We had to go through a big registration and inspection process today. In the end it wasn't much of a problem, but it did take some time. I also did a video interview with the race videographer today, and had a couple "official" race photographs taken. That was sort of weird. Especially the video interview. Its just pretty foreign to me and I'm not the greatest subject to put in front of a camera anyways. Lots of questions about the Alaska angle...how do you get prepared for RAAM living in Alaska?? What is it like to ride on snow?? Do you have to worry about bear or moose encounters?? The answers to all of these questions seem so obvious to me. It really reminded me how different living in Alaska can be to people that don't live there.
This is a picture of Carolyn Chandler. She's the Raam Racer Liaison and has been a big help to me in the months leading up to this week. Her and two of her daughters are taking care of keeping up with a big chunk of the racer paperwork.
After that process was over we went on a snipe hunt of sorts, looking for an REI that apparently does not exist. I had an address, directions, and phone number, but when we got there it wasn't there...and never had been. Then when I called the number I got some other business. Eventually we asked for some directions and got sent to an REI in Encinitas and got the stuff I needed.
Before any of that stuff took place I finally got out on a ride after three days of resting, driving, and eating. It was good to be on the bike again. The area where we are staying is about 10 miles east of Oceanside and has some good hills and probably less traffic, although it still seems like a lot to me. I went out for two hours and felt really 'strong' but not very quick...if that makes any sense. I don't usually feel that great after a layoff, so I guess I felt about like I thought I would. I think an hour of so tomorrow with some real hard efforts will have me feeling pretty good for the race start on Sunday.
Between now and 10am tomorrow the rest of the crew will arrive and there will be a lot of running around and a couple trips to the San Diego airport. Tomorrow there is a race meeting at 4pm and a banquet at 6pm. At that point everything will be out of the way and we can finally start thinking about starting.
The race start is under the board walk right on the beach. Here is a picture of the start banner. Its a ceremonial start, with a neutral 'race' for the first 13 miles. Then there is a re-start. So its basically just like the Iditarod. Once again, I'm a sled dog!!