In the 2015 Trans Am Bike Race, I wanted to focus on racing and minimize the amount of time spent on social media. However, I did want to let my friends, families, and interested parties know what was going on during the race. I found both Twitter and Instagram were particularly efficient ways of doing so.
Below are my tweets from below, during, and after the race. While lacking in details, they noted both the more comical and serious events pertaining to my ride.
June 4 (Thu), Day -2: Made it to #Astoria ! https://instagram.com/p/3hLYxdwOpT/
June 4 (Thu), Day -2: I’m calorie loading at Bowpicker Fish ‘n’ Chips #astoria https://instagram.com/p/3hVbofQOvI/
June 5 (Fri), Day -1: Bicycle reassembly begins now https://instagram.com/p/3hxSPjwOtx/
June 5 (Fri), Day -1: Et voiláÂ ! Bike assembled https://instagram.com/p/3h8z3gwOhL/
June 5 (Fri), Day -1: Someone kindly reminded me that today is National Donut Day. Don’t worry, I will be eating lots of them https://instagram.com/p/3jedHdwOme/
June 5 (Fri), Day -1: These are quite noisy little fellas #astoria https://instagram.com/p/3j3ofgQOoa/
June 5 (Fri), Day -1: In addition the start of the Trans Am Bike Race, Astoria is hosting the Goonies festival right now https://instagram.com/p/3j4GDVwOpd/
June 6 (Sat), Day 0: SpongeBob SquarePants roots for cyclists https://instagram.com/p/3krQuBQOpH/
June 6 (Sat), Day 0: The race begins. Track me at http://felixwong.com/2015-trans-am-bike-race/
June 7 (Sun), Day 1: A kamikaze bird flew directly into my crotch today :O
June 7 (Sun), Day 1: I’ve been told my satellite tracker stopped tracking, so I tried turning it on again. In Sisters now
June 7 (Sun), Day 1: Bonked and ran out of Easter [sic; meant to write “water”] on McKenzie’s pass but made it to Sisters and regrouping
June 9 (Tue), Day 3: Dangerously hot in Richland, 100 F, stopping until heat and headache subside.
June 9 (Tue), Day 3: Legs and butt suffering big time
June 10 (Wed), Day 4: TABR Day 4: 202 miles, massive effort after morning bout of suffering across Idaho
June 10 (Wed), Day 4: How to do laundry in the middle of a race after biking nearly 1000 miles: Jump in the shower with your clothes on
June 10 (Wed), Day 4: First hotel, shower, laundry after nearly 1000 miles of bike racing
June 10 (Wed), Day 4: I smelled a skunk while biking by the Clearwater River in eastern Idaho last night. Hopefully not rabid
June 10 (Wed), Day 4: By Day 3 I was already sick of sugary junk so now resorting to fried Mexican food and sandwich power
June 10 (Wed), Day 4: Quote from Michael Wacker, the tall and strong German I keep leapfrogging with: “I could not pee all day”
June 10 (Wed), Day 4: My butt has been the primary limiting factor since Day 2 #saddlesores
June 11 (Thu), Day 5: Apparently it’s perfectly fine for a bicycle to pull up to a Taco Bell drive through at 1:00 a.m.
June 12 (Fri), Day 6: TABR Day 6: 201 miles through Montana. My climbing legs are back!
June 14 (Sun), Day 8: TABR Day 7: Massive headwind and climbs. Suffered big time but think I limited damage. 135 miles
June 14 (Sun), Day 8: Yesterday hallucinated about a bird flying a kite. Decided it be good idea to take extended break in W Yellowstone
June 14 (Sun), Day 8: I confess I invoked the name of various religion’s gods several times yesterday
June 14 (Sun), Day 8: Slept in cabin last night for slightly better protection against the hungry bears #GrandTetonsNationalPark
June 14 (Sun), Day 8: Week 1 in the books. 1400 miles, still in top 10 http://felixwong.com/2015-trans-am-bike-race/
June 14 (Sun), Day 8: TABR Day 8: 216 miles, good day
June 15 (Mon), Day 9: Just tried microwaving socks as they are wet from thunderstorm. That was a dumb idea.
