For all the training and discipline it takes on the part of the cyclists to participate in RAAM, Team ViaSat would not get past the California state line without a huge effort from the crew. Their jobs include, but are not limited to, driving, keeping time, navigating, calling in at time stations, filling water bottles, getting the riders fed, keeping the cars fueled and maintained, communicating with the rest of the team, knowing and following all the RAAM rules so the riders don't get penalized, putting up with tired, edgy cyclists, gauging the threshold of tired, edgy cyclists, and keeping everyone safe. It's an exhausting job, but the crew members for ViaSat's 2010 RAAM team wouldn't have it any other way.
Ed Danly (Andrew's dad)
We're not sure how Andrew convinced his dad to drive him across the country when he couldn't muster a ride to college (see rider bios), but Ed seems happy to be part of the race, and handles the chaos with a sense of calm.
Austin Bice (Larry's son)
Austin's dad has been involved in RAAM since ViaSat first created a team in 2006. It was only a matter of time before Austin joined the insanity. Although he modeled as a kid you shouldn't let his good looks fool you--he's no stranger to hard work and he's been taking good care of his dad and Kevin along the way. He stays awake on the road with 5 Hour Energy and Rock 'n' Roll.
Crewing for RAAM in 2009 was one of the "most interesting and exhausting experiences" for Dave; he just couldn't pass up the opportunity to shuttle his friends across the country a second year in a row. When Dave's not jumping out of the car every five minutes to pump up a slowly leaking car tire with a bicycle pump, he eats twizzlers and gummy bears to stay awake.
Matt finds himself at RAAM--for the third year in a row--against his will. John and Brad must have impressive powers of persuasion as they're responsible for talking him into being their driver. Matt plans to make it to Annapolis on caffeine and adrenaline.
For chuck, RAAM is "more fun than a barrel of monkeys," or is it a car full of monkeys? Perhaps the animal antics are what keep Chuck awake while driving. Either way, they must make RAAM look like more fun than the circus because next year Chuck hopes to be one of the bicycle riding monkeys.
Wei thrives on sleep deprivation and low driving speeds: It gives him time to "ponder the relevancy of Milton Friedman's neo-classical economic theory when juxtaposed to Keynesian economic principles in light of recent events." Be sure to ask him what conclusions he comes to by the time he hits Annapolis. Additionally, Wei is taking notes from the cyclists as he hopes to join the team as a rider in 2011.
Izzy is skipping his 10-year high school reunion in order to stare at "eight dudes from behind for an entire week." He was so inspired after crewing last year that he signed up for a spin class when he got home. He's been hooked on cycling ever since. Izzy plans to stay awake with Starbucks Double Shot Espresso and hourly sing-a-longs to Don't Stop Believing and Eye of the Tiger.
All Zach wanted was a RAAM T-shirt, but when he asked John Tyner how to get one, Tyner roped him into doing crew in order to earn it. As a remote ViaSat employee based in Florida, Zach is slowly getting closer to his home time zone.
Ron signed up to crew because it was the "cheapest way to get to the East Coast." Beyond catching a flight back West, however, we're not sure what he plans to do when he gets there. Normally a bike commuter, this is the most time Ron will have spent in a car in the last year.
Just as cheerful on two hours sleep as she is on eight hours of sleep, Desi draws energy from just about everything (and everyone) around her. She's made friends with the Italian and German racing teams, a solo rider from Australia, the waitress at Aunt Toadie's and a bum in Brawley. Her ability to power through long days and extended driving shifts is reminiscent of an Ironman athlete...oh, wait a minute, she is an Iron(wo)man!