Iditarod Trail Invitational is first of three bike races this year to raise global environmental awareness
JACKSON HOLE, Wyo. (February 24, 2011) – Three rides. Three bikes. 7,000 miles. That’s the simple essence of veteran adventure racer and endurance cyclist Jay Petervary’s 2011 No Idle Tour. This year, Petervary will compete in three of the toughest and burliest bike races in North America to raise global environmental awareness around air pollution and its growing concern around the world.
“I’ve been competing in adventure races and bike races for more than 15 years,” says Petervary, 38. “This year I wanted to challenge myself a bit further and take on a project that not only involved a year-long commitment, but also raised environmental awareness to support a noble cause.”
On Sunday, Petervary will embark on the first of his three marathon bike rides of the year in Alaska at the Iditarod Trail Invitational bike race. Dubbed “The Last Great Race on Earth,” the 1,100-mile suffer-fest commences in Anchorage and winds its way through frozen tundra and sub-zero temperatures north to Nome. Since the races’ inception in 2001, only 33 racers have successfully crossed the finish line. No stranger to the terrain, in 2010 Petervary (and his wife Tracey) finished the race in tandem style. This will be Petervary’s fifth time racing in Alaska.
“Alaska’s a crazy place to race on a bike in winter – there are so many variables and anything can happen,” says Petervary. “Going into these races this year I want to successfully compete, but in the front of the mind I will always be thinking about the greater cause I’m representing.”
Petervary’s No Idle Tour is about riding your bike and driving less. In the U.S. alone, idling vehicles waste nearly 3.8 million gallons of gasoline each day while emitting 40,000 pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. All funds raised through the No Idle Tour will support the Willie Neal Environmental Awareness Fund who’s mission is to: “promote responsible choices through education, community involvement, and environmental initiatives.” Neal, who was a standout Nordic ski racing star in Jackson Hole, Wyo., died tragically in June 2009 when he was struck by a car while training in Maine.
“Willie was an amazing individual and managed to achieve more in his 18 years of life than most people do in a lifetime,” says Petervary. “Words can’t describe how honored I am to be able to further his vision and cause.”
The final two racing legs of the No Idle Tour will be the 3,000-plus mile Race Across America (RAAM) road bike race and the 2,745-mile Great Divide Time Trail from Banff, Alberta, Canada to Antelope Wells, N.M. at the U.S./Mexican border. To qualify for this year’s RAAM in June, Petervary took first at the Adirondack 540 in 2009. This will be Petervary’s first time competing in the event. In August, Petervary will attack the Great Divide bike route solo and self-supported in hopes of accomplishing a personal best time. In 2007, during the Great Divide Race, Petervary set a course record of 15 days, 4 hours.
“This will be the biggest challenge of my racing life so far. And, to help raise awareness around a growing and serious environmental concern makes it all the more important to me,” says Petervary. “To say I’m pumped is an understatement. It’s time to get it on.”
To learn more about the No Idle Tour and how to get involved, please visit: http://noidletour.org/.
source: Brandon Campisi