On June 5, Scott McConnell set out on a mission to promote literacy and healthy living. In the 24 days since he departed from Oregon, Scott has already made his way to Kentucky on a single-speed bike that has traveled up to 233 miles on a single day. As a champion of the Ride for Reading cause, Scott’s efforts are inspiring and we thank him for his commitment. It is because of individuals such as Scott that Ride for Reading continues to grow and can reach larger audiences. Keep on riding Scott!
After almost three weeks since the end of Scott’s journey, we were able to ask him some questions regarding his experience.
Q: Why and what were you doing?
A: I raced the 2015 Trans Am bike race. It is 4,406 miles across the USA. It starts in Astoria, Oregon and finishes in Yorktown, Virginia. As for why I did this race, there is not one answer. I guess I did it to recharge the batteries so to speak. When you combine my love for the bike, desire for adventure, and how I handle the stresses of life, the Trans am seemed to be the perfect remedy.
Q: You have done races like this in the past, what made you decide to do it using a single speed bike?
A: The stars did not finally align for me to participate in the Trans Am race until a few weeks out. With the tight time frame and the fact that I do not have a suitable road bike, I went with my Moots MootoX mountain bike set up as a single speed. It is my favorite bike. I did the Tour Divide in 2013 on this bike with some success, and knew it was up for the task. However since the Tour Divide is a mountain bike race and this is a road bike race, I used the same set up except I used smaller width (cyclocross) tires and a taller gear ratio for the Trans Am.
Q: What was the hardest day you had and what was keeping you motivated?
A: There were quite a few “hard” days, but the hardest would be a tough call between being caught out in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night as a massive storm blew in while climbing mountain passes between Lander and Jeffrey City WY, or having to spin like a crazy person through the flat lands of Kansas as the heat poured down and the soul searching headwinds consistently battered you.
Motivation was easy. I got to ride my bike, and got to ride my bike through places I have never seen before. As there may come a day when I cannot do that, I do my best to enjoy every moment I get on the bike.
Q: Why did you choose RfR as the organization you wanted to support?
A: Ride for Reading is a fantastic organization, and they are based out of Nashville, TN. Their mission is genuine, and it is in an area of real need in this country. I had the opportunity to see them up close and in action through participation on their book deliveries. I saw the real impact that they are having in children’s lives. Participating and partnering with organizations and causes like RfR is how you can change the future for the better.
JC Torres, our Executive Director had a few words to say about Scott and his journey.
“Scott, how bad are the saddle sores?!
We are all incredibly thankful and amazed. Organizations are founded by individuals who are determined to make a change in their community. Ride for Reading thrives because of its supporters and volunteers who sacrifice and understand our mission.
You wore the Ride for Reading jersey with pride and we are lucky to have been a part of the journey.