RAAM again? Yup, next year.
Must be way harder? Debatable. I'll tell you in 25 days.
Most think having a support crew makes life easy. They make it so easy though that it's ridiculously hard. All you have to do is ride a bike. 22-23 hrs/day. Without them it would be impossible to ride so continuously and with such little sleep. If you want something at a store, they'll stop and get it while you keep riding, if you're too tired to think straight they'll tell you where to go and remind you that red lights mean stop, and that you need to drink more Spiz because it has been 15 minutes since you last did so. RAAM is an adventure, but it's also full on bike racing.
The Trans Am Bike Race is self supported. No crew. It's also 1200 miles longer. And although it stays out of the desert, it spends nearly 7 days in the mountains with cold nights. There will be more sleep, at the cost though of having to constantly navigate, and plan resupply points. There won't be icy bottles of hand-made watermelon juice when it's hot, or clean changes of clothes every day. Nor will there be the pampered bouts of sleep in a nice bed while IV fluids re-hydrate and two sets of hands work on your legs. For now lets just say they're both tough for their own reasons.
At worst it'll kick off a good summer of high mileage riding in preparation for RAAM next year, and at best I'll have a shot at setting the Trans Am record. It should be some good entertainment watching the blue dots inch towards the East, there are some highly accomplished riders in the group with a lot of self supported bikepacking experience, and who have equally high ambitions as well.
Watch the blue dots here.