Paying It Forward – RAAM 2018

Jillian Mooney
September 26, 2017

I love Race Across America. It’s the longest and toughest start line of them all.

It’s a non-stop, 3000 mile bike race that starts in Oceanside, California and finishes in Annapolis, Maryland. It crosses 12 States and climbs 170,000ft over 3 mountain ranges. The clock runs continuously. Sleep is optional. It’s a race that challenges riders and crews to the core. I’ve rolled up to that start line twice and I can’t wait to go back.

In 2012 Team Joe Barr learned just how big, bad and tough it was. I didn’t finish.

In 2014 we returned. We overcame. We adapted. We innovated. We got to the finish in 2nd place (50+ category).

In 2018 we will return again but this time as one JB of a 2-MAN Team called JB-squared.

The other JB – Jason Black.

I’ve never raced a 2-MAN team before so why now and why Jason Black?

One of the values that Team Joe Barr holds near and dear is ‘Pay It Forward.’ I’ve been racing push bikes for 43 years. I’m passionate about it. The art. The science. The journey on two wheels. The life behinds bars.

I have always ridden my bike by feel and it simply feels the right time to pay forward the experience and wisdom the sport, in particular endurance, has given me. This is why Team Joe Barr developed The Endurance Workshop. This is why more and more of my posts and videos are about sharing the expertise from the team.

Ultimately, we want the sport to grow safely and successfully and we want to inspire you to go further whatever your further is, with confidence.

The secret of endurance is continual forward motion and racing a 2-MAN team is part of that forward motion for me. It’ll be a different race for sure because for half of it I’ll be in the crew car ( I can hear the groans from the crew already…..)

No doubt I’ll learn a lot and it will make me a better team member and a more rounded and understanding rider.

Yes – you can tell that in my heart of hearts I am a solo competitor. It’s true. But I’m a solo competitor who knows when to lean into an experience that has great and lasting potential.

Which brings me to the extremely accomplished Jason Black.

I’ve shared the road with Jason and I’ve keenly

followed his entry into the sport. Another one of TJB’s values is ‘Courage’ and I can say with certainty that Jason’s courage far exceeds his fear. He has displayed this time and time again in the endurance races he has started. I respect that.

It will be our pleasure to share the great roads in America with him and some of his team. If we can facilitate his endurance journey through sharing our team expertise then we will have collectively moved the sport forward in Ireland plus we’ll emerge from the experience having learned a lot from each other.

Stronger Together.

By the way, If you are wondering if there will also be big solo races for me in 2018, let me assure you that there will and let me also tell you that I have every intention of being back at the start line of RAAM 2019, as a solo, racing for the first time in a brand new age category.

And wouldn’t it be grand to be the fastest 60 year old to cross America? Oh yes, I’m a long way from being done……

Happy riding and see you on the road.