Greg and June Siple were avid cycling tourists who wanted to make a splash in the cycling world and celebrate the bicentennial of 1976. They asked themselves what would be better than to have a bunch of like-minded folks tour across America on bikes. thousands of riders showed up to tour what is now the Trans Am Trail. Greg realized it was such a huge hit that they decided to form the Bikecentennial to create more routes. the name changed over to the Adventure Cycling Association in 1993, they continue to create routes to this day, including the popular – Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. Although the ride of 1976 may never be replicated, Nathan Jones came up with a pretty cool idea back in 2011 while riding the Tour Divide. He said, “I didn’t give it a whole lot of thought until 2011 I raced the divide again and ended up spending several days with a rider who had actually ridden the TransAm route before as a tourist. I ended up quitting the divide that year. As I mulled my mistakes from the 2011 divide, I decided this route was really calling my name and it seemed almost silly that no one had thought to race it before.” The idea soon turned into a reality in the middle of 2013, the date was set, June 7th, and the first Annual Trans Am Race was born. The Trans Am route starts in Astoria, Oregon and finishes in Yorktown, Virginia. It totals 4233 Miles, traverses 10 states, and travels through a handful of different environments on pavement. The route starts East and travels the entire state of Oregon before making its way into Idaho, a small portion of Montana and then Wyoming which brings riders through Yellowstone and Teton National Parks. The route then takes you to through Wyoming, where traffic and wind will surely break a few. 2014 Trans Am The route then crosses the divide route, where there may be an opportunity that racers will cross paths with some Tour Divide Racers. After reaching the highest point of the route in Colorado, riders are kindly greeted to the plains of eastern Colorado and Kansas. This too will surely break some folks. Kansas leads to Missouri and then finally the shortest state route, Illinois. Then there are the applications in which Nathan had this to say. “The last 1150 miles of the route which is IL, KY, and VA is 67,000(feet of elevation). The entire state of Colorado barely cracks 10,000 feet total elevation. How is that for a bit of a head scratcher?” the last 1150 miles will not be easy, especially being two or three weeks into the race. The race is described as a self supported race, similar to many people that tour the route. However riders must abide by some simple rules, any support they get on the route must be commercially available to all racers. For example a hotel is available to everyone, but a friends house is not. In the event of a mechanical rendering your bike unrideable, racers may use vehicle transportation backwards, any forward movement in a vehicle will result in a disqualification. Bottom line, riders need to travel the entire length of the route, on their own, with no planned outside help.
2014 Tran Am Race
Billy Rice’s setup for the Trans Am
While there is no current fastest known time on the Trans Am, we are certain if there was any, they will be broken within the month of June. It is expected that some of the fastest finishers will complete the route in 16 days, which would average 265 miles a day. In general 30 days is a respectable time to finish the 4000+ mile race. Adding another twist to an already interesting situation is the film, Inspired to Ride. Director Mike Dion and his crew will be filming a documentary along the route of the first Trans Am Race. This same crew filmed the movie Ride the Divide which documented the Tour Divide, as well as Reveal the Path, another bikepack oriented movie. So if you’re missing out this year, or need some extra motivation, Inspired to Ride will be documenting what plans to be one epic Race. If you would like to follow along check out this link provided bike trackleaders. We want to wish all the racers the best of luck, and remember its not a spring!

One Comment

  1. Pingback: 2014 Trans Afrika - Bikepackers Magazine

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *