Rick Schulze, Rider
I've been cycling the bulk of my life, I have always enjoyed the freedom of it. I have been working in the Information Technology field for way too long but I am banking heavily on the lottery to end all of that very soon. I have been married for closing in on twenty-four years now and enjoying every day of it. I became interested in RAAM in 2006 when I did a 500 mile team event and wanted more. That lead to a two-man trip in 2007 that was supposed to be a four person effort but it didn't pan out for all four of us to go. I'm really looking forward to the trip this year.
Dave Preston, Rider
My first exposure to endurance sports was in college when I joined the Washington State University Men's crew. After college, I began to compete in small sprint/olympic triathlons while continuing to row in Seattle off and on. Then I found the bike, and randonneuring (unsupported ultra distance cycling). My first big ultra enurance event was the 2010 Tour Divide (tourdivide.org), in which I raced my mountain bike from Banff, Canada to the Mexico border - 2845 miles on dirt in 22 days 20 hours 17 minutes. I then got on the road bike for RAAM 2011, but it ended all too soon with some valuable learning experiences, which has led to increased motivation in 2012. Since RAAM 2011, I've completed 3 RAAM solo qualifiers (Race Across Oregon, RAAM Texas Challenge & RAAM Oregon Challenge), completed IronMan Canada, done numerous Rondonneuring events with the Seattle International Randonneurs (seattlerando.org), and spent alot of time on the trainer (It rains alot in Seattle). I can't seem to get enough of this. I am excited to have Rick as a my Teamate with all of his RAAM wisdom and experience. My two biggest fans are my son (Tychon age 9) and daughter (Estee age 6) - I have to say its pretty cool that they root for me the way they do at their young ages.
Greg Wilson, Crew Chief
I am a single dad of two active boys and a long-time cycling enthusiast. My time on the bike is usually for long, slow rides and I'm pushing the single-ride distance to nearly 400 miles this year. Lately I have been branching out to activities on the edge of cycling after accomplishing a few of my shorter in-the-saddle goals. I find offering support and organizing rides is a challenge unlike the mere riding of a bike. RAAM has been in the back of my mind since the summer of 1988 when I pedaled the coast of California to San Francisco and briefly considered continuing on to Washington DC. I expect the 2012 race to be a fulfilling, exciting and challenging experience.
Todd Christensen, Crew Member
I'm originally from Waukesha Wisconsin. As it goes with many folks, work brought me and my wife Bonnie out to California. We both teach theater design and production at Idyllwild Arts Academy, a small boarding arts high school in Idyllwild Ca. We thought we'd be out in Ca. for just one school year...one mortgage, a child, and four dogs later we decided it might a bit longer then that. I've always dabbled in cycling and running but didn't get serious until about 15 years ago when I stumbled on a 24 hour mountain bike race going on in my backyard. After I saw that I got hooked. Solo 24s were my thing, but as time goes on you get to wanting more and that's when I transitioned into endurance road racing. This year we will again compete in the 508. If we do well RAAM could be on the horizon. This past year I took off of competitive endurance cycling so Bonnie and I could, with the help of many great friends, build an addition to our home. RAAM gives me the opportunity to get back into endurance cycling, albeit from a different point of view. I wish all the best to those involved in this addition of the RAAM. Ride on!
Carly Thaggard, Crew Member
As far as cycling experience goes, mine is limited to mainly rides for causes, a couple triathlons, and a couple years of commuting to work. I'm mostly a recreational cyclist, but I love passionate people. When Dave told me about RAAM and I knew this was something that takes a very special type of person. I was intrigued and excited about the opportunity to be around people so passionate and motivated by something so daunting and strenuous. It takes us "crazy" people in the world to inspire and take dreams out of dreams and put them under our feet, or pedals, to tap into true potential. I'm fired up to be a part of this race and all that it stands for. I recently just crossed the country pursuing my dream. I'm currently a standup comedian in Boston.
Doc Burke, Crew Member
Happily married for almost 30 years, I became available to crew RAAM when my career took an abrupt turn. Have spent the last 20 or so years replacing team sports with endurance sports (Ironmans, marathons, distance cycling, etc). I may use this experience to commence a few transcontinental rides of my own but not going 24hours/day. I am looking forward to new, strong friendships, a shared experience. Oh and I spent my Summers growing up in Annapolis!
Mike Schulze, Crew Member
I am Rick's older brother. I live in Foley, Missouri with my wife Jeanne. I have a 17 year old daughter named Laura and a stepson named Mike who is 30. We have 3 wonderful grandkids that we really enjoy. I have been a nurseryman for about 30 years. I currently manage a nursery in Wentzville Missouri with the help of Jeanne. I really became interested in RAMM when Rick told us he was doing the race again in 2012. I remember when we were kids he got a job at a bike shop and would ride his bike back and forth to work which was about 30 miles each way. I thought he was crazy back then but, hearing him say he was doing the RAMM for a second time I thought he had lost his mind. I am inspired by his commitment to cycling and I look forward to being a part of his adventure.
Margi Hilburn, Crew Member
I'm a semi-retired nurse, Mom of 2, Gamma of 3, who loves to bike. Not into the racing end, but rather more touring and trails and just taking my time. Have completed a bike ride across Missouri 7 times so it's time to branch out to touring in other states! My bucket list dream is to do a coast to coast with my hubby (of 38 years) over the Norther Tier route. Our goal though is to take 3 months to do it. We would NEVER be able to complete it in under 9 days like Rick and Dave...you guys are amazing!! Looking forward to being a crew member for Rick and Dave and meeting the rest of the crew!
Steven Rizzolo, Crew Member
Many people decide to participate in what I like to call "the manufacturing of standard work units" better know as building a career. I am fortunate to have found something I am passionate about. That is helping as many people I can with acupuncture. It brings me great joy to assist those who are earnestly seeking greater health. Nine years ago I moved to Boulder Colorado to study Chinese medicine and was immediately surprised by how many cyclists that are in this town. My excitement for riding bikes was rekindled. This will be my second RAAM. I learned a lot my freshmen year and look to take those lesson to create a fun and safe vib for this years race. In my free time I like to read and write poetry.
Tobey, Crew Member
Jim Halton, Crew Member