAM 2011. Crew Chief Lufkin & Rider Reeves. Photo: Daniel Ciuro.

  2. More crewRAAM 2011 relied on a modest crew of 4.  Marshall underestimated the toll the race would have on his crew members.  This year the crew will consist of 7 members, three of which are returning (Steve Lufkin, Leslie Lufkin, and Michael King).
  3. The addition of an RV camper.  The 2011 RAAM plan relied on hotels.  This proved problematic as it was difficult to find hotels that fit Marshall’s varying mileage schedule. As a result of this arrangement, time and energy was wasted trying to mesh hotel availability with Marshall’s need for rest.

    RAAM 2011. Marshall Reeve.

    RAAM 2011. Marshall’s bed. Photo: Daniel Cuiro

  4. Mountain training time.  Marshall believes he was sufficiently fit at the RAAM 2011 starting line, but underestimated the need for consecutive days of “hill” work.  This year Marshall devoted three weeks of hill work in the mountains of Bryson City, North Carolina.

    Marshall Reeves. MTB NC

    Marshall’s training grounds:  The hills of North Carolina.

  5. Better nutrition. Marshall can’t eat solid food when he rides.  This time around, Marshall will primarily rely on Ensure as his source of nutrition. Based on his 600-800 calories an hour need, he will be consuming A LOT of Ensure.  Marshall plans to ride 20 hours a day for the majority of the race. How many of bottles of Ensure will Marshall toss back on a daily basis?
  6. Legs are good to go. Prior to RAAM 2011, Marshall suffered a quadricep strain that flared up during the race. Marshall intends to receive regular massages to combat fatigue and prevent severe leg swelling which he experienced during RAAM 2011.
  7. Better equipment. Marshall rode a Trek Madone 6.9 (2010) and a Trek TTX (2009) during his 2011 RAAM campaign.  This year Marshall will primarily ride a Trek Domane 6.9 with Di2 (2012) and a Trek Madone 4.5 Di2 (2014).  When the need arises, Marshall will ride his Trek Cronus Pro (2012), a cyclocross bike equipped with aerobars.  All 3 bikes are equipped with CeramicSpeed bearings which provide superior, nearly friction-less movement in the bottom bracket, pulleys, and hubs.

    Trek Domane 6.9 Di2 (2012)

    Marshall’s Trek Domane 6.9 Di2 (2012) receiving attention from crew mechanic, Michael King.

Author: Kristin, also an owner of a (lesser, older) Trek Madone


RAAM 2011

Hello Fellow RAAM & Marshall Fans!

This is Kristin, Infinity Bike Shop sales girl, writer of ThePlayfulLife blog (AKA Outside KMA), lover of epic adventure stories, competitor on land & water, and a home-base contributor to this blog.  In a few days Nanette, the Official Crew Photographer and a Driver of Team Marshall Reeves, will provide written updates and photos that will intimately depict Marshall and his crew’s Really Long race.


Important info for the newly initiated Marshall Fan:

Marshall Reeves is NOT a RAAM virgin.

In RAAM lingo, that ought to read: Marshall Reeves is NOT a rookie.

Marshall's been down this road before.  Monument Valley, Moab, UT. Photo courtesy of Daniel Curio.

Marshall’s been down this road before. Monument Valley, Moab, UT. Photo courtesy of Daniel Ciuro.

Let me give you a super abbreviated synopsis of Marshall’s 2011 RAAM attempt before I jump into a comparison of his first attempt race with next week’s race.

Marshall trained and qualified for RAAM. He raced the Leadville 100 in the summer of 2010 and strained his right quadriceps muscle (foreshadowing). He took a minimalist approach toward forming his RAAM crew plan and, in retrospect, underestimated several aspects of the race that did not involve pedaling.

Marshall rode 2,426.2 miles before having to end his race in Blanchester, Ohio due to the complete failure of his right leg. He was 563 miles short of finishing.

Photo courtesy of Daniel Ciuro.

A strained quadriceps turned into a No Longer In Service Quad. Photo courtesy of Daniel Ciuro.

Unfinished business

Marshall admits that luck plays a role in whether a race goes as planned (ie. weather, automobile accidents); but he is just as quick to admit that decisive changes after careful examination are key to success.  It appears that Marshall and his team have made a number of “game changing” additions to this year’s Race Across America.  Let’s look at these changes for RAAM 2014 – IN THE NEXT POST!