On June 3, 2017, José Luis Bermúdez, Professor of Philosophy at Texas A& M University, mounted his bike in Astoria, Ore. and raced the TransAmerica Bike Race (TransAm) to raise money for Bryan/College Station Habitat for Humanity. Why is he racing to raise money for B/CS Habitat? In his own words, “I ride pretty much everywhere within a 100-mile radius of here. I see a lot of low-standard housing, a lot of poverty and a lot of inequality. And I think Habitat for Humanity is one of the tools we have to combat that.”
This was not the first time he raced to raise money for B/CS Habitat, nor his first long distance endurance bike race. In 2013 and 2015, José and his supporters raised the funds to co-sponsor two Habitat homes as he completed the 3,000 – mile Race Across America (RAAM). In 2016, José also raced the Tour Divide mountain bike race, taking 18 days for 2,700 unsupported miles down the spine of the Continental Divide from Banff in Canada to the Mexican border.
The Trans Am, at 4,228 miles, is the longest distance endurance bike race. For José, this was the third leg of the triple crown of transcontinental ultra bike-racing consisting of the RAAM, Tour Divide, TransAm. No one before him had ever succeeded in finishing all three.
The Trans Am is a self-supported race on open roads, and José carried his own food, water and equipment and found shelter by the side of the road at night to rest. 19 days, 16 hours and 9 minutes after he took off from Astoria, Ore., José arrived in Yorktown, Va. and crossed the finish line with fellow rider, Michele Miani for 4th place. He became the first person to ever complete all three transcontinental ultra bike races. While he raced, his family, friends and supporters rallied to raise over $11,000 for B/CS Habitat and our mission to build decent and affordable homes.
Congratulations, José! Thank you for bringing us along on this incredible journey. Your determination and discipline inspires all of us to push harder and dig deeper to achieve our own dreams.
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