There are races. There are adventure races, and then there are just adventures… that you ride as fast as you can.
The Trans Am Bike Race is not really a race, in any traditional sense. It follows a route that has been used as a cross-country touring route since 1976 (officially), and takes in 4233 miles, or 6812 kilometers. First finishers should roll in about 15 days after starting, which is absolutely absurd. There are no entry fees, no licenses required, and there is no prize money. Just you against… well, you, actually.
Oh, and it’s self-supported. What you need, you bring with you, so with the recent surge in popularity for bikepacking, there’s probably a big field this year, right?
41 entrants. Really, though, this is one of the more mental things you could do on a bike, so that shouldn’t be too surprising. Relative to 2015, it is a big field, with just 25 finishers last year.
Anyway, if you like your adventure, then this should be one to follow, which you can do here. It started just over a day ago, so the front-runners are already about 400-500 miles in (!).
For a little more insight into the preparation for an event like the Trans Am Bike Race, local gun (Melbourne – local enough) and former top BMX rider, Jesse Carlsson, walks you through it. As of writing he sits 5th on the road.
The tracking is really quite good and has a lot of information on the participants as well as very detailed route information, so there’s plenty to distract you from what you should be doing right now, if this sort of thing interests you.
If nothing else, it makes me want to plan another cycling trip, though perhaps one that is slightly less ambitious…
Good luck to all the crazies who started.
Header image: source