Saturday, June 18, 2011

LEAH GOLDSTEIN: RAAM Media 1 finally catches her!

Vic Armijo / Kim, CO.

June 18, 2011

The solo women of RAAM left Oceanside on Tuesday. RAAM Media 1 followed them out to Borrego Springs and then doubled back to Oceanside so that we could be there for the start of the solo men the next day. The original plan was for us to stay with the men until Borrego Springs and then high-tail it to Congress, Arizona, where based on the women’s times in recent years, we’d catch the lead women. But as things often go on the road, there were a few delays, we stayed a little long in some prime photo spots (“Gotta get the shot!”) and mostly, we didn’t count Leah Goldstein’s speed. So once we got to Congress at 11:00 p.m., Leah had been and gone.

No prob, we thought. We’ll catch some sleep, get an early start and go chase. Except come morning the lead men were arriving in Congress and stayed getting photos and video. “Surely we’ll catch the women before Monument Valley,” we thought. But we made it all the way to Monument Valley and still no Leah. Then the wireless at the McDonald’s in Kayenta was—shall we say—“less than adequate” for our uploading needs and as Thursday night became Friday morning we ended up sleeping in the van. We DID actually find Kathy Roche-Wallace in Monument Valley (got some nice photos and video) the next morning before we drove all the way to Durango, expecting to find Leah along the way. But no luck.

Once in Durango we stayed at the finish for RAW (Race Across the West), a sort of junior RAAM for those who “only” want to do 860 miles. By the time we got out of there and up the road, night came and we treated ourselves to a motel—with actual beds and a shower and a coffee maker in the room. I know, I know, we spoil ourselves too much.

This morning we headed east again, got some nice photos and video of the top three male solos and the finally, between Trinidad and Kim, Colorado we found her. Halleluiah! I got some photos, Andrew did a ride along in Leah’s support car and I got a great interview with a crew member. Andrew’s video will be up tonight and my interview will be up tomorrow. For now the photos here are proof that we really did find her.

Leah Goldstein is truly an amazing woman! I’ve ridden bikes with some women who can drop me but I’ve never when the woman is on a bike and I’m in a mini-van!

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