The American Trail Race is a 5,000-mile self-supported bikepacking event that traverses the United States. The route is typically ridden from East to West and starts in Cape Lookout, North Carolina. The route finishes in Port Orford, Oregon.
The route is based on the Trans America Trail which originated as a route for dual-sport motorcycles. The bikepacking version of the route was pioneered in 2015 by Tom and Sarah Swallow. Bikepacking.com provides an excellent recap of their travels. Click here to read about their adventure.
Race organizers Billy Rice and Neil Beltchenko further modified Swallow’s route. The route is updated frequently by the race directors in an effort to provide riders with the safest, most current route. However, sometimes their efforts are thwarted albeit by weather, road closures, private property, etc.
13 individuals showed up at the inaugural start line in 2017. Lina Rice provided Bikepacker.com with photos and introductions. Click here to meet the racers of 2017.
If you are looking for the ultimate bikepacking race, this might be the one. It will test your limits both mentally and physically. Although there are some paved sections throughout the route, it is 70% off road. You will ride plenty of gravel, dirt, mud, and sand. The route is filled with incredible landscapes and natural beauty.
The American Trail Race is not for the faint of heart. It will require determination, perseverance, and grit. It is an adventure in the truest sense of the word.