Amy Snyder, the author of “Hell on Two Wheels,” a documentation of several participants of 2009’s Race Across America, will be at The Booksmith at 7:30 tonight.
What was the most challenging part of documenting the race? Before me, nobody had ever attempted to follow this race and write a book about it — and now I know why! Before long, the racers were spread out over 500 miles. Sweeping up and down the course and keeping in contact with my featured athletes became fiendishly difficult. I was as sleep deprived as the racers were by the end of the event!
Of the participants that you observed, what was the most difficult aspect of the grueling competition? Physically, the most difficult part is getting through the first two days racing in the Sonoran Desert “death zone,” where temperatures reach 125 degrees. Mentally, the toughest challenge is staying on the bike while coping with grinding, relentless fatigue. Racers experience such severe sleep deprivation that Amnesty International would consider their experiences as torture.
What was your favorite aspect of following the race? I was forever changed by my experience of this race and its contestants. Everyone who encounters the story of this race says it changes their relationship to their own limiting thoughts and feelings.