thanks to our sponsors
This is us
On June 18 2016…
…4 courageous riders set off on a journey of a lifetime. They cycled relay-style across the vast North American continent. The route threw everything imaginable at these intrepid cyclists as they cross 12 states and climbed over 170,000 vertical feet in their 3000 mile challenge. They will raced against the clock to conquer this ultra-endurance event in 7.5 days!
Split into pairs, each rider will cycled 100 miles per day in 20 minute sprints. While Mick pushed upwards of 20mph, his partner Rob was taken up the road awaiting his turn. The crew, led by Michael and his deputy Chris, ensured that when Mick exploded into view, Rob was primed and ready for his next sprint. This went on for 8 hours with the safety of both riders being paramount and the crew’s logistics resembling a German assembly plant on a good day! Our other two honed athletes, Graeme and Lee meanwhile were taken up the road for some well-deserved rest, massage, nutrition and if possible… sleep! 8 hours later, they switched and did it all over again…
The two vehicles and 4 riders leapfroged each other through the brutal heat of the Mojave Desert, over the Rockies, against the unrelenting winds of Kansas, only to be challenged by the Appalachian Mountains, before sweeping into Annapolis to the taste of sweet success! And the riders had it easy!
The crew are the unsung heroes of this event, cooking, cleaning, driving, navigating, massaging, encouraging, fixing, healing, planning, communicating, feeding, hydrating and protecting. The luxury of sleep for the crew members was on a needs only basis. Strong discipline and focus was required to ensure safety and success, because failure was not an option
Who is this for…
Chance for Childhood's mission is to strengthen and empower local communities to protect children facing the gravest injustices by supporting educational and business programmes. These programmes protect vulnerable children and young people and equip them with the skills, knowledge and capacity to become active agents of change within their own communities.
OUR PROGRAMME APPROACH
We continue to focus our support on locations in remote, post conflict environments and slums with poor government structures and a complete lack of services which tend to be overlooked by the international community due to a lack of visibility.
A childhood shouldn’t be spent on the streets, or in a war zone, or working in a field. It shouldn’t be spent imprisoned at home by disability and the stigma that surrounds it.
It should be spent in school, and a nurturing, safe home environment.
Yet many children are robbed of their childhood by disability, conflict or extreme poverty. We help local communities to protect their children and give them the chance of a proper childhood.
Chance for Childhood is a child protection charity. In Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda, D.R. Congo, Zambia, Mozambique, Senegal and Ghana we:
- Help street children become school children
- Enable disabled children to get a quality education that suits their individual needs
- Provide loans and training to help people earn the income that lifts their young families out of the most extreme poverty
- Support ‘child headed households’ who have been left orphaned by conflict or disease
All of our work is delivered by local people and partner organisations that are firmly embedded in their communities. We support and train them to protect their own children, and to tackle the stigma that often keeps disabled children isolated and excluded from their society.
Donations to Chance for Childhood helped Philister enrol in some training and gave her a small business loan that she used to set up her own market stall selling bhajis. When that took off, she used her new found skills to identify another niche — and now sells charcoal too. We call it ‘Income Generating Activities’ – but you might call it ‘putting food on the table and being able to send your children to school’. That’s exactly what Philister did.Learn more about PHILISTER
Throughout his young life in Rwanda, twelve year old Daniel has felt isolated and alone. He was born completely deaf and his parents had no idea how to help him communicate so he’s spent his years virtually imprisoned in his own world.
Thankfully though, at a desperate time in his life, one of Chance for Childhood’s partner projects found Daniel and they’ve begun to completely transform it.
Who we are
Mick, Lee, Graeme, and Rob took on and completed the challenge of a lifetime – to raise money that will transform thousands of children’s lives. Team Abana cycled in a race across the USA to give back childhoods to thousands of street children. All costs of the event were covered by the riders themselves so all donations have gone directly to support improved services for street and other vulnerable children.
This is us
Information about the race
RAAM has a rich and storied history. In 1982 four individuals raced from the Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles to the Empire State Building in New York City. Covered by national television, the race captivated the public’s imagination. Teams were added in 1992 and quickly became the most popular and fastest growing segment of the race. Relay team racing made the event accessible to any reasonably fit cyclist.
The 2016 race was the 35th edition of RAAM. This year there were 86 entries (48 solo riders, 5 teams of 2, 21 teams of 4 and 12 teams of 8).
The challenge started in Oceanside, California and finished in Annapolis, Maryland. It is a non-stop cycle race from the West coast to the East coast of the USA.
Team Abana covered a distance of 3000 miles, 170,000 feet of climbing, crossed 12 states, passed through 88 counties and 350 communities - all in just 7.5 days.
The RAAM route has 53 Time Stations which are approximately 40 to 90 miles apart. At each Time Station, the racer must call into Race Headquarters and report their location and time. This information is posted to the RAAM Race Coverage website which allows fans and officials to track the race. Time Stations are great places to watch racers come through and cheer them on. Time Station locations vary from someone's home, to bike shops, to city parks, to the Capital Building in Jefferson City, MO. About half of the Time Stations are staffed.
RAAM is a race! But unlike the three great Europeon Grand Tours (Tour de France, Vuelta a Espana and Giro de Italia), RAAM is not a stage race. Once the clock starts it does not stop until the finish line. RAAM is about 30% longer than the Tour de France. Moreover, racers must complete the distance in roughly half the time allowed for the Tour.
More importantly, RAAM is not limited to professional cyclists. RAAM is open to professional and amateur athletes alike.
Team Abana are 4 keen amateur cyclists who are passionate about Africa and realise that the future wellbeing of Africa, as a whole, will be largely determined by the wellbeing and education of its children. The riders participating in the event raise in excess of $2.5m each year for various charities.
Team Abana has set its sights on raising $250,000 for deprived children in Africa. They have already raised over $200,000.
Support Team and Logistics
RAAM is one the most respected and longest running endurance sports events in the world. RAAM is seen as a pinnacle of athletic achievement not only in cycling circles but the greater sporting community as well.
Each Racer must provide their own support crew and support vehicles. A typical crew is 8-12 people and 2-4 vehicles. It’s the responsibility of the crew to care for the racers by providing food, clothing, medical care, bicycle repair, massage, entertainment and directions. Crewing for RAAM Racers is as much of a challenge as riding is. It offers some immense rewards of seeing the country, building some lifelong friendships and the pride of getting your racer safely across the country.
There is no other race in the world like RAAM. The
Race inspires everyone who has been a part of it – racer, crew, staff
and fans alike. RAAM is the true test of speed, endurance, strength and
camaraderie, the ideal combination of work and fun! There is no race
that matches the distance, terrain and weather, no other event that
tests a team’s spirit from beginning to end.
Michael Lynch-Bell: Crew Chief
Chris Gardner: Deputy Crew Chief
Hatice Soyal: Media & Communications
Ashley Pappin: Musculoskeletal Rehab
Richie Mitchell: Bike Mechanic
Zoe Lynch-Bell: Nutritionist
Jennifer Gardner: Team bus manager
Alison Dacomb: Team bus & Driver
Jim Smith: Driver & Navigator
Richard Edwards: Driver & Navigator
Michael Downham: Driver & Navigator
Cameron Ramsay: Driver & Navigator
John Davel: Driver & Navigator
World’s toughest bicycle race
Racers from 5 continents
4 time zones
Total distance more than 3000 Miles.
170,000 feet of climbing
Variety of terrain & weather conditions
Ice cold nights
Extremely hot & dry desert
Crossing 12 states
Endless straights and headwinds