June 15 (Mon), Day 9: There are third world countries with better maintained roads than those in Wyoming
June 15 (Mon), Day 9: My home state of Colorado has physically beat me up already and I have yet to go up 11,500-ft Hoosier Pass
June 15 (Mon), Day 9: Cobra car show in Kremmling, CO https://instagram.com/p/39NtICQOk6/
June 15 (Mon), Day 9: TABR Day 9: 200 miles, bonked on the way to Rawlins and struggled on climbs to Walden but got the job done
June 15 (Mon), Day 9: Construction near Kremmling; up to 45 minutes delay. Bummer https://instagram.com/p/39RVZtQOrx/
June 15 (Mon), Day 9: Pedal broke! Conveniently only a few miles away from Breckenridge bike shop. Bought new pedals; only 30 minute delayhttps://instagram.com/p/3969jCwOqj/
June 16 (Tue), Day 10: Got over it! From a couple hours ago https://instagram.com/p/3-PYZ9wOs_/
June 16 (Tue), Day 10: Made it to Fairplay hitting a nasty thunderstorm. Michael of Germany is just behind on 11,500′ Hoosier Pass. Hope he makes it down safely!
June 16 (Tue), Day 10: Sometimes I think this is as much an eating contest as a bicycle race
June 16 (Tue), Day 10: Yesterday I ate 6 hamburgers. Was still hungry
June 16 (Tue), Day 10: Descending Willow Creek & Hoosier Pass today was cold. Thank goodness for my bank robber mask and the microwaved socks
June 16 (Tue), Day 10: The scenery through Colorado today was the most spectacular of all prior sections of the race! No bias
June 17 (Wed), Day 11: Love seeing vending machines out in the middle of nowhere where no services are open. https://instagram.com/p/4BcGNaQOhh/
June 17 (Wed), Day 11: This creek is in Kansas https://instagram.com/p/4CjfhIwOpu/
June 18 (Thu), Day 12: Thank you newtonbikeshop for your hospitality and work on my bike! Shipped home my backpack too https://instagram.com/p/4E1W7uwOvm/
June 18 (Thu), Day 12: TABR Day 12: 270+ miles but felt lousy in heat and wind. Will do much less miles today
June 19 (Fri), Day 13: WalMart at 2:00 in the morning https://instagram.com/p/4GhWgPQOph/
June 19 (Fri), Day 13: Many thirsty plants appreciated me today
June 19 (Fri), Day 13: I keep myself awake while riding by talking to the Super Bike (le Super Vélo) in French
June 19 (Fri), Day 13: I also do imaginary karaoke
June 19 (Fri), Day 13: I may be the first to admit it but I really liked biking through Kansas! Smooth flat roads, warm nights, little traffic
June 20 (Sat), Day 14: It seems that 34x28T bailout gear is simply too high for the hills of Missouri. Or I am too weak. https://instagram.com/p/4I83axwOq9/
June 20 (Sat), Day 14: Major hand numbness (since Wyoming) and neck pain (since yesterday). Kind of in trouble
June 20 (Sat), Day 14: Massive neck pain; hard to see up road since can’t lift head high enough. Hands can’t shift. Body is done.
