Currently there are two races crossing the country, the well established RAAM (Race Across America) and the inaugural Trans Am Bike Race. In both races recumbent cycling is represented. I enjoy tracking both races but I am hooked on the Trans Am Bike Race. It captures the spirit of not only adventure cycling but cycling in general.
The RAAM is comprised of racers who have qualified via other races and distant events. It requires a substantial investment and is heavily supported by team personal and follow vehicles. It represents the ultimate in long distance racing and is a fantastic event to follow. It is a race pure and simple.
On the other hand the Trans Am Bike Race is a race but at it's core is adventure. It's an adventure that every cyclist can dream of participating in, all that's needed is the will and the legs. Anyone can race and the investment is small and the prize is huge...bragging rights. Support is prohibited, no help from friends or family. It's a lonely 4000 miles. The basic rules are simple you start and you finish and no support in between except for what any racer can commercially pick up along the way. Although the route is mapped out the official route is the shortest possible route between the start and finish.
The Trans Am Bike Race represents the true spirit of cycling. What cyclist hasn't felt the cool breeze in their face and wished they could ride on forever. I have and maybe someday I will, when my body stops breaking down on me. For now I'll ride vicariously with an eclectic group of cyclists racing across country with nothing but sky above and their thoughts to guide them.
Some of the Trans Am racers may not be the fastest and some not the youngest but they're all out racing for the adventure and the prize.
Follow Johnny Williams "Rocketman" on the Trans Am Bike Race here (my post with links).