Sacramento Bee | Blaire Anthony Robertson
Photo: The Believe and Achieve team ascends Mosquito Ridge Road during a 75-mile training ride earlier this month. Competing in Race Across America is a huge undertaking, for riders and support team | Paul Kitagaki
When you enter the Race Across America, you sign up for one extremely arduous bike ride, with countless hills, long, lonely roads, heavy winds, hunger and sleep deprivation.
It's a race of big dreams, perseverance and life lessons – 3,000 miles long and 170,000 feet of climbing – so the training has to be commensurate with the challenges.
But how do you get nine local teenagers – the youngest relay team ever to participate in RAAM – ready for such an ordeal?
If you're Jared Ellison, a management consultant in his day job and the squad's volunteer coach, you arrange things like increasingly long rides, increasingly harder climbs and ever more intense interval work. You hone their diets, fine-tune their technique and have them log their miles online to help them see the big picture and take stock of their progress.
Then you throw in some shock therapy – like a recent slumber party that began innocently enough with pizza and video games late into the evening.
Read more: http://www.sacbee.com/2012/05/29/4520596/a-dream-of-a-ride.html#ixzz1wI2cbokb