Wednesday, 2 May
You've probably heard of Race Across America. People do this race not just on single bikes, but on tandems, and not just solo but in teams. As you can imagine, various "issues" develop as you race your bike pretty much nonstop across this continent. And if you're on a tandem, one of those "issues" (if you haven't had the foresight to ride much with your partner before you set out--duh!) could be Captain Masher and Stoker Spinner. But at RAAM 2006, one team with this problem "put our minds together" and figured that if just one person was on the bike at a time, the cadence incompatibility would not be a problem. And heck, if there's no stoker, we might as well remove the bars, pedals, saddle, and seatpost for the stoker position. So what if RAAM rules state that a rider must accompany the bike every inch of the way from sea to shining sea, or that a tandem bicycle is a bicycle built for two? Apparently RAAM rules in 2006 did not explicitly say that TWO people had to accompany a TANDEM bike for the whole route. So this tandem team (four people) set a course record and got an official finish for the World's Toughest Bicycle Race (Made EZ). For a fuller version of this story, see the last page of this document:
This stinks. Since when is a tandem a bike for one person to race (there's a reason they're made with TWO positions)? Since when is a tandem bike race conducted one rider to a bike?
Maybe you can't do anything about drugs in the pro peloton, but you can do some small part for the sport. Fire off an email message to the RAAM director (firstname.lastname@example.org) and the HQ of the UltraMarathon Cycling Assocation (UMCAHQ@aol.com) that "There is a RAAM rule that states a bike MAY NOT ADVANCE WITHOUT THE RIDER. On a tandem this means two riders. Team JDRF should be struck from the list of official finishers for RAAM 2006."