handlebars, red handlebar tape, aerobars, phone, cycle computer, hot dog

My Biggest Regrets from the Trans Am Bike Race

Overall, I was pretty happy with how I did in the 2015 Trans Am Bike Race especially considering the difficulty of the event and the injuries I accumulated. Finishing the 4233-mile bike race in eighth place and in under 24 days was not too shabby.

But, with the benefit of experience, in hindsight there were several things I wish I did differently. I had did them, I believe I could have easily finished the race two to four days quicker.

Below is a list of my regrets, with the biggest being at the top. Perhaps this list would help future racers in preparing for the race.

  1. Not having a more waterproof system for the Motorola Moto E smart phone I used for GPS, which ultimately caused it to fail during the last 4-5 days. All I had to do was keep the phone in a neoprene armband and attach it to the aerobars.
  2. Not having a backup GPS system. This could have been my other smartphone I used for texting, photos, etc.
  3. Not carrying water purification tablets which could have given me more options for water in the West.
  4. Not wearing UV sleeves.
  5. Not double wrapping the handlebars with bar tape, which might have helped ward off numb hands.
  6. Not inflating the tires with air more regularly.
  7. Not having better headlights.
  8. Stopping in Pittsburg, Kansas and getting an LED headlight at Walmart at 2:00 a.m. in the morning instead getting to bed ASAP and then mounting the headlight to my helmet. I think both were contributing factors to getting Shermer’s Neck.
  9. Shipping home my rain jacket in Newton, Kansas.
  10. Using a bivy sack that was not waterproof. In hindsight, I think even a cheap SOL Emergency Bivy would have been better than the Outdoor Research Helium bivy sack.
  11. Not staying at Larry’s hostel in Virginia and getting caught in a rainstorm later that night, which I spent shivering in my bivy sack and overslept.
  12. Having SRAM DoubleTap shifters instead of Shimano STI.
handlebars, red handlebar tape, aerobars, phone, cycle computer, hot dog
The cockpit of the Super Bike. I used a SPAM can as a snack box, and it was the perfect size for a hot dog.