Author Topic: Oldest Self-Supported Cyclist on the Transam ?  (Read 2562 times)

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Offline Buddy_Hall

Oldest Self-Supported Cyclist on the Transam ?
« on: December 17, 2020, 08:42:38 pm »
When I rode the Transam in 2015 I was the oldest rider of any I met, and I was only 62 at that time. That's still pretty young, and so I wonder; Who is the oldest rider to complete the Transam on a self-supported tour?  What cyclist do you know over age 60 who has completed a self-supported crossing of the Transam?

The requirement for "self-supported" is an important criterion. Carrying everything on your bike, and not having the security of an instant rescue by a motor vehicle, is a whole different level of adventure than is found in a supported tour. And for purposes of the question, e-bikes don't count; having to rely on your physical strength alone is a different level of adventure than having help from an electric motor.

Looking forward to seeing how many of us older folks have ridden the Transam. FWIW, I am planning another self-supported crossing next year at age 68 - and this time I will be accompanied by another 68 y.o. and a 67 y.o. rider. At least that's the plan now - we had planned on riding it this year, but the virus interfered - so that's how plans go. Best wishes to all,

Buddy Hall

P.S. I posted this on the Crazy Guy site and have since been told about 70 y.o. Jim McTaggart's Transam in 2008.  So that's the age record - for now! 

Offline HikeBikeCook

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Re: Oldest Self-Supported Cyclist on the Transam ?
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2020, 09:39:00 pm »
Buddy, I am hoping you get a lot of responses of 70-year-olds doing cross-county rides, since I am planning on riding cross-country at 70. When I hiked the AT one guy was trying to reclaim his title as the oldest thru-hiker at 82, since an 80 year-old had taken it away. I believe that an AT through hike is a more strenuous undertaking, but that is only my personal opinion. I do know I met a 70-year-old hiker when I was 55 that left me in the dust. So age is not as important, in my opinion, as fitness and attitude. 
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Offline John Nettles

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Re: Oldest Self-Supported Cyclist on the Transam ?
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2020, 10:25:54 pm »
You might try calling ACA directly and/or ask over at BikeForums.net as they are bigger than this Forum and CGOAB's forum.  Maybe not as much of a ACA touring specific audience like this one but definitely more people.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Oldest Self-Supported Cyclist on the Transam ?
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2020, 08:05:42 am »
Buddy, I am hoping you get a lot of responses of 70-year-olds doing cross-county rides, since I am planning on riding cross-country at 70. When I hiked the AT one guy was trying to reclaim his title as the oldest thru-hiker at 82, since an 80 year-old had taken it away. I believe that an AT through hike is a more strenuous undertaking, but that is only my personal opinion. I do know I met a 70-year-old hiker when I was 55 that left me in the dust. So age is not as important, in my opinion, as fitness and attitude.
I don't know who the oldest is, but I agree that the AT is far more strenuous.  I have not thru hiked the AT, but I think the typical thru hiker takes 5-7 months making it about twice as long time wise.  The need to carry gear on your back and to go longer between restock points is another issue that makes the AT and hiking in general harder.

Also you have some pretty difficult terrain on the AT.  Climbing Mount Katahdin without gear for example was far more difficult than any day I had on the Trans America.  Climbing it with gear would be harder.

FWIW, a quick google search shows a 78 year old finishing the Trans America bike packing race which uses the Trans America route and requires that they go self supported.  The guy may or may not be the oldest.  My best guess is that someone over 80 has probably done the route.
https://www.outsideonline.com/2401947/2019-trans-am-final-finisher-thomas-camero

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Oldest Self-Supported Cyclist on the Transam ?
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2020, 09:16:42 am »
Even though you won't be the oldest next summer, go ahead and do the ride.  It'll be a great experience, and you want to do it while you can.  If you're still able in 13 years, you can do it again!

Offline Buddy_Hall

Re: Oldest Self-Supported Cyclist on the Transam ?
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2020, 11:37:43 am »
Wow - very inspirational story about Thomas Camero!  Though he is supposedly in the race, he is really riding like every other self-supported tourist - enjoying the trip as he goes along.  So he's definitely the front-runner for the oldest self-supported Transam crossing so far.  Thanks for posting,

Buddy Hall

Offline jimlund

Re: Oldest Self-Supported Cyclist on the Transam ?
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2021, 08:31:00 am »
I'm almost 63 planning to do the GDMBR next summer. Did the Trans Am at 61.

Offline ZiZohn

Re: Oldest Self-Supported Cyclist on the Transam ?
« Reply #7 on: January 11, 2021, 10:18:37 am »
In 2014, when I joined the ACA Southern Tier self-contained ride, we had some in their seventies do the entire ride . I know it isn't the TransAm, but still coast to coast.

Offline Rixtoy

Re: Oldest Self-Supported Cyclist on the Transam ?
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2021, 07:42:58 pm »
Exactly the question I wanted to ask - only for the Southern Tier.
I started riding two years ago at 69 and did the Bike Across Kansas (508 miles) in 2019 . . . and, Kansas is NOT flat. Longest day was 85 miles - very windy here.
I did ground camp on that tour.

I want to do the Southern Tier solo next March, West to East to celebrate 30 years of sobriety.
At 72 am I beyond the normal cycle tour crazy?
I believe if you just keep pedaling and forget about speed you can make it. There were people who rode the BAK I swear you would think could not walk across the street, but they just kept pedaling and finished every day.

Any old dudes who have solo'd the Southern Tier?

Offline staehpj1

Re: Oldest Self-Supported Cyclist on the Transam ?
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2021, 08:16:04 pm »
I did the ST camping and self supported when I was 61, not that 61 is very old.  I went from San Diego to Pensacola but could have
 comfortably ridden to the coast if I had wanted to.  I turn 70 in a few months and don't see any reason why I couldn't do it again.  People have probably done it much older
« Last Edit: February 02, 2021, 08:19:50 pm by staehpj1 »

Offline hikerjer

Re: Oldest Self-Supported Cyclist on the Transam ?
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2021, 09:20:30 pm »
I don't know abut the Trans-Am but two years ago in Montana I met an 82 year old guy from Belgium who was riding from Anchorage to Mexico City. He said he'd crosssed the states twice on previous rides. He was moving right along.

Offline John Nettles

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Re: Oldest Self-Supported Cyclist on the Transam ?
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2021, 11:07:26 pm »
While I have absolutely no proof, my guess is the oldest for any of the top 3-4 most popular routes would be in their upper 70s minimum to mid-80s.  Remember, it is the oldest not the "usual" oldest so it only takes one person.