James Cracknell Takes on America
United States of America Various LA to New York
Like this Adventure 0 Likes
This is a biggie - a non-stop ‘Greatest Hits’ tour of the States.
Please see my profile page for live tracking or go to James Cracknell Takes on America
Santa Monica, the terminus of Route 66 offers the perfect start point. But rather than follow it all the way to the Great Lakes, I’m going to make a detour into Death Valley - the driest and hottest place in America. It’s home to the lowest elevation in the US (86m below sea level) which hosts the infamous shoe-melting invitation-only Badwater Ultra-marathon.
The 80mile run presents a huge barrier in the challenge. If I don’t manage my pace and hydration properly - which could be virtually impossible in the 50 degree heat - at best I’ll have to wait until I recover before resuming on the bike; at worst I’ll fail less than 10% of the way across.
Once out of Death Valley I’ll rejoin Route 66 on the bike, but the temperatures will still be high as I pass through Arizona, New Mexico and the Mid West aiming to cover 250miles every 24 hours for the 2,500miles to Toledo. The brutal Continental Divide of the Rockies has to be crossed and although Route 66 eventually flattens out that’s about the same time that I then enter Tornado Alley. The core of which is the Texas Panhandle, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. Fortunately I’m only cycling through three of those four states.
It wouldn’t be a trip across the States if I didn’t take in a Great Lake and stretching from Toledo to Buffalo, Lake Erie fits nicely into my route to New York. There’s also another positive: it’s the second shortest of the Lakes. But at just over 240miles that isn’t much of a bonus, especially as it’s also the busiest, roughest and has the highest number of shipwrecks.
Motivation on this leg is in the shape of Matthew Pinsent who is going to come and join me – just like old times, only a lot slower.
The aim is to row into West Side Rowing Club in Buffalo and ‘jump’ on the bike for the last leg to Manhattan. With over 2,500miles in the legs those last 500 are going to hurt.
Luckily I’ll have Chrissie Wellington the world Ironman champion for company when I leave the boat for the 500miles into New York. Unfortunately she can cycle 500miles before breakfast, so she’ll have to wait for the wheezing slow guy, especially as I’ll be worrying about the swim down the Hudson to The Statue of Liberty - it would be disastrous to get that far and fail in the last 15miles.
I can’t wait to bank a decent overall time and throw down the gauntlet to any other sport-maniacs to beat. Of course, I’ll help in any way I can, but there’s a reason why I put a row in there.