Between now and the tour something very special is going on, it's the Race Across America. 3000 miles or 4800 kilometres, it starts in Oceanside, California and finishes in Annapolis, Maryland. The race goes strait through the fat bit of North America. Over the Rocky and Appalachian mountains, through desert and pretty much everything in between. The riders have about 12 days in which to finish it, the fastest solo time was in 1986' 8 days, 9 hours and47 minutes, over 3100 miles at an average speed of 24.8 kph, no team, no peleton.
Tough people do this race, sadly, competitors have died participating in it and physical strength is very much in my opinion, on par with mental strength in this beast. The thing that surprises me most about this race though is that very few people have heard about it. Even the best riders struggle to find significant sponsorship and many of them have to raise money just to get themselves and support teams over there and pay the entry fee. I doubt if you will see much of the Nike tick here, I can't imagine the wind blowing up the skirts of the podium girls, which may be just as well, things could get a bit scary if a couple of California "girls" headed across to kiss the winner.
The film Bicycle Dreams is a great account of it.
Check the race website and riders progress here.
There is a ride planned for Sunday in the usual spot at 9am, let us know if you can make it.
Speaking of podium girls, below is one of my favourite cycling photos. Good onya Francesco.