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Hell On Two Wheels by Amy Snyder

I can usually take or leave most books on sports but somehow I am fascinated with ultra endurance sports that most people have never heard of, let alone read about. There was Dean Karnazes’  Ultra Marathon Man about one hundred mile marathons and now I’m captivated by Hell on Two Wheels by Amy Snyder. This book is the story of RAAM, the 3,000 mile Race Across America for ultra cyclists. It doesn’t matter what your sport of choice is, this book will motivate you to go further, faster, and finish strong. RAAM begins on the coast in California and ends in Annapolis, Maryland. Leaders take around 9 days to finish, surviving on 1-2 hours of sleep every 24 hours. They eat, pee, brush their teeth, etc. while on their bikes racing as fast as they can. There is no prize money. Like ultra marathon running, ultra cycling tests how far the human body can go and how much it can take. Because of sleep deprivation, riders are usually hallucinating by the middle of the race. Some have to be put in special braces because their neck can no longer hold their head up by itself. There is so much swelling that occurs sometimes a racer becomes unrecognizable. And I’m not even going to discuss the horrible saddle sores that develop. But probably the biggest challenge is not physical but mental. Knowing through the pain, the weather, the deserts and the mountains that someone is right behind you gunning for your position. Time expectations at various stations scattered along the route have to be met or you’re disqualified. This book covers the 2009 race in which 28 solo racers start the race-how many finish? Read this thrilling book and find out!

Stacy W.

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