Trans Am Bike Race: It’s all about bragging rights

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Plans are underway for next summer’s inaugural Trans Am Bike Race. The coast-to-coast self-supported bike race follows the Adventure Cycling Association’s TransAmerica Trail.

Somewhere on the TransAmerica Trail in western Missouri, 1984

Somewhere on the TransAmerica Trail in western Missouri, 1984

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.

Tour Divide

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.

Trans Am Bike Race poster

Trans Am Bike Race poster

Starting time

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.

Cyclists will be tracked  by Spot Satellite Messengers. MTBcast will handle the call-ins from riders on the road. Participants can share ideas at

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.

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  1. Thanks for the awesome write up!

  1. […] Dan Kaufman runs CrankMyChain Cycle TV & pdxk productions and has a deep love for bicycles and their implications for culture & conservation (and this time around, we didn’t make him come on the show while he lost his voice!) Nathan Jones is the proprietor of Ride Yr Bike and has had numerous inspiring adventures in nature using bikes, including Tour Divide, the Oregon Outback, and his inspired TransAmerica touring race. […]

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