Sunday, June 28, 2009

Paul Danhaus Wins!!!

Paul finished the Race Across America at 2:35am this morning. 11 days 10 hours 48 minutes. All we have are some really crappy pics. We will get more up soon. Paul Congratulations to you and your crew!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Saturday morning update from La Vale, MD

Hmmmm, how to even begin. I guess just a character at a time to match each pedal stroke for Paul. There have been many words thrown around the last ten days: superman, extraordinary effort, unbelievable, vicariously pedaling with you. They are all true, but truly fail to in anyway capture what is happening here. It would take a truly gifted writer to put it on paper, alas that is not me.

The true essence of this is really much more closlely related to a feeling or an emotion that transcends vocabulary. It is more like that most meaningful piece of music that takes you to a different place you have never been to. The joy and sorrow it can yield are very pronounced.

Historically many types of cultures and people have develpoed tests of strength, ability, toughness, etc. Many of this may seem cruel by todays standards, many may not understand this endeavor of Paul's. It really is not about that at all. What comes out of all this pain and hardship is the ability to answer that essential core question of who are you. Paul's motto is "racing from the heart." I truly saw that Friday as Paul rode with his heart exposed and open to all. The toughness of this section of the course after 2500 miles all ready passed was mind-blowing. How did he do it, what kept him going, why, why, why. Well it is really quite simple. Paul knows and believes in his inner self which is expressed in his "race from the heart" theme.. So I
Challenge all of you, on Paul's final day of his RAAM journey, to be as brave as Paul and ask yourself, am I living my inner theme. Have I challenged or pushed myself lately to make every moment count.

Thank you Paul, and thank you to all his followers on this trip. What a great land to match Paul Danhaus becomming one with his life's theme.
Paul Danhaus "Racing from the Heart"

Your very humble crew member

Friday, June 26, 2009

Paul Danhaus Interview ....Finally

Friday Morning Update

It is Friday morning around 10:30 and we are leaving Athens Ohio. We will be entering West Virginia in 30 miles with about 400 miles to go to the finish.

It looks like we will have a strong day today, a good night and strong finish on Saturday. We have total confidence in Paul. His legs are strong, and he is dealing well with the head-neck issues. Now it is really just a matter of staying awake and we are continuing to deal with the heat intense heat and humidity. We have had a number of days in a row of this hot stuff.

Last night, we had some heavy rain that Paul had to deal with. That forced us to pull off for a while when the lighting was too close. As soon as it was safe Paul was back on the road.

Wow, Paul is such a trooper, still never a compliant, just a focus on the task at hand and all the details he loves to repeat to us. Of course, we always have everything taken care of, but he always wants to double check. That is what a good doctor does, right?

Anyway, keep us in your thoughts as we cross the Ohio River and hit the hills of West Virginia as the adventure continues. Thanks for all of your support and email messages.

Crew member John

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Brandon Report - Paul Danhaus Bike Intervention

Free McDonalds in Blanchester OH!!

Crew chief Dennis sent me a message saying there was free McDonalds in Blanchester OH and he is happy he doesn't have to cook tonight! The catch is you have to be on a RAAM team :) Thanks McDonalds for your support. I personally love the Angus Mushroom and Swiss and of course the french fries and chocolate shake.

There isn't enough Caffeine in all of ...

Paul took another 3 hour break in Oxford OH in the middle of the day. The temperatures are still in the mid 90s. Anybody who knows Paul knows that he loves his Starbucks. The crew has been trying to limit consumption on the trip, but now that we are 8 days into this, go for it Paul.

The Wamplers Rock!!!!!

Thanks to Connie and Jim Wampler, the crew and Paul got a very refreshing break. Their house is located right on the course near Sullivan IN, time station 37. They told us before the race that they will help in any way. I told them they will get a bunch of tired, hungry, dirty men at 2am who will make a big mess! And they said, bring it on!!! Wow, what great support! They are friends of crew member Ed P., and Ed's wife also drove down from Terre Haute to support Team Danhaus. So when the crew arrived, they came with a flat tire that needed to be fixed on the chase vehicle. The wamplers helped with that. They came with a pile of dirty laundry, which they let them wash, and even had a bunch of towels so the crew and Paul could take a shower. And if that weren't enough, they got a lovely home cooked dinner. Then the crew and Paul decided it was too good to leave so they watched a little TV (which they hadn't seen for over a week) and took a nice long nap to refresh. The entire team thanks the Wamplers for their time, hospitality, and support!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Snoozing in Missouri

The crew noticed Paul's speed dropped and so he got a power nap in Washington, Missouri, just 70 miles from crossing the Mississippi River and the 2/3 point in the race. The temperatures were over 100 degrees in Missouri today and the heat wave is expected to continue across the Midwest, so a mid day siesta is the order for now.

