Blog #2 – Pearce’s Race Across America
“Depending on your life experiences, crewing on Race Across America will be the most amazing or awful thing you ever do, it may be both.” Quote from a Former Crew Member.
StayWell President Pearce Fleming is a support crew member with a Race Across America team sponsored by Bike Law, a national network of bicycle crash attorneys who believe when roads improve for the safety of bicyclists, they become safer for all users. Pearce’s team is riding in support of Cycle for Survival, a movement to beat rare cancers. Pearce shares some personal thoughts on his reason to race across America in his first blog here: “Pearce Fleming is embarking on an exciting race across the United States.”
The race has been called “The most brutal challenge ever devised in the name of sport.” So the question you may be asking — right after “Why would anyone do that? — is: “What does serving as a support crew member on a 3000 mile cross-country bike race entail?” Before he left, Pearce shared a Support Crew Guide which answers a few common questions about what it’s like to be part of this adventure, such as:
What role does a crew member play?
Crewing encompasses numerous duties and roles—while the racers race, the crew members make most of the decisions and most constantly improvise, adjust and adapt. Crew members wear many hats including Bike Mechanic, Medical (EMT, Nurse, Doctor), Therapy (PT, Chiropractor, Massage), Handy Person (able to fix pretty much anything at any moment with a butter knife), Follow Drivers (2 minimum), RV and Other Drivers (2 minimum), Navigation Expert (2 minimum) Food Ambassador (champion of always having enough food for everyone) and Crew Chief (the deciding vote).
What can a crew member expect?
- Expect to sleep very little, and when you do, it will in all likelihood be in a moving vehicle.
- Expect to go days without showering, and to eat mostly non-organic, processed food.
- Expect an emotional roller-coaster; one moment you’ll be feeling more alive than ever, the next you’re crying in a port-a-potty.
- Expect that, at some point, you will see the very worst and the very best of every single member of the team, including yourself.
What can a crew member not expect?
- Do not expect to “see the country,” or to camp out next to an open fire.
- Do not expect it to be a spiritual journey or a quest you are all on together. It will become that, but only if you focus on the fundamentals.
- Do not expect, your team or rider to do anything you think they will. Expect nothing and prepare for everything.
A final perspective from Pearce:
“I think it shows how complex this effort is going to be and how, as with most things in life, it takes a team with everyone working in support of the greater mission to make it happen.”
StayWell wishes Pearce and all the crew members and racers best of luck as they Race Across America!
For updates on Pearce’s experiences through the next few days – please follow StayWell on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. You can also follow more about the RAAM race by going to their website: or their social media Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.