World Cycle Race 2014: Race Around The World On A Bike

Are you one of those adventure travelers who has pretty much gone everywhere and done everything? Have you already climbed Kilimanjaro, trekked the length of the Himalaya and run an ultramarathon in the Sahara Desert? Are you looking for a new challenge that will motivate you to get off the couch while allowing you to continue exploring the world at the same time? If so, then you may want to consider entering the World Cycle Race 2014, a one-of-a-kind competition that pits competitors against one another in a bike race around the world.

The race will commence on March 22 of next year with riders electing to depart from either London, Singapore or Auckland. They will then be free to take any route they choose, traveling east or west, as they attempt to become the fastest person to circumnavigate the globe on a bicycle. Their route must cover a minimum of 18,000 miles, however, and the rider must pass through two antipodal points on the planet as they go. That is to say, they must pass touch two points that are on the exact opposite side of the world from one another.

The race will feature three categories with both male and female riders entered into each of them. In the “Supported” category a single cyclist will take to the road with a team that will provide assistance whereever necessary. That crew can help make bike repairs, find places to stay, provide food and so on. This is the category for those who are hoping to take a legitimate shot at the world record for the fastest time around the globe. In both the “Solo” and “Pairs” category, riders will travel completely unsupported with just the gear they can carry with them to see them through. While out on the road, they’ll need to be entirely self sufficient, dealing with whatever challenges arise completely on their own.The challenge may be big, but the entry fee for the World Cycle Race couldn’t be any smaller. Registration is now open for the event and race organizers aren’t charging a single dime for those who want to take part. Simply fill out the online letter of intent that you’ll find on the race’s official website and they’ll notify you with more details as they are made clear. In the meantime, you can keep yourself busy by training and riding your bike. After all, the start of the WRC is less than a year away.

The inaugural World Cycling Race took place last year with British rider Mike Hall taking the crown. Hall, who raced solo and unsupported, managed to circle the globe in just under 92 days. This time out, Hall has joined the race staff as a WCR ambassador and will serve on the race’s rules committee.

The race is brought to us by the Adventurists, the same team behind the amazing Mongol Rally and Rickshaw Run, amongst a number of other crazy adventures. That means the WCR will be well organized and accessible to just about anyone who feels the need to ride their bikes for an obscene number of miles each day.

[Photo Credit Eddie Clark Media]

Video Of The Day: ‘Line Of Sight’ Trailer From The 2012 Bicycle Film Festival

While most eyes are on the Tour de France, there’s a much more intriguing form of cycling that’s quickly becoming a phenomenon: underground bicycle messenger racing.

Yes, it’s a real thing, and it appears to be spreading. Filmmaker Lucas Brunelle spent more than a decade profiling and documenting messenger cultures around the world, and he recently released “Line of Sight,” a 60-minute documentary film that premiered Saturday at the 2012 Bicycle Film Festival in New York City. According to the description:

This is bike riding like you’ve never seen before, in gripping first-person perspective through the most hectic city streets, on expressways in Mexico City, over the frozen Charles River, under the Mediterranean Sea, across the Great Wall of China and deep into the jungles of Guatemala.

Sounds much more gripping than the winding, tree-lined roads of France.

Video Of The Day: Crazy Bikers Race Down Glacier

It appears as though crazy bike stunts and dangerous urban bike courses just aren’t enough of an adrenaline rush anymore. In Saas-Fee, Switzerland, bikers push riding to the extreme as they pedal down a glacier in a death-defying race. A handful of the 142 riders mounted cameras to their bikes and helmets so us less adventurous (and perhaps more sane) types can get a feel for the crazy race. Riders reached speeds over the 80 mph mark as they dashed over ice and snow from a starting height of 3,500 meters to 1,700 meters. This year’s winner, Charlie Di Pasquale, completed the race in 7:31. Anyone out there up for giving it a try next year?

Furnace 508 endurance cycling race starts tomorrow

Tomorrow morning one of the most challenging cycling events anywhere on the planet will get underway from Santa Clarita, California. Two hundred riders will set out to compete in the Furnace 508, a race that is billed as “the toughest 48 hours in sports”, and is known for pushing its competitors to the limits of their physical and mental endurance.

The 508 mile course runs from Santa Clarita to Twentynine Palms, crossing through the Mojave Desert and Death Valley in the process. The riders will be tested by ten mountain passes, offering up more than 35,000 feet of elevation gain over the length of the course. And when they’re not dealing with the cool mountain temperatures, they’ll be getting baked by the desert heat.

Competitors can ride the race in three categories, solo, and two- or four-person relays. Solo riders obviously ride the entire 508 miles by themselves, while the relay teams break down the course into two and four segments of equal length, with each rider taking a segment. Last year, the first solo rider to cross the finish line was Michael Emde, who completed the course in just 27 hours and 28 minutes.

The organizers of the race are also committed to being eco-friendly, and have advised the athletes on how to be on a “green team“. The list of suggestions for the racers to limit their impact on the environment includes using hybrid team cars, eating fruits and vegetables that are purchased locally, and using five gallon jugs of water to refill their bottles. The hope is to have a challenging and amazing race while leaving no trace of their passing.

For more on the race, check out the official website, where you’ll find info on the course, the official rules, and more, including the always amusing tall tales from previous races.