Saturday June 7 saw the start of a new coast-to-coast race in the United States, the Trans AM Bike Race – and British rider Mike Hall is currently in the lead. Unlike the Race Across America (RAAM), the 33rd edition of which starts tomorrow, all of the competitors are riding fully unsupported.
The race covers 4,233 miles from Astoria, Oregon to Yorktown, Virginia, making it almost one and a half times as long as the 3,000-mile RAAM, the first part of the route of which is much further south, starting in Oceanside, California, and ending in Annapolis, Maryland.
No support—or anything else
The rules are simple: "No outside support. No drafting. No entry fee. No prize money," and other than eating out, riders have to carry all of their spares and supplies with them.
A route map that enables you to track the progress of all the competitors in the Trans Am Bike Race can be found on Trackleaders, and there is also a Facebook group for the event as well as a website.
Hall, winner of the inaugural World Cycle Racing Grand Tour in 2012, is one of only two of the 38 men riding to have so far crossed into Idaho, the second of the nine states that feature on the route of the new race.
Five women are also riding the Trans Am Bike Race, among them Julianna Buhring, holder of the Guinness World Record as the first woman to circumnavigate the globe by bike in accordance with the record’s rules.
She’s continuing to ride despite suffering cuts and bruises when she crashed on the second day of the event yesterday.
In a video interview, Buhring said: “It was early morning and the sun just came up right in front of my eyes. I didn’t have my sunglasses on yet so as I crested the hill the sun was Boom! Into my eyes and blinds me.
“And just then there was a giant rock in the middle of the road and we went right into it, The Beast [her bike] and I.
“I think I banged my head because I saw stars and almost passed out. Fortunately there was a car that came right behind and got me off the road because I couldn’t get up or anything, I was a bit stunned for about 10 minutes.
“Then a medic came and checked me out and yeah, [I’m] just really bruised up. I’ve got bruised ribs, a swollen knee. He suggested I go back to hospital in Eugene, but there is no going back – onwards!”
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.