Jayson Jacoby
The Baker City Herald

A group of 50 cyclists participating in a race that sounds more like a punishment than a sporting event will be riding through Baker City this weekend.

The Trans Am Bike Race started Saturday morning at 5 o'clock in Astoria.

It ends, 4,233 miles later, in Yorktown, Va.

And the fastest riders expect to finish the cross-country route in about two weeks.

Which, if you do the math, works out to a daily average of about 300 miles - a long day even in a car, much less on a bicycle that won't move an inch unless you pedal.

Chris Hall, a former Baker City resident who's friends with one of the racers, said the Trans Am Bike Race is unusual in that the racers are not followed by support crews in vans, handing out food and water at regular intervals.

The riders pack what they need, using ultralight tents and other equipment.

The racers will arrive in Baker City on Highway 7.

Hall said he expects many riders will stop here briefly to munch a burger or stock up on food to replace some of the 12,000 calories or so they'll burn through daily.

More information about the race is available online at www.transambikerace.com