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Hell on Two Wheels: An Astonishing Story of Suffering, Triumph, and the Most Extreme Endurance Race in the Worldby Amy Snyder
Synopses & Reviews
Three-time Ironman finisher Amy Snyder takes the wraps off the best kept secret in the sports world, the Race Across America (RAAM), a bicycle race like no other. Unlike its famous cousin the Tour de France, RAAM is much crazier, more gothic, and even savage: once the gun goes off the clock doesn't stop, and the first rider to complete the prescribed 3,000-mile route is the victor. In Hell on Two Wheels, Snyder follows a group of athletes before, during, and after the 2009 RAAM, the closest and most controversial race in the event's 30-year history. This work offers a thrilling and remarkably detailed account of the competitors' triumphs and tragedies as they test themselves, each other, and the limits of human endurance. As RAAM exacts its vicious toll, Snyder shows how the racers discover their essential humanity and experience profound joy and completeness, demonstrating how such a grueling effort can also be cleansing and self-revelatory.
"Amy Snyder has given us not only an intimate and fascinating account of the most demanding endurance race ever conceived, but opens us to a world of experiences well beyond our imaginations, in which we discover ways way of being that transcend anything most of us have ever known. Indeed, in this book we are asked to set aside our normal, rational ways of viewing life." Dr. Richard Farson, renowned psychologist and president of the Western Behavioral Sciences Institute
"A compelling story that reveals deep wounds, yearnings, and the cyclists' unrelenting determination to win." Lynne Cox, famed open-water swimmer and author of Swimming to Antarctica
Contestants have died, been maimed, and spiraled down into the nightmarish realm of madness. Half of them don't finish-in fact, only 200 racers have ever made it to the end. Outside magazine calls it "the toughest test of endurance in the world." RAAM — the Race Across America — is a bicycle race like no other. This epic race is the most brutal organized sporting event you've never heard of and one of the best-kept secrets in the sports world. Author, Amy Snyder follows a handful of athletes before, during, and after the 2009 event-the closest and most controversial in history. Hell on Two Wheels is a thrilling and remarkably detailed account of their ups and downs, triumphs and tragedies. By experiencing the race from the perspective of the racers themselves, Hell on Two Wheels breaks new ground in helping us appreciate how such a grueling effort can be so cleansing and self-revelatory. This is more than just a race-it's a monster, a crucible, an unforgettable allegory about the human experience of pain and joy and self-discovery.
About the Author
Amy Snyder grew up in New York City and attended Princeton University and Stanford Business School. After a career in management consulting she retired and settled in La Jolla, California. She began competing in Ironman triathlons and eventually discovered events even longer than the Ironman. Knowing she didn't have it in her to conquer these ultra-distance races, she decided to find out why and how others can by following the RAAM in June, 2009. She spent time with a handful of contestants before and after the race, ending up with a story that changed her own thoughts and feelings about personal limitations and the power of the human spirit.
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