It only took Mike Hall of Harrogate, UK, 17 days-16 hours to ride his bicycle from Astoria, Oregon, to Yorktown, Virginia, on the TransAmerica Trail bicycle route, a distance of 4,406 miles.
It’s the same epic route that touring bicyclists have used to cross the US since 1976. Their journeys are usually completed in months, not days.
Hall was one of 43 cyclists who left Astoria at 5 a.m. on June 7 to compete in the first-ever Trans Am Bike Race. In keeping to the tradition of the TransAmerica bike route, the riders had to carry all their own gear. They weren’t allowed to have support crews or sag wagons and couldn’t accept any help that wouldn’t have been provided to any of the other riders.
Also, riders weren’t allowed to draft or take short cuts.
Hall, 33, has been followed across the line by Canadian Jason Lane, 32, and Ed Pickup, 23, also of Britain. All three, and many of the others still on the course, are considered endurance cyclists.
Road.cc points out that Lane actually had a higher mph average, but also took longer breaks.
As I write this, the leading woman in the race could be headed to a fourth-place finish overall. Italy’s Juliana Buhring is just east of Charlottesville, Virginia, and leads fellow Italian Paolo Laureti by 36 miles.
Of the original 43, 8 have been officially scratched from the race. The remaining riders are spread out across the US.
The main organizer of the race, Nathan Jones of Portland, is about halfway through Kentucky. He’s been posting regular updates on his ride at MTBCast.com.