Pushing into Missouri, followed by Illinois, Kentucky, and Virginia. Go Lael Go! All photos by race organizer Nathan Jones, who is driving a media car back and forth across the country to bring us these awesome images. Buy Nathan a cheap motel and a burger by donating to the Trans Am Bike Race Media Fund. Check the TABR Blog for photo updates daily.
Lael called from Pittsburg, KS yesterday near the end of the day. Temperatures were near 100F, the heat index ranked the day at 107F, and a creaky seatpost caused a brief stop in town. Lael’s bike came with an ultra-plush carbon post, the vibration damping Specialized C-GR post. It is a great riding seaport, but in an effort to shave some weight off the bike in several places for the race, I ordered an ultralight Woodman carbon post, one of those no frills concepts that ranks as one of the lightest posts available. It might have been a bad idea, it might have been improperly installed, or it might just be under-engineered for real world use. Anyway, while in Newton, James noted that the seat had developed a bit of play. By Pittsburg it was very loose and creaking. The small town bike shop was quick to replace it with a standard 27.2mm seatpost. Near the end of the day, as the afternoon heat boiled over into evening, Lael and Evan each decided to sleep for a few hours, and push through the cooler night air. Lael texted just before 1AM her time to say that she was headed out. I suspect a few hours of sleep and the cool night air would make for a nice ride.
Temperatures are expected to remain above 90F for the remainder of the race. Thunderstorms and even tornadoes are not uncommon in this part of the country at this time of year. Lael called again briefly this morning from Fair Grove, MO and described leaving Pittsburg last night in the dark, with tailwinds fed by local storm clouds. She was sleepy by morning, but sunrise changed that.
From her current location near Hartville, MO, Lael has about 1400 miles to the finish at Yorktown, VA.
Check out this short video of Lael and Evan stopped at a gas station in Missouri this morning, send by a TABR fan in the area.
Steffen remains in the lead, Lael and Evan are holding 80-90 miles back, Kai is steady around 100-110 miles behind them, and Sarah is now further back after a longer layover in Newton. Massimiliano Fancoli and Ken Bathurst follow in 6th and 7th overall, and Massimilaiano just overtook Ken, who was stopped in Newton. Janie Hayes, from Salida, CO is the third female rider, currently 8th overall. Three women in the top ten!
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To support the media tracking provided by race organizer Nathan Jones, donate to his Trans Am Bike Race Media Fund. All images courtesy Nathan Jones.