I just want to give my bro Jay Petervary a little shout out for his NoIdleTour mission that is happening this year. Jayâ€™s goal is to raise awareness for people to stop idling their cars by riding in three epic and huge bike races this summer. And when I say bike races, Iâ€™m not taking about some piddlely one-day event like the LATOJA (the longest one-day race in the US), which he won last year.
What Jay plans to do is pretty darn impressive and is inspired by the late Willie Neal, a Jackson youth and talented nordic skier, who promoted no idling and was tragically killed in a roller skiing accident when he was hit by a car in the summer of 2009. Jay will bring attention to the Willie Neal Environmental Awareness Fund by riding in the Iditarod Trail Invitational, The Race Across America and the Great Divide Time Trail, all in one season. Thatâ€™s over 7,000 miles of bike racing in only three races folks.
Jay has raced in the Iditarod Trail Invitational three times now, and just this year in the first stage of his NoIdleTour, Jay set a new record by continuing on and finishing the 1,000 race to Nome, AK in 17 days and 6 hours. Iâ€™d say Jay is off to a good start, but heâ€™s got many more hurdles to go in his quest.
Next up for Jay is the Race Across America (RAAM) where he will ride 250-350 miles per day going from Oceanside, CA to Annapolis, MD. While most racers have a support crew that follows them around in a car, camper, or whatever (no doubt with lots of idling in between), Jay thought this would really detract from his no-idle philosophy. Sooooâ€¦to step things up even more, Jay has decided to attempt this race self-supported, which is unprecedented in the history of RAAM.Â Â Good for you Jay!!!
With nothing more than what is on his back and bike, Jay will start the race on June 12/13th, a couple days before the organized event and will follow the official race course. Jayâ€™s movements will be tracked with a SPOT device and he will carry a smartphone to keep all of us fans updated on his progress.
I know Jay really wants to break a record in RAAM (the current record is 8 days, 3 hours and 11 minutes), so Iâ€™m sure his decision to do it self-supported was a challenging one. Honestly, I wouldnâ€™t be surprised if he still achieves his goal of breaking a race record (even if it’s just the rookie record for finishing), but if he doesnâ€™t, he will at least direct a huge amount of attention to the Willie Neal Environmental Awareness Fund, which is what this NoIdleTour is really all about.
Last on Jayâ€™s epic three-race quest this year is the Great Divide Time Trail, which travels 2,745 miles near the Continental Divide from Banff, Canada to Antelope Wells, New Mexico. While less than half of the raceâ€™s entrants actually finish the event, Jay set a solo record for it in 2007 at 15 days, 4 hours. He also completed this event in 2009 on a tandem bike with his wife Tracey. I believe they were the first to ever compete and complete the course on a tandem.
Like some of you, it drives me nuts to see cars sitting idle in front of the grocery store, the post office and everyplace in between, and I respect Jay for continuing Willie Nealâ€™s dream to raise awareness of this activity that wastes over 3.5 million gallons and $12,000,000 worth of gasoline, and puts 40,000 pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere EACH DAY!!! I hope all of you can join me in supporting and following Jayâ€™s cause, and like my friends and I say to each other when we turn off our own cars to reduce the amount of idling we do, â€œDo it for Willie!â€