The Other Route
Rather than race RAAM, we'll give an option out.
The hallucinations—mailboxes as people, elves in the cornrows—usually kick in around Illinois. Amongst Race Across America solo competitors, pretty much no one escapes them, and you won’t either. In order to complete the 3,000-mile bicycle race from California to Maryland within the 12-day cut off, you have to ride a minimum of 250 miles a day. The winners average a superhuman 22 hours a day on the bike. Last year, 30 of the 41 solo racers finished. They aren’t all elite athletes, either—the race’s oldest finisher was 62-year old David Jones (OK, he’s a rocket scientist by trade). You’ll need to train for about two years, complete a qualifying event (the shortest of which is a 375-mile race), and raise at least $20,000 to fund your support team. But if you want to find out what you can endure, there may be no more scenic way to do it than riding as fast as you can across the good ole US of A. Oh, by the way, there’s no prize money.