Trans Am Bike Race 2016 Update: crossing the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers

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The ferry at Cave-In-Rock, IL is a unique feature of the Trans Am Trail, and provides passage across the Ohio River from Illinois to Kentucky.  The ferry operates from 6AM to 9:30PM.  All photos courtesy Nathan Jones and Anthony Dryer via the Trans Am Bike Race Blog.  

Less than a thousand miles to Yorktown for the top three riders in the Trans Am Bike Race 2016.  Riding fast will expedite the process, limiting stopped time will help, but at this point the first person to the finish will do both of those things and sacrifice sleep.  For Lael and Evan, who continue to trail Steffen by about 75 miles, one of them will need to trade around 5 hours of sleep over the next few days to catch Steffen, and maybe more to overtake him with any margin.  Although I expect Steffen is currently running low on sleep, if he can employ the same strategy, he may hold off the chase.  And if he can get his legs moving like he did at the start he might be able to make some distance by riding fast.  For the first half of the race he recorded long nights of sleep and extremely fast rides.  His pace has changed, and he is now taking shorter nights, traveling at a similar pace to other riders.

Just one day out of Newton and Lael put a 1 cm long gash into her tire.  The tubeless system lost air and sealed at around 50 psi.  She attempted to air it up again and it continued to lose air, even after applying some Super Glue to the gash from the outside.  She put a tube in the tire and continued riding, and found a shop yesterday that stocked road tubes with long valves.  Her 64mm rims require 80mm valves, which are not especially common in small shops.  In addition to the single long valve tube she packed at the start of the race, she also has a valve extender in case her option for tubes are limited to standard length valves, such as in a small town bike shop or a Wal-Mart.  

Steffen, Lael, and Evan crossed the Mississippi River by bridge yesterday, entering into Illinois for a little over 100 miles of riding in the Land of Lincoln.  They continued into Kentucky by ferry at Cave-In-Rock, IL.  Temperatures remain in the high 80’s in Kentucky, and the weather looks mostly clear to the finish for these three riders.

I finish my brief season of work at The Bicycle Shop in Alaska this weekend and jump on a plane Sunday night, arriving in Newport News, VA on Monday.  I will put my bike together at the airport and ride to Yorktown to meet the riders.  Lael and I will rest for a few days before beginning a slow pedal to northern New York to visit my family.

Follow the Trans Am Bike Race 2016 at

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