In the Ozarks and on to Jefferson City

Got some updates and pictures from the crew:
From Pablo: No the neck problem isn't bad. Playing his cards for some sympathy. Seem to be riding stronger when he knows he will get to rest. Road very strong last half hour to check point 30.

From Dennis: Paul is taking a 3 hour break in Weaubleau, MO
He is riding strong but gets a little testy when we force him to drink. The neck brace is working for now but we are getting another setup ready just in case. It is hot. We will make it.

From John: Hey everyone
Well we almost have one week in. (Noon time to be exact). We are headed to Jefferson City, MO as I write this. We have 31 out of 53 check points in. That's 1911 miles with 1105 left. Everyone we run into, officials, check point people, other teams are in awe of Pauls current pace and determination. Crew machanic Pablo has rigged a niffty contraption to support his head up. Long way to go yet, but Pauls' and the crews' spirits are high. Have everyone keep sending emails out to him, he loves to have us read them to him.
Crew member John P.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Tough day at work

Paul rode into a new state today (Missouri) and is getting ever closer to the finish line in Annapollis. Sometime before sunrise tomorrow he will cross the Mississippi River and have 2000 miles under his tires. Today, was a tough one. His neck has started to hurt and the contraption that his crew chief, Dennis, made in San Diego wasn't doing the job. So the crew had to rig another means to help Paul hold his neck up. The RAAM historians say that 30% of RAAM participants develop what is known as Shermer neck, and Paul isn't immune to this one either. I have some pictures but I won't post these. Paul remains very enthusiastic and the crew is still enjoying the marvels of a journey with a RAAM soloist. He is still holding an average pace of just under 12 mph!!

Snakes in Kansas!

I have been following RAAM for a few years now, and one thing that most soloists have in common is hallucinations while in Kansas. Even Jure Robic thought the mailboxes were attacking him! Well, Paul is not immune. The crew said he is seeing snakes in Kansas. He is also thinking the road signs are falling on him and the crew says they put him down for a power nap when he starts talking about the hallucinations.
Otherwise, Paul is holding up really well. He is over the half way point (it seems the GPS tracker shut off at midnight as he is nearly in Yates Center Kansas). So he has about 1678 miles under the tires so far. Dennis says the RAAM website has a picture of him feeding Paul popcorn chicken, but I hope they are feeding him less greasy stuff. Pablo has reported that he is eating wraps with turkey and cheese, lots of different fruits, peanut butter sandwhices, "and a bunch of other junk". He is drinking tea and of course the Hammer products. Just thought you might want to know! He has been passed by a couple of the younger soloists, but is really holding is own out there! Hopefully I will get some pictures from the crew today.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Plains, Kansas - Time Station # 23

The crew sent a note saying: Paul is flying in KS with a tail wind, it is hot. Here is a picture from today. The GPS tracker shows Paul is already past Plains but the RAAM website doesnt have his time station stats updated yet.

Sunday morning Sunrise in Kansas

After Paul napped for about 2 hours in Elkhart, he got back on the road at about 7am PST.
This and the picture is from the RAAM website (hopefully I am giving them enough credit and won't get in trouble for this):

Danhaus, who was already riding when we caught up to him was hammering along in great spirits. Sunday morning starts with promise for these two RAAM riders.

Paul resting at Elkhart Time Station #22

Paul arrived at the Elkhart Time station at 4:45am PST (7:45 race time). Here is what the crew had to say:
Paul is in Elkhart (border of Kansas and Oklahoma) feeling good. He is going to get a massage and a short nap. Saddle sores are under control. Marco Baloh passed him as he was coming into town. The media was all over it; especially when they tapped fists. Marco said "you are a strong rider". This made Paul's day!! We are getting ready for a hot one today!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Paul's Crew reports from Eagles Nest NM (finally some sun!)

Paul made it over the Eagles Nest in great form. We rocked it all the way up with the Rocky theme song in a very cold rain.
We are heading to Springer NM. The weather is sunny and nice.
Pauls form and legs are good, He is just having to fight off very heavy eyes,, but is fighting through it..

As for me. I'm very well, and am holding up well with small little sleep times. I'll be looking forward to nice meals agaiin and much less junk food. The whole journey has been insprational. The West has been beautiful and senic.

Also - there is a nice blog post on the RAAM website on Paul (Dr. Danhaus).

For tonight, Paul will roll on through the rest of New Mexico (at a net downhill) with clear skies and temperatures in the mid 50s. Tomorrow morning sometime he will get into Kansas where things will start heating up to mid day temperatures of 95F.

Paul reached Taos at 6am PST!

