As many know, the Race Across America is going strong. Earlier today we had the first finisher. Christoph Strasser, from Austria set a new record. He left Oceanside, CA the afternoon of Tuesday, 6/11 and arrived in Annapolis, MD this afternoon with a time of 7 days, 22 hours and 52 minutes. This is the first time anyone has crossed the US on a bicycle in less than 8 days. His average speed was 15.66 mph. Keep in mind that the clock started when he left Oceanside and did not stop until he reached Annapolis. That means whenever he stopped, be it for potty break, eating or sleeping and even for those red lights in town, his clock did not stop. So that is a tremendous average speed. To put it into more perspective, in most places with a fairly flat road he was riding from 20-27mph. Naturally on some of the big climbs he was below 5 mph on the way up and maybe 50+ mph on the way down. Most times the weather was favorable for him. The Europeans generally train in colder conditions than what we have here and they suffer in the deserts but excel in the mountains. The worst day weatherwise for him was day 1 when it topped out a bit over 120 degrees. Going through eastern Kansas he rode through some really strong storms and they did not slow him down at all. Well, except for that one fall he had but I think that fall he had was in WV rather than in KS. We have another possible record that may fall in the team competition. The teams left Oceanside last Saturday afternoon and the lead team is now east of Cincinnati, Ohio. As I type this, they have gone 2,447+ miles already. I believe the record right now is something like 5 days, 5 hours and a few minutes. They are on track to beat that. Amazing. There have been a few detours in the route, which is not unusual. The biggest detour this year was around St Louis, MO where there was much flooding. Then there are usually a few detours due to road construction or whatever, Perhaps one of the big stories of this years race is one of the lady riders, Maria Parker. She is riding a recumbent bike and out of Flagstaff, AZ her follow vehicle was hit from behind and it totaled the vehicle and, of course, all of her spare bikes. She dropped but then friends got together to get more bikes and vehicles and she got clearance to re-enter the race. She then proceeded to pass all the other women riders and is still going strong. My hat is off to all these riders as this is a race that is super tough. For example, they have to follow a prescribed route and there is well over 100,000 feet of climbing in the mountains. Simply amazing.