Frequently Asked Questions
Solo racers who finish within the 48 hour time limit will earn the "RAAM Qualified" designation.
Entry Fees are nonrefundable.
What are the Divisions? * Solo Riders (one rider per bicycle) * Tandems (two riders on the same bicycle at the same time) * Relay Teams (2,4,or 8 rider Teams sharing riding time)
Within each Division there are Categories for: * Age * Women * Men * Mixed, men and women * Corporate * HPV Human Powered Vehicles
Age Categories for Solo Riders and Teams * Junior (19 and under) * Open (20-49) * Masters (50-59) * Grand Masters (60 and over)
A Mixed Team means mixed women and men, not mixed ages. One man and three women is the same category as three men and one women or two of each. Ages will be averaged among riders.
Special Categories may be created for rider combinations beyond these above listed. If a special division requires a different start time, additional officiating and awards,
an extra entry fee may be imposed. Some categories may be denied by the Race Director based on logistical considerations.
Where does RAO start?
RAO will begin in the Fairfield Inn & Suites, The Dalles, OR
What are the race starting times?
Solo Racers start on Saturday July 16, 2016 at 5:00 AM Pacific Daylight Time.
The Two Person Teams start on Saturday July 16, 2016 at 7:00AM PDT.
The Four Person Teams start on Saturday July 16, 2016 at 9:00AM PDT
Where does RAO finish?
We will finish at the Fairfield Inn & Suites - near the banks of the gorgeous Columbia River
Determining the exact arrival time in a non-drafting 500 plus mile bicycle race is virtually impossible. Unknown wind and weather conditions will alter the finishing time by as much as a few hours.
However, barring any unforeseen serious circumstances, the event is officially over for all divisions by the final cutoff time of 5:00AM Monday July 18. This is the cutoff time for all racers regardless of start time.
All categories have until this time to finish regardless of other age divisions or other rider’s finishing times. One may expect four person teams to begin finishing as early as 11 a.m. Sunday and for racers in all categories to continue crossing the finish line throughout the day until the race officially ends.
Where does the route go?
We head west out of The Dalles on the Olde Gorge Highway over Rowena Crest. The climb should begin to separate the field prior to the left turn at Marsh Cut-off. Riders will then turn right on Seven Mile Road and find themselves on our familiar route from the past few years. After traveling through The Dalles and turning right on highway 197 riders will find themselves riding through the wheat fields of Central Oregon. Some of the prettiest scenery in Oregon is presented when riding through and climbing out of the Deschutes River Valley. The route follows back roads to Moro and then heads east to Condon. The climbs are unrelenting as the route travels through Ruggs. The 200 goes into Heppner as in the past and finishes at the Shell station. 500 mile racers will head past the reservoir climbing through dense forest before dropping to hwy 395 where they will head south. You’ll most likely be traveling through this section during darkness. The course remains on HWY 395 through multiple climbs before dropping to hwy 26 where racers turn West. If you’ve ridden RAO prior to 2009, you’re now on familiar territory taking hwy 26 to Mitchell. Just after Mitchell the course turns right and climbs for a few miles before dropping to Service Creek. Now you're back on the familiar route that takes you through Fossil, Clarno, Antelope, Shaniko, Bakeoven, Maupin, Dufur and continues north on 197 – we may throw in a turn along Petersburg Rd to get you off the highway…but then again, we might not – The Dalles, Fairfield Inn & Suites and the Finish!
What are the accommodations at the start line?
The staff at the Fairfield Inn & Suites is friendly and very supportive of the Cycling community. Please mention RAO when making your reservation to receive race rates.
Fairfield Inn & Suites, The Dalles, OR
When do racers need to check in?
Racers will check-in at the Fairfield Inn & Suites on the Friday before the race between 12:00PM and 5:30PM. in the hotel parking lot where inspections are being done.
Check-in may also be done during the Pre-Race Meeting, though racers are strongly encouraged to check-in at the afternoon inspection.
If you have a scheduling conflict and are unable to check in at the afternoon inspection, please check in at the registration table at the Fairfield Inn & Suites before the start of your pre-race meeting Friday night.
When you arrive, pick up your rider race packet be sure that all of your paper work is in order to turn in.
What do we need to have ready?
A. Paperwork: * Signed liability waivers for all riders and crew (additional signatures page available here) to avoid printing out multiple forms) * Copies of vehicle insurance for each vehicle as well as this form.
If you are renting a van, you must provide proof that the rental company has included insurance in your rental policy or that your own insurance will cover you.
B. Vehicles. Proper light placement, sign placement, and clear window visibility for the vehicle driver is mandatory. The second seat and rear passenger windows must also be clear on the right side for giving handoffs to riders and to allow the driver to see the rider. Be sure to have a copy of the Dashboard Protocol attached.