Paul rode into Taos early this morning. Crew chief Dennis says it is raining Cats and Dogs and it was a tough section for Paul who is dealing with saddle sores now. But Paul is still fired up and he will make it to Annapolis! When Paul got into Taos, Lara (his handler) had contacted a doctor who gave her instructions for saddle sore treatments. Apparently he has open sores, not the bumps. So Lara went off to the drug store while Paul rested. I suppose Poor Lara will get the wonderful task of patching saddle sores! I think the rest ended up being a long one because Paul didnt seem to get on the road again until about 10:30. They were supposed to only take an hour nap and get back down to 5000 feet for a rest, but the course keeps them over 5000 feet from the next 3 time stations (about 150 miles). And to throw a wrench into the race plans there are rain storms to greet them the whole way to Kansas. The weather in Kansas looks the worst with heavy rain and thunderstorms covering the entire southern half of the state. Dennis says Paul is definitely not lacking in determination!

Paul riding into Antonito

This is from the RAAM website blog:
We caught up with 60+ rider Paul Danhaus as he crossed the Rio Grande in the rain. He looked solid and his kit was perfect for the circumstances. He didn’t want to talk, but who could blame him. RAAM is getting tougher. Danhaus is riding a fantastic race so far. After 1044 miles he is averaging 11.7mph. Wow!
Also on the website blog predictions for Time Station 18 in Taos as Robic and Dani Wyss move up on Paul:
What do I think? I think that Robic will arrive first followed by Danhaus and then Wyss meaning that Danhaus will almost hang on.

Friday, June 19, 2009

What it's like to be on a RAAM crew

I asked Pablo to send me a video that captures the excitement of RAAM and this is what he sent.

Crew's View

Into Colorado today

Paul has crossed into the 4th state on this year's RAAM course and he is determined to not stop until he reaches Taos New Mexico, which will likely be early Saturday morning. He has been passed by a RAW team and cranked up the pace as they approached to fight them off because he has been the front runner on the course thus far. At the TS#16 in Chama, NM, though Jure Robic and Dani Wyss are only 2 hours behind Paul and will likely catch him before the end of the day Saturday.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Paul in Montezuma Creek

PAUL is fired up right now. At the last TS he wanted to go all night. We are in Montezuma Creek waiting for him to come in. The next stop is Cortez CO. It is cooling down so we are making sure he has warm clothes tonight. The crew is really working together and having fun. Pauls bearing on his Zip rear wheel gave out so we replaced the wheel set. I have free wireless in this town of the Navajo Nation. Pablo and Ed are getting some sleep right now so they can stay energized through the night. Paul is behind the planned schedule but by only 40 miles by my calculation. If the wind stays behind his back he will make it up. Later Dennis

Paul takes a short break in Tuba City

Scottish - Mexican Mechanic

Pablo - what are you wearing underneath that kilt?

Time Station #9 - Tuba City

Paul rolled into warmer temperatures at Time Station 9 in Tuba City where his crew was making a strategy (Pictured left to right -Wyatte, Ed, and John (and Lara's Butt).

Time Station #8 - Flagstaff

Paul rolled into Flagstaff at 3am PST (6am race time) and was totally frozen but still pumped. The temperatures in Flagstaff were below 40 over night. His only female crew member, Lara, gave him a massage and some food and fluids. Then he took a short nap while trying to warm up and wait for the sun to come up. As he heads into Tuba City, Kayenta, and Mexican Hat today, he can expect similar cooler than usual temperatures as yesterday, with Highs in the mid 80s, a possible thunderstorm, partly cloudy skies, and winds out of the west at 10-20mph. The current temperature in Tuba City is still a cold 46F.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Time Station #5 - Congress, AZ

After pedaling through the night, Paul took his first sleep break at Congress for 3.5 hours. Legs look great as he continues to dance up the climbs. Paul is in good spirits and pedaling strong. He has been taking in plenty of fluids and food. The air conditioner in the RV broke but the crew has lined up a repair person in Prescott, so hopefully that will get fixed. There were scattered rain showers and thunderstorms throughout their climb into Prescott, which kept the high temperatures for the day to the mid 80s. The rest of the time there were partly cloudy skies and a very light breeze. Paul will be heading into Flagstaff tonight where the low will be about 40F.

RAAM Time Station #2

Got a call from the crew. Paul came through TS2 in Brawley just a few minutes ahead of the ladies. They went out pretty fast because of a good tail wind even though the first TS is uphill. From TS1 to TS2 is a net downhill and his average speed was actually slower, but the report is that this was due to some gusty winds blowing him around on those deep rimmed race wheels. Paul stopped for about 15 minutes at TS2 to eat some Pizza, put lights on and change clothes and the ladies close to him (Janet and Daniela) didn't stop so they are just in front of him.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Paul Danhaus preparing for the 2009 Race Across America solo division.
Pre-Race CelebrationLeft to right: Jim Fidler-RV driver, Lara Sullivan, Me, Dennis Kasischke-Crew Chief, Ed Pabst (in back), Pablo Martinez-mechanic (in front), Wyatte DeLoache, John Pophal.

Paul Danhaus: "Had a great time and a lot of people were there. We had Mike Trevino, 2nd place RAAM finisher in 2004 or 2005 address my crew at our pre party mtg. Everything is going well!"