A nice article about my RAAM race from "The iron Turtle"
Knysna, South Africa, Sunday 20 June 2010, the French World Cup football team refuses to practice. At the same time across the Atlantic, France’s Barbara Buatois quietly crosses the finish line in Annapolis, Maryland, placing first in the women’s solo division of the Race Across America (RAAM). This race is billed as the toughest sporting event in the world. It is a three-thousand-mile, non-stop bicycle race covering four time zones. Typically less than half of the starters will finish this grueling race. RAAM is not a stage race. The clock starts on the west coast and doesn’t stop until the finish. RAAM is 30% longer than the Tour de France but Barbara will finish the race in almost half the TDF time with no rest days.
This is an especially satisfying win for recumbent fans as Barbara became the first woman to successfully complete the race on a recumbent bicycle — and she made it look easy. Looking in from the outside just before the race it didn’t look so good when *****, a French racing bike company, and Barbara had an amicable split-up. Barbara chose to go with a wholesale Taiwanese company, Performer, for her bicycle. For non-recumbent riders , this would be similar to Lance Armstrong dropping by Walmart to pick up his bike enroute to the Tour de France. In a race where some teams are supported by state-of-the-art rolling luxury vehicles with professional drivers and back-up bikes, Team Buatois relied on family, friends, and a rented Ford Econoline van as the primary sleeping and support vehicle for their racer. Did this work? Yes! Buatois simply took the lead at the start of the race and kept it for eleven days nineteen hours and forty-eight minutes averaging 10.59 mph.
When her team van mysteriously ran over her bike, damaging the wheel and handlebar, what did Team Buatois do? Some glue, duct tape, and a few hours drying time and she calmly continued over the Rockies and Appalachians arriving in Annapolis cool, calm and collected. Barbara Buatois a shining star of poise and style from which the footballers and the rest of us could learn much.