Over the years, we've been honored to sponsor several teams competing in Race Across America, the grueling cycling race that started in Oceanside, CA on June 11 and ends in Annapolis, MD on June 20. One of those teams was Team4HIVHope - this year, one of it's founding members, Steven Berveling is riding solo in the shorter version - Race Across the West, and again, we are proud and honored to be sponsoring him.
Why just 860 miles instead of the full 3,000?!
Here's why - read this from his Crew Chief Matthew Remick Colleran and be inspired!
"Race Across the West is the shorter version of Race Across America. They are both organized by the same officials and they start together, but RAAM is Oceanside, CA to Annapolis, MD and RAW finishes in Durango, CO.
I have crewed for a four-man relay team on RAAM three times, in 2011, 2012 & 2014. The team was team4HIVhope the first two years.
At the awards banquet in Annapolis in 2012, one of the racers who co-founded the team, Steven Berveling, announced he would be attempting Solo RAAM the following year. And he asked me to be his Crew Chief.
Solo RAAM is a whole other deal. Where the team race is a round-the-clock switch off and very hard on racers and crew, the Solo effort is truly extreme sports. More like a closely monitored medical watch on somebody attempting a thing that will break him down completely before rebirth at the finish line. Effectively, a war with oneself.
Steven got injured a couple years in a row, postponing his attempt. To keep his qualification current, he jumped onto another four-man team last year and I joined the crew.
The team and crew finished well. So he began training hard again this year in Australia. He's a respected Sydney barrister and accomplished cyclist there. Once again, injury came his way in a bad crash during an endurance race near Perth in the west. One of those massive "road train" lorries blew him off the road. He was in hospital for a few weeks and on crutches for longer while his broken hip mended. Then he began training again and, when it became clear that RAAM was once again out of reach, he decided RAW would be reasonable.
The guy is a nail. He is determined to someday be the first HIV+ bike racer to finish RAAM solo. I'll be honored to crew for him when he does."