Trans-Am bike race starts Saturday

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Long distance racers are always pushing for a new challenge. Race Across America, Tour Divide, the Transcontinental—they inspire awe and certainly some intimidation. This year racers will be tackling a new challenge—the Trans-Am. Think of it like RAAM but without checkpoints or support of any kind.

There is an “official” route, but that is merely the shortest distance. It is inspired by the Trans-American trail pioneered by thousands of cyclists during the Bikecentennial of 1976. Racers are welcome to choose an alternate. The only rules regard self-sufficiency and safety.

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Festivities begin at 5 a.m. in Astoria, Oregon, and the finish line is Yorktown, Virginia, an estimated 4,233 miles.

You can follow along with riders using SPOT trackers at trackleaders.com and follow the action in the Trans-Am Facebook group.

Good luck to everyone participating! It will be an adventure to never forget.

 

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Adventure Cycling video contest still accepting submissions

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The deadline is drawing near for Adventure Cycling Association‘s 2014 Bicycle Travel Video Contest, which celebrates the beauty and spirit of bicycle travel through videos shot around the world by amateur videographers traveling by bike. Submissions must be made through the contest’s Vimeo group by June 30, 2014.

“As of today, we’ve received about 20 submissions,” said contest coordinator Michael McCoy, “from nearly as many countries. We have entries from cycling videographers living in Slovakia, France, the Czech Republic, Canada, the Philippines, Nepal, Belgium, Tanzania, the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Turkey, and the United States. This worldwide geographical spread is quite amazing, really.”

Learn more about the contest and how to enter here.

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Meet Your Maker ride on May 31, Santa Cruz

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Come join us for a challenging and spirited ride on mixed terrain in lovely Santa Cruz County. The ride will start in the parking lot at Kelly’s French pastry at the corner of Swift and Ingalls street on the west side of the city. Start time will be 9:00 A.M. or soon after.

There will be a place to get food and drink before the big climb. There will be a lunch stop at the summit store after about 3-4 hours of riding. There will be an after gathering of sorts at Rock Lobster Cycles, an open house, if you will. The ride will include some steep climbing on the KOM of the ‘Dolor del culo’ along with some bone-jarring washboard dirt road.

Tires of at least 700×28 are recommended. Two large bottles would be good as well. This will be a fairly difficult ride of about 60 miles. CX or big tire road bike would be ideal but an MTB won’t do you wrong, either. Ride will end where it started as the shop open house is only 2 blocks away.

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Oregon Outback starts Friday

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Image courtesy of VeloDirt.com

It hasn’t even begun but the inaugural Oregon Outback bikepacking “race” is quite possibly the most talked-about bikepacking event of the year. Covering 360 miles of dirt, gravel and (probably) mud, the route travels north from Klamath Falls near the California border to the Deschutes State Park along the Columbia River.

Learn more here.

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Wednesday: The Ride of Silence will not be quiet

rideofsilenceAt 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 21, the Ride of Silence will begin in North America and roll across the globe. Cyclists will take to the roads in a silent procession to honor cyclists who have been killed or injured while cycling on public roadways. Although cyclists have a legal right to share the road with motorists, the motoring public often isn’t aware of these rights, and sometimes not aware of the cyclists themselves.

Read the full story

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2014 National Bike Challenge starts today

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The 2013 National Bike Challenge united Americans to pedal 19 million miles and sights are set even higher for 2014. The goal of the the friendly, online competition remains the same: to get more Americans bicycling, whether it’s for fun, for work or for health. But the 2014 Challenge is looking for 50,000 riders to pedal 30 million miles.

Get the details here.

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Gran Fondo organizers chip in to repair roads

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Carlos Perez and Greg Fisher are the hands behind Levi’s King Ridge Gran Fondo, held on the roads of Sonoma County, California. Each fall since 2009, more than 7,500 cyclists transcend on Santa Rosa, California, and its roads take the toll. That hasn’t stopped their events company, Bike Monkey, and a merry band of volunteers from taking care of the roads that take care of the riders, many of whom travel from all four corners of the earth. The event’s organizers got permission from the county to hire their own contractors and repair the roads using funds raised from event entry fees, donations and corporate sponsorships. In all, $40,000 has been spent on patching 48 miles of road.

I spoke with Fisher about what prompted them to take action, and what they’ve done to mitigate road damage, because no one wants to see roads go neglected.

Read the interview here.

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Highlights from the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route

From 1995 to 1997, Adventure Cycling Association mapped the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, the longest off-pavement mountain-bike route in the world spanning 2,774 miles from Canada to Mexico along the spine of the Rocky Mountains. Now, Adventure Cycling and Co-Motion Cycles, in association with Revelate Designs, present highlights from the route and gear suggestions for cyclists wishing to tackle the entire Great Divide, or a short section.

Has the Great Divide Route inspired any of your own adventures, either past or planned?

 

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