Vic Armijo/ Super 8 Motel, Washington, MO.
June 20, 2011 / 12:20pm EST
“I don’t consider myself a super-talented athletes like a lot of the people I see here,” Joan Deitchman told me back in Oceanside, CA. “I see myself as a regular person with a lot of heart and dedication and I like to inspire other people to push their boundaries and see how far they can go too.” Well, Joan rode 857.6 miles—all the way to Durango, CO, covering the distance in 2 days, 22 hours, 58 minutes, with an average speed of 12.08mph to take first in the Women Solo under age 50 category.
When she’s not pedaling her bike through four states in less than three days, she works as a software engineer for Apple—a job that isn’t exactly conducive to logging long miles, “It’s difficult,” she lamented, “Apple is a company that works seven days a week sometimes. Luckily I have some co-workers that are understanding and I manage my time and prioritize what needs to be done. I do a lot of my long distance riding on the weekend.”
How does a “computer geek” become and endurance cyclist? Deitchman explained, “I spectated at Ironman Canada and got very excited about triathlon and started swimming, running, biking and decided that I like biking the best and realized that I like long distances rather than short. I like pushing my boundaries to see how far I can go.” She stuck with it and has done the Furnace Creek 508 twice, the HooDoo 500 once and the Race Across Oregon twice. “This is my first event over 500 miles,” she said before the start. But she didn’t seem daunted by the task ahead, “Everyone has crewed in 500 mile events before,” and her crew chief (“Overlord”), Sandy Earl, has recent RAAM experience; she started RAAM in 2010. “Yeah, I’d call it a pretty experienced crew, she said. concluded.” Deitchman’s RAW was ridden in memory of Jim Swarzman, “Jim was of a friend of ours who was killed while riding in a brevet a few months ago.” Well Joan, I think that Jim would be proud.