Below are the actual miles I rode each day during the 2015 Trans Am Bike Race.
A few notes about the data:
- For the first 20 days, I was using a Motorola Moto E and RideWithGPS app to record my mileage and also to navigate. However, after Day 20, the smartphone died in a thunderstorm (despite supposedly being splash-proof). Up to that point I had only successfully uploaded data to RideWithGPS’ server for Days 1-13. I was unable to extract data off the phone for Days 14-20.
- After the race, I imported the RideWithGPS data into Strava, as it is my preferred cycling data recording service.
- On Day 3, I forgot to start the RideWithGPS app until I had already ridden 11.5 miles. Thus, the Strava data is 11.5 miles short for that day.
- Other days, the RideWithGPS app or Android operating system crashed. Sometimes that resulted in a few missing miles upon restart of the app or phone. This explains how for some days the Strava data is missing a few miles compared to the table below.
- After Day 14, I was afflicted with Shermer’s Neck which progressively got worse during the rest of the race. It was the primary, but not only, cause of the severe drop-off in mileage after the second week.
- I rode 75 “extra” miles during the race. Ten or fifteen of those miles were intentional, such as going a couple miles off-route in order to find a suitable place to sleep or resupply with food. But about 60 of those miles were due to mental mistakes (such as forgetting my backpack) and navigational difficulties.
- Day 1 started on Saturday, June 6, at 5:00 a.m. Pacific Standard time at the Maritime Museum in Astoria, Oregon. Day 24 ended on Tuesday, June 30 at 8:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time. I arrived at the finish—the Yorktown Victory Monument in Virginia—at 7:17 a.m. for a total time of 23 days, 23 hours and 17 minutes.
|Day||On-course Miles||Total Miles||Climbing (feet)||Destination|
|2||218||218||14366||13 miles past Dayville, Oregon|
|7||129||136||6106||Rockefeller Memorial Parkway, Wyoming|
|8||215||217||11864||Jeffrey City, Wyoming|
|23||162||164||?||White Hall, Virginia|
- During the first two weeks I averaged 206 miles/day. This was only a little more than my pre-race goal of riding at least 200 miles/day, but was enough to briefly catch every racer ahead, except for eventual winner Jesse Carlsson, by Pittsburg, Kansas.
- After the second week, I averaged only 143 miles/day primarily due to Shermer’s Neck.
- My overall average for the race was 180 miles/day.
- On 11/24 days, I rode 200 miles or more.
- On 3/24 days, I rode 250 miles or more.
- On 2/24 days, I managed only about 70 miles. Both of those days entailed long periods of rest due to the pain of Shermer’s Neck. The second day also got cut short by a severe thunderstorm.
- The maximum miles I rode was 275 miles on Day 12. On this day in Kansas, there was negligible climbing and little wind.
- There was a 24-hour period from 2 a.m. on Day 10 to 2 a.m. on Day 11 I actually rode 310 miles. However, 11 of those miles were off-course in order to retrieve the Camelback-like backpack I forgot at a vending machine in Haswell, Kansas.
- On the final day I managed to ride 210 miles despite getting lost multiple times (losing one or two hours) and having lots of pain from Shermer’s Neck. However, I rode straight through the night and did not sleep at all so it took me over 23 hours to ride that distance.
- I finished 8th overall and 3rd American.
To this day I am disappointed about my TABR daily mileage output and consequent lack of competitiveness for most of the final week. I easily lost a couple days during that time period due to injuries, getting lost, mental mistakes and oversleeping.
But I am happy, relieved, and even somewhat amazed I made it to the end without accident and losing only one position in the overall rankings considering my neck and hand injuries, loss of GPS, steep climbs, dangerous roads with no shoulder, 90 degree heat and humidity, and two severe thunderstorms during the last 1000 miles. Shermer’s Neck (which I wrote about in another post) made riding extremely dangerous already and any of the external factors could have ended my race at any time.
Click on “Trans America Bicycle Trail” below for an interactive map.