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Oldest Self-Supported Cyclist to Ride the Transam?

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Oldest Self-Supported Cyclist to Ride the Transam?

Old 12-18-20, 05:46 PM
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Buddy Hall
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Oldest Self-Supported Cyclist to Ride the Transam?

New guy on this forum, but not new to cycling;

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 78 y.o. Thomas Camero's Transam in 2019. So that's the age record - for now!
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Old 12-18-20, 09:18 PM
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indyfabz
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Ill bet ACA can tell you the oldest person to stop by its headquarters during the crossing. When I did the Northern Tier one guy in our group turned 77 during the trip. He started riding home to PA once we reached Maine. His wife finally made him quit in Connecticut.

Ive met several people in their 60s while riding potions of the TA in Montana over the years.
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Old 12-19-20, 10:31 AM
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robow
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Have a good friend, she's a retired teacher and spent her summers crossing the US countless times from every direction imaginable. I know that on her last solo trip, she was in her early 70's and she's still going strong. She's not fast but knows how to pace herself and I call her the Touring Queen, that runs like the damn Energizer Bunny.
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Old 12-19-20, 12:09 PM
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NOT the TransAm, but LEJoG: 87 y.o. Donald Wells

https://www.cyclingweekly.com/news/8...pace.%E2%80%9D

Not good enough? How about 88 y.o. Laurence Brophy, then?

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...n-OGroats.html

(Note: Lands End to John o'Groats is about 1/4 the distance of the TransAm.)

Originally Posted by Buddy Hall View Post
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.
Here we go AGAIN. Self-supported, carrying everything: a charge card, or camping & cooking gear, or something in between? And importantly, do you have to carve your own spoon?
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Old 12-19-20, 03:05 PM
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Why not? Don't sell yourself short.

@ 9:37 in this video


Henrywildeberry and Ms. Cools meet a 91 y.o. local rider at elevation 10,000' on Vail Pass. He'd ridden up from his home in east Vail (~8500' elevation), something he does 'four or five times a week'.
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Old 12-19-20, 03:19 PM
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If you define the route, as I did by choosing the ACA Transam route, then the term "self-supported" isn't as flexible as it could be otherwise. If one could traverse the entire Transam via credit card touring (i.e., never camping) then more power to them - but that would be very hard to do, would sometimes require some very long days, and adds a significant element of risk. I considered doing that in 2015, but I was advised by others that it just wasn't realistic - and they were right. So I did carry camping gear and camped some even though I stayed inside as often as I could. So I think the term is better defined when the route is listed as a criterion. In this case, self-supported means that one is carrying everything needed on the bike, and that there is no sag wagon or vehicle following along. How much luggage or camping gear one carries is an individual choice - some will have heavy loads (my bike with loaded panniers weighed 105 lbs on Adventure Cycling's scale), and some will have lighter loads (the lightest I knew of was 75 lbs total). But if they carry all that is needed with them, and travel via bicycle with no motor vehicle tagging along to rescue them or offer support, then they are "self-supported" for this purpose.

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Old 12-20-20, 04:15 PM
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I have a friend who has crossed the U.S. 10 times. His last time was from Florida to Washington when he was in his mid-seventies. He contributed many photos to ACA's book, "America's Bicycle Route, The Story of the Transcontinental Bicycle Trail". The last I heard, he was also working on a book.

I was only 64 when my wife and I road across the U.S. My bike and gear, including camping and kitchen gear, was 75lbs, and my wife's setup weighed 65 lbs.

My wife used a pair of Ortlieb front panniers for all her clothes and misc, and a roll top dry bag to carry her sleeping bag and Thermarest pad on top the rack.

Last edited by Doug64; 12-22-20 at 11:41 PM.
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Old 12-20-20, 08:00 PM
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As an old timer, I love to see these folks cranking hard and enjoying it.
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Old 12-24-20, 07:01 AM
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TransAm vets over 70

I've led four ACA TransAm tours. The most recent was at age 61 in 2009. On three of the tours the oldest participants were Gavin in his late 70s (1999), Myron in his mid 70s (2000) and Carl in his early 70s (2009). In 1993 our entire group was under 50.

I got a few Christmas cards from Gavin in England after the 1999 trip. He returned to ride the Southern Tier in 2001.

Myron and one other from the 2000 TransAm group rode a perimeter tour of the US the following summer. They stayed over at my house when they got to NH. Myron died of exposure on a hiking trip a few years after the bike trips. His pic below is a screenshot from a lengthy VCR video of our entire trip.

Carl subsequently went on to ride a section of the Great Divide Trail solo after his 2009 TransAm. A year ago he hiked the Camino de Santiago in France/Spain. I still exchange emails with Carl 11 years after our tour.


Gavin 1999 ^


Myron 2000 ^


Carl 2009 *

Here's a fuzzy enlarged picture of Stu at age 77 who was with indyfabz' Northern Tier group as mentioned at his post above ...


Stu 1999 ^
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Old 12-24-20, 07:57 AM
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BobG; thanks for the info! Were these tours self-supported, or was there a support van? Regardless, it's impressive to have someone in their late 70's complete the Transam - that's not an easy feat even for the youngsters! Best wishes,

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Old 12-24-20, 09:03 AM
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BobG
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Originally Posted by Buddy Hall View Post
BobG; thanks for the info! Were these tours self-supported, or was there a support van?
Buddy, These were all self-supported tours with no van. An occasional motel but mostly camping.
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Old 12-24-20, 02:39 PM
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indyfabz
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Originally Posted by BobG View Post


Stu 1999 ^
IIRC, he was only 76 when that was taken at the start in Seattle. He turned 77 in Iowa. 😀 What a tough (and sweet) man who had spent two years in a Nazi POW camp as a member of the RCAF.
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