June 20 (Sat), Day 14: Took Advil in morning for first time in a cycling race ever. No help for neck pain though
June 20 (Sat), Day 14: Stopped in Summersville, MO for 2 hours. Wonderful lady named Deanna in a store did some chiro work on neck and back
June 20 (Sat), Day 14: Done chasing leading internationals. Content that I reached Mile 3000 in 14 days in 6th or 7th place, 2nd American
June 20 (Sat), Day 14: For first two weeks averaged 214 miles/day. Unlikely to see numbers like that now that body is done
June 20 (Sat), Day 14: Continuing on in touring mode for today. Struggling badly but not going to quit
June 20 (Sat), Day 14: Tony Robbins said “see things as they are but not worse than they are.” Can still make forward progress despite pain
June 20 (Sat), Day 14: Compounding problems are the super steep Ozark Hills and 90F heat, however. Legs shot
June 20 (Sat), Day 14: Hung out at this place for a while to cope with pain and heat; now back on road https://instagram.com/p/4KcnDhQOvT/
June 21 (Sun), Day 15: Ugh, way overslept alarm and slept over 12 hours
June 21 (Sun), Day 15: Happy to make it into the land of Lincoln. Missouri was beautiful and friendly but the Ozark Hills nearly killed me https://instagram.com/p/4NR51jwOtd/
June 21 (Sun), Day 15: Rest and ice must have helped; feeling way better today. Thanks for advice and support everyone
June 22 (Mon), Day 16: Napped on comfy concrete at church from 7-9a. Still have my only talent of being able to sleep anywhere, anytime
June 22 (Mon), Day 16: Body is now completely reliant on soda caffeine for any signs of life
June 22 (Mon), Day 16: Only position that allows me to consistently see the road is hands on aerobars arm rests due to neck problem
June 22 (Mon), Day 16: Kentucky. 2 more states to go; just the 2 hilliest ones https://instagram.com/p/4P2PGLQOhz/
June 23 (Tue), Day 17: Motorist inn Kentucky wanted me to change blinking taillight because “it freaked me out; thought you were a cop”
June 23 (Tue), Day 17: Slept on church concrete again. Neck seems to feel better but will see how it goes
June 23 (Tue), Day 17: TABR Day 16: 200mi (13 off course); Day 17: 170mi (limp mode). Want to do better today
June 23 (Tue), Day 17: Neck as bad as ever; severely limiting (descending, being aero, power generation). But will stop complaining about it
June 23 (Tue), Day 17: Been drinking 32 ounces of Pepsi every 1-2 hours to beat 90F heat and humidity. Sounds unhealthy but it is working
June 23 (Tue), Day 17: An attempt to give myself a hand position to allow body to sit upright enough to see the road with https://t.co/N6p7msSTfRhttps://instagram.com/p/4SPOjiQOhX/
June 23 (Tue), Day 17: Vertical aerobars worked! Totally unaero and like cruiser but comfy & can see the road. Smile on face whole last hour
June 23 (Tue), Day 17: Once in a while I come up with ideas better than microwaving socks
June 24 (Wed), Day 18: In Berea, KY. 2 ACA maps, 745 miles to go, Paris-Brest-Paris distance. Should be able to do this
June 25 (Thu), Day 19: Already have had 2 or 3 of the most difficult cycling days of my life during race and this one is becoming even worse
June 25 (Thu), Day 19: Appalachians make climbs in Rockies seem like pre-school
June 25 (Thu), Day 19: 10 miles in 2 hours because of lots of stops and walking breaks. Stopped again to recollect myself.Body completely shot
June 26 (Fri), Day 20: Just when I thought things could possibly get any worse… severe thunderstorm in Appalachia https://t.co/WKleyAx0jwhttps://instagram.com/p/4XyamuQOlq/
June 26 (Fri), Day 20: Sleeping in bivy under this tablet by gas station with Wi-Fi until storm passes at 2a https://t.co/wZPCF4dWJNhttps://instagram.com/p/4X6BSRwOil/
June 26 (Fri), Day 20: Neither sleeping under table nor did bivy sack sack keep me dry in torrential thunderstorm last night
June 26 (Fri), Day 20: GPS died in thunderstorm; now navigating old school with paper map and cyclometer
June 26 (Fri), Day 20: Got lost workout GPS already; 9 off route miles. Back to same place where i was 11 hours ago.in really bad mental state
June 26 (Fri), Day 20: Final state. Still have over 3 days to Yorktown in crippled state but good milestone https://t.co/FYod9REIgthttps://instagram.com/p/4ZfyiuwOv-/
June 27 (Sat), Day 21: Torrential thunderstorm cut day short for 2nd night in a row. Bivy sack not waterproof at all. Shivering all night
June 27 (Sat), Day 21: When woke up, there was clean dry portapotty across street. Could have stayed in that instead of wet bivy if seen it.
June 27 (Sat), Day 21: Wasted ton of energy shivering all night and have nothing today. Touring mode. ETA to finish even farther now.