C. Bikes. Follow BIKE RULES from the route book. Reflective tape is required. Proper lights should be installed and working on your night bike. Bring enough spare batteries to last all night for the duration of the race. Any spare wheels or spare bikes that will be used at night or in foggy conditions should also be outfitted with the proper safety equipment.
What is the RAO Checklist?
Vehicle insurance documentation-we need proof that you have liability insurance
Bring liability waivers for all crew members with you. Signed liability waivers are available here for all riders and crew (additional signatures page available here to avoid printing out multiple forms). You can photocopy or email to your crew before the race.
Support van windows should not be blocked by signage.
Rear amber flashers on the roof must be visible only from the rear and have a switch or disconnect.
Keys for all vehicles. We recommend a set for each driver. Reflective tape and lights mounted on the primary night bicycle. Spare batteries and chargers.
When is the vehicle inspection?
This will take place at the parking lot of the Fairfield Inn & Suites on the Friday July 15 between 12:00PM and 5:30PM. for all entrants.
Plan on arriving with all your signage, lights, triangle, and other safety equipment in place and ready to use.
All support vehicles must be checked, not just the follow vehicle (although only the follow vehicle needs the race number — provided by RAO — caution signs, triangle, and roof lights; secondary vehicles only need the race numbers).
Team vehicles may be checked on Saturday morning, if absolutely necessary. Team Members choosing to wait until Saturday morning must be available 2 hours before your division start time.
When is the bicycle inspection?
This will take place at the parking lot of the Fairfield Inn & Suites on Friday July 15 between 12:00PM and 5:30 for all entrants.
Plan on showing that all bicycles are safe and race-ready and are equipped, or quickly equip-able, with excellent front and rear lights and lots of reflective materials.
Team bicycles may be checked on Saturday morning if absolutely necessary. Team Members choosing to wait until Saturday morning must be available 2 hours before your division start time.
What supplies do we need for our vehicles?
Many new RAO riders have questions about where to go to get the proper hardware supplies to outfit their vehicles. The following is a sample of some of their products suitable for RAO:
Some ‘Must have’ items * Orange slow moving magnetic vehicle triangle plastic sign * Caution Bicycle Ahead or Bicycle Race sign * Amber strobe light with magnetic base and cigarette plug * (you will need 2 of these per pace vehicle) * Silver (or other bright color) reflective bike tape. WE STRONGLY SUGGEST THAT YOU HAVE AT LEAST ONE 2.5 or 5 GALLON UNLEADED VEHICLE FUEL CONTAINER. There are enormously remote regions of Oregon we traverse where gas stations are not dependable to be open 24 hours.
Some other items to consider * Cigarette plug outlet box with 15 amp circuit breaker with 2-15’ extension plug in for strobes * Non slip tape 2“x60ft. roll (good when climbing on wet van bumpers) * Weatherproof First Aid Kit
Remember to always use the proper size fuses and switches if you are wiring your extra lights directly to your car battery. The cigarette lighter plug in most vans will not power extra lights without blowing a fuse.
If your van cigarette lighter is not “LIVE” when your car engine is “OFF” you will need a direct plug to your car battery to power equipment plugged into your cigarette lighter.
When is the pre-race Meeting?
The Pre-Race Activities are held on the Friday before the race:
12:00 – 5:30 p.m. – Vehicle and Bicycle Inspection
6:00 – 6:50 p.m. – Meeting for team and solo racers
7:00 – 8:00 p.m. – Crew Q & A – there are no stupid questions – this is a time for you to ask any last minute questions that you may have about hand offs, rules, following or whatever. This is an optional meeting.
Each solo racers must be present with at least one crew member. Teams may elect to have at least one racer and one crew member. Others may attend and are strongly encouraged to attend
Should I stay for the after race banquet?
Plan to stay and enjoy the company of fellow racers at the Race Across Oregon post race banquet. Again in 2017 – A Breakfast Banquet for racers and crew.
Laugh with fellow competitors and savor the ride one more time as Race Director George Thomas lampoons racers and gives out special prizes.
What are the guidelines for my personal/team RAO website?
The Race Across Oregon Roster will list all racers with links to their personal web sites. This list will link back to each individual website. This list could easily grow into fifty or more individual web-sites by race time. In order to avoid confusion for people who might be searching for RAO information on the web, we have come up with these guidelines for RAO related web-sites.
1. Use the rider’s name or team name as the title. Such as: Team Shark Attack or Terri Races Oregon
2. Avoid using the words in the title:
RAO or Race Across Oregon
3. You can use RAO in the text as often as needed.
RAO or Race Across Oregon are terms that are protected by the laws of trademark and copyright.