RAAM a Backgrounder

From the RAAM Website – http://www.raceacrossamerica.org/records—awards.html

The concept of a bicycle race across America can be traced back to newspaperman George Nellis, who in 1887 crossed the USA on a 45-pound iron high-wheel bicycle with no gears and with pedals attached directly to the front wheel. Following the railroad routes across the country, he made the crossing in just under 80 days.

Every ten years or so, the record would be reduced by a few days, but it was not until the 1970s, when John Marino decided to find out how quickly a bicycle could be ridden across the U.S.A. that the modern movement of trans-national cycling competition began. Other riders started challenging the marks made by Marino, and by 1982 a group of these riders decided they were ready for a head-to-head race. In its first year, the Race Across America (RAAM) was called the Great American Bike Race. Four riders lined up on the pier in Santa Monica and raced to New York City. The winner was Lon Haldeman. Since then the race has been run every year, always west to east. The race now begins in Oceanside, California and finishes in Annapolis, Maryland. With its mid-June start dates, RAAM starts close to the summer solstice to provide competitors the maximum daylight hours.

The records related to RAAM are somewhat difficult to judge given each year the route seems to change just a little bit and of course the weather is a huge x-factor in the outcomes experienced by the cyclists. With this said, here are some RAAM records for the mens division for your contemplation:

Clearly, it is amazing to contemplate riding a bike across america in just 7 days, 15 hours and 56 minutes! For Peter, this is the 4th time he has taken up the challenge of the Race Across America. Here is Peter’s experience over the past three attempts.

Year of AttemptTotal Time TakenKMs Travelled Speed (km/hr)
200711d 4hrs 21mins4,896.918.15
2009 DNF 2,584 / 4,862.3
201310d 15hrs 16mins4,817.218.8

Media focused on Peter:

https://www.pinkbike.com/news/Race-Across-America-Kids-help-phone-completed-2007.html

https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/t-o-cyclist-to-race-across-america-in-9-days-1.406783 http://www.taranolan.com/wp-content/uploads/CanadianCycling_peter_oyler_profile.pdf https://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/in-it-to-win-it/article1150400/

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