The rules for bicyclists competing in the 4,233-mile-long event are spelled out succinctly on the race poster:
“No outside support. No drafting. No entry fee. No prize money.”
That might be a lot of “no’s,” but at least
50 104 bicyclists already have expressed their intention to give it a shot next summer. Only 46 slots are left. [Updated to Jan. 15, 2014]
This is no stage race like the Tour de France. Nor is it a supported endurance bike event like Race Across America in which riders are followed by at least one vehicle with extra bikes and a support crew.
The race is most similar to the Tour Divide, which follows a 2,700-mile mostly off-road mountain biking route from Banff, Alberta to Antelope Wells, New Mexico. The record for that race is just over 15 days.
Unlike Tour Divide that passes through remote countryside, the Trans Am Bike Race is on roads most the way and passes through many small towns as it wends through 10 states.
The organizers said a “good time” for the crossing would be 15 to 40 days. That’s 280 to 105 miles a day.
Although it’s difficult to compare the two, the Race Across America’s record-setting time is 7 days, 22 hours set in 2013 — about 375 miles a day. Remember, however, that the Oceanside, California, to Annapolis, Maryland, route is only 2,993 miles, and the cyclist was accompanied by a full support crew.
The Trans Am Bike Race starts at 5 a.m. June 7, 2014, in Astoria, Oregon, on the boardwalk at the Columbia River Maritime Museum. It ends in Yorktown, Virginia.
Although the race uses the Trans America Bicycle Route created by Adventure Cycling Association, the non-profit is in no way affiliated with the ride.
If you’re interested, the Trans Am Bike Race website has more detailed rules and a roster of bicyclists who have already signed up.