June 27 (Sat), Day 21: Voice is also hoarse from shouting “HEY!” At the 100 dogs that chased me across Kentucky
June 27 (Sat), Day 21: Some good news: Passed by laundry mat so dried out bivy and recharged electronics https://t.co/2pm5JNBczzhttps://instagram.com/p/4cGjnFwOhs/
June 28 (Sun), Day 22: This is exactly what I got after biking 2900 miles in 2 weeks http://t.co/zkagmT2heuhttp://www.active.com/cycling/articles/shermer-s-neck-cycling-s-most-bizarre-injury
June 28 (Sun), Day 22: Wow! I actually sort of grew a beard
June 28 (Sun), Day 22: Squeeze test for tires doesn’t work well with numb hands. Tires at only 45 psi! Rolling so much faster with air now
June 29 (Mon), Day 23: Not good morning, lots of direction discombobulation, breaks for neck pain, but still chugging. 140 to go
June 29 (Mon), Day 23: Next town will be Bumpass, VA, haha
June 29 (Mon), Day 23: May be last tweet until finish but you can check my location on satellite tracker here http://t.co/iutAcRaUMehttp://felixwong.com/2015-trans-am-bike-race/
June 30 (Tue), Day 24: Tue, Jun 30, 7:17 a.m. EST: Yorktown Victory Monument. Made it. Done. Over. Emotional, relieved, physically spent.
June 30 (Tue), Day 24: Done! 4,233 miles from sea to shining sea in 23d23h17m. Elated and relieved! https://t.co/ntcne1lVKehttps://instagram.com/p/4jj85ZwOho/
June 30 (Tue), Post Race Day 0: Now to figure out how to get back to CO asap. I refuse to ride my bike even 2 more miles with Shermer’s Neck
June 30 (Tue), Post Race Day 0: Lost a couple hours in the morning in the race due to direction discombobulation, but these Virginia towns are so cool!
June 30 (Tue), Post Race Day 0: Thx to Annie, wife of Bryan Heselbach, for being at finish. BH may come in tonight to put 3 Coloradoans in the top 10!
June 30 (Tue), Post Race Day 0: Agenda: Taxi, bike shop, box bike, buy clothes, fly outta here. Oh, sit down and eat real food!
June 30 (Tue), Post Race Day 0: I haven’t had a single serving of vegetables or fruit in the last 24 days. Need to eat some roughage
July 1 (Wed), Post Race Day 1: My first sit down, real food meal in 24 days will be at Texas Roadhouse. Would have gone sooner but took 6 hour nap :)#transambikerace
July 3 (Fri), Post Race Day 3: Apparently I lost 6 lbs. during the despite drinking gallons of soda and eating shelves’ worth of junk food each day
July 3 (Fri), Post Race Day 3: Turns out my first real meal had to wait until after I flew back to Colorado. Yummy Vietnamese food https://t.co/Q5oI9AmyfBhttps://instagram.com/p/4p1fB2wOne/
July 3 (Fri), Post Race Day 3: I have no visibly discernible chest muscles now, however
July 3 (Fri), Post Race Day 3: After learning I had lost 6lbs. , I was convinced to go to Culver’s for the very first time https://t.co/l58AE7sMz7https://instagram.com/p/4p2AvuwOoG/
July 3 (Fri), Post Race Day 3: DEXA results 13.1% body fat before race; 11.6% after. Lost 2.4 lbs fat despite gallons of soda & 99% junk food each day
July 3 (Fri), Post Race Day 3: VO2 max 48.9 ml O2/kg/min after race; “superior” category
July 5 (Sun), Post Race Day 5: Since Friday massage, Shermer’s neck has been feeling much better. Looks like will recover much sooner than numb hands
July 6 (Mon), Post Race Day 6: It just occurred to me that I had no flat tires during the. Yep, zero. Really am sold on tubeless tires + sealant.
July 6 (Mon), Post Race Day 6: In fact I have not had to do a roadside flat repair ever since switching to tubeless road tires+sealant. That was about 6,000 miles ago.
July 8 (Wed), Post Race Day 8: Surprised to see my love for bicycling remains after trauma of. Watching TdF everyday & can’t wait to be riding again
July 8 (Wed), Post Race Day 8: Think left hand is numb due to damaged median nerve. Now doing stretches for carpal tunnel to help it improve
July 8 (Wed), Post Race Day 8: 1 week after, think Shermer’s Neck is 80% healed
July 8 (Wed), Post Race Day 8: Pull-up test: Before 27; 1 week after only 13.