Monday, June 17, 2013

UltraMarathon Cycling

This weekend was a strange confluence of events.  I completed the Denver Century Bypass 75 mile ride, I watched “Bicycle Dreams” by Auerbach and I realized today that the Race Across America started June 11th and the lead male solo rider just checked in Greensburg, IN at 11:00 this morning and has only 663 miles remaining to finish the 3000 mile route from Oceanside, CA to Annapolis, MD.

I have no intention of long distance cycling.  There was a point in my youth when I thought me and a friend of mine could pull off the ride on a tandem bike.  Those days are long gone.  I would still like to ride across the United States, but I would take a more scenic route and take closer to 6 weeks than 12 days.  The long ride I put in Saturday was not even a full century, yet my feet, ass and shoulders really felt the strain.  Averaging 375 miles per day with barely an hour sleep daily is beyond my comprehension.

Auerbach’s documentary tells the story of the 2005 Race Across America.  The race is considered the toughest endurance challenge in the world.  The qualifications standards are very high, yet only 48% of solo riders finish the event in the 12 day 2 hour time limit.  The logistics and crew are critical to the attempt which can cost upwards of $20,000.  There is no television coverage or attention from the media.  The only way to track the race is via the leader board.

The confluence of events has renewed my enthusiasm for riding and I would like to start doing a long ride of 50 miles regularly to train for an overnight trip or possibly even a ride up to Breckenridge from my house.  That would be a 96 mile effort and I would return back the next day or have my wife meet me up there and ride back with her.  The multiyear plan would be to eventually do Ride the Rockies which is around 500 miles over a week.

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