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Crossing the U.S. on a Tandem

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Crossing the U.S. on a Tandem


Transcontinental Touring


From Wende Cragg: Article regarding the crossing of the United States by two tandem teams and their setting of a new world record -- 10 days, 21 hours. The teams included Bruce Hall and Brooks McKinney on one tandem, and Peter Penseyres and Robert Templin on another (all of them originally from Southern California). Published in the American Wheelmen L.A.W. Bulletin, Vol. 15 No. 8, August 1979, page 2.


Wende Cragg


The L.A.W. Bulletin
American Wheelmen



Added by Natalie King





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Title: "Tandems cross U.S. in less than 11 days"

Text: "Pacing each other at an average of 270 miles per day, two tandem teams crossed the U.S. in a record 10 days, 21 hours. Bruce Hall and Brooks McKinney rode one tandem, Peter Penseyres and Robert Templin the other. All are from Southern California.

"Mentally and physically it's the hardest thing I've ever done in my life," said Hall, who holds another world's record, set in 1977, by riding 792 miles on rollers in 24 hours. "It's not easy to get your body started every day for an average of 270 miles.

"We had a giant goal of making it in 12 days, and if anyone--riders or support crew--had let down, it would have shown. We had a fantastic crew and a fantastic set of riders.

"The mental aspect was very important. You can have all the power in the world and the greatest legs in the world, but if you don't have the incentive and drive, you won't make it. For this reason, the crew is just as much a part of the record as the riders."

The support crew included two cooks, a mechanic, a photographer and two drivers, operating two motor homes.

What did the riders eat on the way?

"A strict see-food diet," said Hall. "Anything we saw, we ate it. If it didn't move, we ate it. If it moved a little, we still ate it!"

In fact Hall said he ate a lot of fruit and drank a lot of chocolate milk.

Early in the trip the riders saw truckers hassling them in Arizona, saying, "What are these people doing in our way? We've got to cover some miles." Using the CB's on the motor homes, the support crew told the truck drivers what was happening, that the cyclists had been training for six months, riding up to 800 miles a week.

The truckers responded enthusiastically. "We'll spread the word on our CB's," they said. "Tell the riders they're cleared to the Mississippi!"

"Sure enough," said Hall, "we were known from Arizona to the Mississippi. Though the drivers from one freight company consistently tried to use us for a hood ornament, the rest of the truckers were fantastic. They would make room for us on little tiny roads we had to share. Anyone who attempts this record in the future will need the same kind of cooperation."

The president of the San Diego Wheelmen predicted that in a few years the record will drop to nine days."

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