2,494 Miles: A Cross-Country Bike Race With Everything On Your Back
By Lauren Bishop
Lauren Bishop: What is the Route 66 Bike Race, and why did you choose this challenge over others?
Tom Bishop: The Route 66 Race starts on October 1, 2016, at 5 A.M. Central Day Light Time and is a 2,494 mile race along Route 66 from Chicago, Illinois, to Santa Monica, California. I chose this challenge over running a marathon or having a cocktail party to fundraise because it seemed a more realistic challenge to help me understand the people with conditions that they could not have prepared for. Knowing that I could never be truly ready for this race is what truly inspired me to take on this challenge to raise money for the causes.
LB: This race is unsupported, meaning there's no one following along with you. What are your thoughts on this, and how has this influenced your decision to go through with the challenge?
TB: If I said I wasn’t scared I would be lying. The organizations that I am raising awareness for all help people who are forced to overcome challenges related to illness or physical disabilities. I could do this for a day, but participating in this race allows me to gain somewhat of an understanding to overcome an unforeseen challenge.
LB: While competing in the race cell phone service will be spotty or nonexistent at times. How does this make you feel?
TB: I am concerned to be unconnected at times, but I have a spot GPS tracker with me at all times.
LB: Since this race is unsupported, how do you plan to meet your basic needs of food, clothing and shelter?
TB: I will carry clothing on my bike along with four bottles of water, a cell phone battery pack, solar charger, Heat Sheets and an Emergency Bibvy, a sleeping bag that rolls up very small. I will carry some food with me, but I can stop at restaurants, convenience stores and grocery stores for food. I will either sleep on the side of the road, at camp grounds, motels or even hostels.
LB: What steps have you taken to “train” for this challenge?
TB: I have changed my eating habits by switching to a Ketosis, or high-protein and natural carbohydrate, diet. I have increased my miles traveled and created riding conditions by traveling longer distances with the supplies I will use to simulate my journey.
LB: What charitable organizations do you intend to raise money for while competing in this race?
TB: I will be raising money for ALS, Leukemia Lymphoma Society, Safe Space for Domestic Violence, the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, and Youth for Christ.
LB: Out of the organizations you chose to support, which is the most important to you? Why?
TB: The ALS because my friend Robert Bruno has ALS and has a wife and two kids that are eight and ten years old and faced with fighting this deadly disease.
LB: Do you have any specific fundraising goals in mind?
TB: I do, but I do not want to share those at this time.
LB: How can people who are interested in your progress follow you?
TB: Soon you can donate and follow me on this website. You will also be able to follow my progress on the tracker. The site is a work in progress, but will be fully live in a week or so. Thanks for your interest.Image Credits:Lauren Bishop