The Bicycle Lawyer and the Race Across the West

“I cycle to burn off the crazy” – I get asked all the time why I am doing RAW (Race Across the West). People inevitably ask: “Why would you want to ride a bicycle that far?” For most people they think ultra endurance sports is just crazy. I suppose in their world it is. But the honest and raw truth is that in my world it’d be “crazy” not to do it. Not only can I imagine myself out there for 928 miles over 90 hours straight, but I CAN’T imagine not doing it. Whoa – that is a lot of double negatives. Sorry about that. My point is that my life just doesn’t seem complete unless I am otherwise engaged in these sort of challenges. In the depths of wrenching challenge lies the sort of adventure my soul seems to seek.

There is a lot more to it, and most of that is pretty personal. Perhaps through these blog posts regarding my journey to RAW some of it can be discovered. I figured I ought to write this blog first and foremost for me. I’d like to remember what I feel and felt through out this journey. I’d like to learn from my mistakes and my successes and record them for future reflection. I hope my son will someday read them and can maybe find some inspiration for his life.

The journey to RAW is exciting and takes a lot of energy. There is of course the incredible training that must be accomplished, but also there are tons of issues relating to gear, nutrition, coaching, bike fits, bike tech, support crew issues, etc. I hope to cover many of these in this blog and share my experiences in case someone else learns from them and can improve upon them for their own race someday.

RAW – broken down: It’s a 928 mile bicycle race from Oceanside CA, to Durango CO held in the middle of June (you can check their website for more details). Raw is the baby brother to RAAM, also known as Race Across America. RAAM starts the same time as RAW and goes all the way to Annapolis, MD. Solo RAW racers who actually complete the course within the 92 hours will qualify to race RAAM as a solo cyclist the following year. This just might be a goal of mine… lets get through RAW first. There is very little to no sleep in RAW/RAAM, perhaps 30-60 minutes a day depending on each racer’s strategy. To put it in perspective, you race for 4 days straight on your bicycle stopping only when absolutely necessary for a quick bathroom break or a quick 30-60 minute nap. Good times!

I have had several friends, family members, and business contacts all want to know more about my RAW experiences and want to track me during the race. I hope this webpage serves as a means to do just that, as well as the resources/links listed below. Thanks for all of your support!

Live GPS Tracking

RAAM & RAW are such incredibly tough bicycle races that cyclists come from all over the world to compete. A very cool and robust Live Tracking is provided in the link(s) below. Cool map options and overlays etc. Have fun. My uber cool and very dedicated crew will be taking lots of pictures and videos which will be uploaded and posted to the FaceBook pages listed below. The race itself will periodically post pictures and video files through (listed below).

#baaRAW: The Bicycle Lawyer's 'RAW' Blog

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Ben Dodge - The Bicycle Lawyer