Last June, driving on the highway not far from our house, we passed a road cyclist on a recumbent bicycle heading east. We couldn’t help but notice him because of his bright stars and stripes bike body sock covering his bicycle.
Later we learned that this guy on the recumbent along with some other minimally loaded touring cyclists that we’d seen riding through western Idaho were competing in the inaugural TransAm bicycle race across the United States. The race had started in Astoria, Oregon and followed the TransAm bicycle trail all the way to Yorktown, Virginia.
The riders, self-supported, raced solo against one another day and night. Rules were that they couldn’t receive outside support and had to depend solely on what they carried with them and what they found at local businesses during the 4233-mile race. There were no entry fee nor prizes, just the bragging rights of finishing.
The guy that won it last year was Mike Hall and he did it in 17 days. The first place woman, Juliana Buhring, took just 20 days. In the end, 25 cyclists finished. It usually takes the average touring cyclist three months to ride this route, so the feats of these ultra-endurance cyclists were pretty impressive!
Below is the trailer to the movie that they made about last year’s race.
The 2015 version of the race started yesterday morning, June 6th at 05:00 PST. You can follow the progress of the 39 men and 2 women racers by clicking this link TransAm bike race live tracker 2015. If you live in one of the 10 states along the route and see these cyclists, give them a big cheer of encouragement!