For many years I have been interested in understanding what my body can do when I push it hard. Starting in 2009 I did my first cycle touring trip, from Eugene, OR to Arcata, CA. I had no idea what I was doing, but I wanted to see if I could ride my bike several hundred miles to visit my friend.
I completed the trip in several days and was whooped. My friend met me about 75 miles from his house and we rode back together, it was one of my favorite cycling adventures.
Fast forward to 2010. I step it up a notch. I flew out to Newport News, VA, and rode my bike back home to Portland, OR, well Astoria, OR if I’m being honest. This adventure crossed 10 states and 4600 miles, it took me 72 days with 5 days off the bike. I was self-supported and love almost every minute of the ride.
Over the next 13 years, I continue to do short tours, small adventures, and long rides, I even started filming my gravel adventures. Throughout this time I have wanted to cycle across the US again. Timing, money, relationships, and jobs kept me from making the leap. Also during that time, a newer style of racing was coming about. Ultra-endurance bikepacking/cycling, a self-supported, race over vast distances following specific routes.
The first iteration of a cross-country self-supported race that I learned of was the Trans-Am Bike Race (TABR). The inaugural race was in 2014, a couple of years after a couple of other races in other countries (and here ie Tour Divide). The difference between the TARB and other ultra-endurance races like RAAM were support, qualifications, and the course.
Following the first TABR was electrifying, watching tiny dots cross the country on the same route that I had ridden 4 years earlier was amazing. The speed, challenges, and adventure of the race was unreal, I knew that when I got a chance I would do something like that.
This year I decided to make it happen. While my plan is not to ride the TABR but instead the sister ride Bike Non-Stop US (a slightly shorter ride utilizing bike paths and low-traffic roads as much as possible). I am using this blog to post my cycling journals that discuss my training and adventures.
If you are interested in my training plan let me know, I look forward to sharing the excitement, pain, challenges, and adventure over the next 6 months.