4 Tai­wanese take on 3,000-mile bike race across United States

The China Post - - LOCAL -

A team of four Tai­wanese bik­ers on Satur­day (U.S. time) joined com­peti­tors from around the world in the Race Across Amer­ica team event, a stren­u­ous bike ride cov­er­ing 3,000 miles from Cal­i­for­nia to Mary­land.

The four bik­ers are Hsiao Yit­ing, a doc­tor, Juan Chien-yeh, a soft­ware engi­neer, and sales man­agers Huang Yi-kuang and Lu Hsuan-chiu.

“All four of us are not the kind of peo­ple who give up easily. We joined this event to chal­lenge our­selves,” said Juan, the team's cap­tain, be­fore they set off.

Over the next week or so, the group of four will pedal 3,000 miles in a re­lay for­mat from Ocean­side, Cal­i­for­nia to An­napo­lis, Mary­land in the an­nual race, one of the world's tough­est and most gru­el­ing bi­cy­cle events.

“The route passes through deserts and the Rocky Moun­tains, so tem­per­a­ture dif­fer­ences could reach 50 de­grees Cel­sius,” Juan said, ex­pect­ing the large tem­per­a­ture dif­fer­ence to be a chal­lenge for his team.

The bik­ers will travel across 12 states and climb over 170,000 ver­ti­cal feet. Team rac­ers have a max­i­mum of nine days to com- plete the event, while solo rac­ers have a max­i­mum of 12 days.

“Although none of us have ever par­tic­i­pated in a 5,000-kilo­me­ter bike event be­fore, we hope to fin­ish the race in seven and a half days,” Juan said.

He said the four bik­ers are di­vided into two groups that are on the move around the clock. Each group takes a turn ped­al­ing 180-200 km at a time while the other group rests in a sup­port ve­hi­cle.

"I have not par­tic­i­pated in a long-dis­tance bik­ing event for a long time," said Hsiao Yi-ting, the only fe­male in the group.

Hsiao said she re­ally strug­gled to make up her mind on whether or not to com­pete be­fore fi­nally de­cid­ing to go for it.

Although all four bik­ers have par­tic­i­pated in 1,200 km bike rides be­fore, it will be the first time they travel 5,000 km, Juan said.

Be­fore set­ting off on Satur­day, the bik­ers had spent their week­ends cy­cling around Tai­wan to train for the race.

Through­out the jour­ney, they will be wear­ing clothes em­bla­zoned with Tai­wan's na­tional flag and the word TAI­WAN, they said, to give Tai­wan ex­po­sure across the United States.

CNA

Four Tai­wanese bik­ers be­gin their leg of the Race Across Amer­ica event, which will take them across ter­rain of more than 5,000 kilo­me­ters, yesterday.

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