TransAm: 4,300 miles in 22 days 8 hours
WOODEN Spoon Devon fundraiser Brian Murray has just completed the TransAm bike race across 10 states in the USA in only 22 days eight hours, well ahead of his 26 day target. 116 cyclists started the race on 2 June 2018 in Oregon on the west coast and Brian arrived in Virginia on the east coast on the 24 June 2018, the 10th cyclist to finish although there were also two velomobiles ahead of him.
This is a tough race. 48 people have already scratched from the race at the time of writing and there are many riders still working their way across America trying to complete the route. There have been accidents, injuries, illnesses and mechanical failures but thankfully Brian’s only set backs were two punctures. However, as you can imagine, 4300 miles means the bike needs regular maintenance and there were a number of bike shop visits, some staying open till midnight and beyond to help him. Replacement parts included six tyres, a derailleur, a chain and cassette.
Brian had the most amazing adventure, cycling 185 miles a day over 22 days and loved it all, from the welcome of the people he met along the way to the amazing landscapes he cycled through. Yellowstone Park was a particular highlight although he was happy to report no bear sightings! He also enjoyed huge online support from enthusiastic ‘dot watchers’ who found watching his GPS dot became a daily obsession as they willed him to the finish line.
Brian slept as little as possible, but when he did his resting places included hotels, hostels, bike shops, a fire
station and even one night in his emergency bivvy bag. On both the first and last nights he didn’t sleep at all but cycled continuously with only stops for food and drinks. This is a completely self supported race and so time each day was spent sourcing food, accommodation and bike spares when needed.
Vast amounts of calories were needed and he was constantly hungry from expending so much energy, added to which he was cycling in 40+ degrees heat and strong winds for much of the time; other times cycling at altitude and having to deal with a lack of oxygen. Another challenge was free running and often fierce guard dogs in a number of states – a whistle became his best line of defence against being bitten as well as having had rabies shots before the race began. A race as demanding as this takes its toll physically and so Brian’s hands, feet and other parts have taken some damage but are already improving since the race ended.
While his race is complete, his TransAm challenge is not. He hopes to continue his fundraising efforts for Wooden Spoon and the Fire Fighters Charity, the latter because he enjoyed a 30 year career in the Fire Service. He is grateful for the support he has had from family, friends, the Wooden Spoon community and firefighters throughout the UK. He would encourage anyone to embark on their own adventure as a way of raising funds and awareness for the charity and he is delighted that close ties are being formed between Wooden Spoon and the Fire Service as both organisations are close to his heart.
You can see more of Brian’s adventure with lots of photographs too on Brian Murray Adventures.
Please donate to Brian’s fundraising page and help him exceed his target.