About the event
Race Across America (RAAM) is a bicycle race starting on the west coast and finishing on the east coast of America. The race covers 3000 miles across the Rockies, the heartland of America, and finally the Appalachians. It continues to stand as one the toughest events in the world and a tribute to human endurance.
After a long and comprehensive selection process, 18 Members have been chosen from more than 60 applicants to represent the first All-Blesma team in the Race Across America.
Please note, places have be given in the first instance to those who were due to attend the event in 2020, which was cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions. The event is now expected to go ahead in 2022, and we can unfortunately not take any further applications at this time.
Members must be able to enter the USA
Your passport must have at least six months validity during the time of travel
Please be aware, temperatures will be hot
- Are there any restrictions for the event?
This event has an especially rigorous selection process and we therefore cannot accept new applications at this time. If you would like to find out more please contact the Activities team.
- What documentation do I need in order to enter the USA?
Members must have an in-date ESTA and a valid passport.
- Do I need to take my own bike?
Yes, you will need to use your own bike to take part.
- Will it cost me to attend?
Blesma activities are free to all Members – the only expense is getting yourself to and from the initial meeting point. If funding your travel costs could be a problem, speak to your BSO.
- What is the selection process?
The activities selection process is done on a needs basis. Those who will benefit the most from attending an activity will be given priority. This is done on the recommendation of their BSO. Those Members who have not attended any activities before, or who have not attended that particular type of activity before are considered next. Once the initial list is selected, all other applicants go on the reserve list. Should someone drop out, the same process is applied to select someone from the reserve list.
- How much notice will I be given?
Currently, Members who are selected to take part in an activity are given three months’ notice. If this notice period is increased, it is highly likely that the drop-out rate will also increase.
If you are selected from the reserve list, your notification will depend on when the person whose place you are taking dropped out. This is why we ask Members to contact the Activities Team as soon as they become aware that they will not be able to attend an activity. In doing so. That way, we have the best opportunity to offer the place to another Member.
- How does the reserve list work?
Being on the reserve list does not automatically mean you will not get to attend the activity. In 2017, 54 per cent of people selected for an activity dropped out, meaning that almost half of attendees for all activities were selected from the reserve list. In 2017, 97 per cent of slots were filled despite the high drop-out rate. The remaining three per cent were mostly last-minute cancellations that were too late notice to fill (i.e. the day before).
- I have never been on a Blesma activity?
Currently, only 4.3 per cent of Members apply for activities. If you are one of the 95.7 per cent who hasn’t been on an activity before, perhaps because you have concerns about how you will cope, or you don’t know what to expect, please get in touch with either your BSO or the Activities Team directly on 020 8548 3519. They can advise on what might be suitable for you.
- Who will lead the activity?
Blesma Support Officers and Outreach Officers lead the events. In addition, of around 50 activities run in 2017, 22 were led by Members. We rely on Members volunteering to lead an activity, so if you are interested in doing that – please let us know! Do note that you will need to be qualified for some events.
- Am I deserving of a Blesma activity, what if others are more in need?
We do not discriminate! Activities are there for all Members and Widows to enjoy.
For more information please contact the Activities Team.
Tel: 0208 548 7094