She rode virtually 4,170 miles across the U.S. in 17.5 days on an animal-based diet
Kate Ouellette-Cretsinger is the first to admit she’s a little on the extreme side.
She recently proved it by finishing the virtual Trans Am Bike Race, a 4,170-mile odyssey she completed in 17 days, 14 hours and 23 minutes from the discomfort of her own living room.
While the physical accomplishment speaks for itself, the mental feat of riding that far on a trainer is beyond most athletes’ comprehension.
“Most cyclists don’t ride more than an hour indoors on a trainer,” Kate says. “I told (six-time Hawaii Ironman World Champ) Mark Allen about it and he said, ‘I can’t wrap my head around what you are doing.’”
All in a half-month’s work for someone who’s eaten nothing but meat for nearly two years.
The virtual self-supported road race was accomplished using an RGT and smart trainer allowing a GPX file of the course to be uploaded. Through the wonders of modern technology, Kate pedaled through the curves, and a magnet increased the rolling resistance for the hills and mountains encountered from coast to coast.
“I rode the actual road except it was on a trainer,” she says. “The only thing it doesn’t have is the actual scenery.”
Additionally, she was able to beam in teammates and friends to ride with her along the way. And, those following her on streaming video were treated to outtakes of instructional interviews with Dr. Phil Maffetone, and Mark Allen, and an educational video with sponsors such as Paleovalley.
Kate got the ride started with a whopping 283 miles the first day, then fought a bout with heat exhaustion on the third day. After this she settled in to her schedule of riding 12 hours, taking an hour break, then an eight-hour block in the evening in the morning, averaging close to 240 miles per day. At the end of her ride she had beaten Lael Wilcox’s actual outdoor record by about half a day.
Kate figures she burned on average about 10,000 calories per day on the ride, and her measured body fat dropped from around 24 percent to 14 percent.
“I am so extreme — It’s all or nothing for me,” she says.
Kate touts the MAF Method for much of her success. “I have been doing MAF for four years.” She says her MAF 180 Formula high number is 135 beats per minute. She was riding at 130 bpm for most of the race, but her heart rate elevated slightly on some of the hills.
She also credits her diet with being a big part of her success. “I’m still carnivore. I eat nothing but meat,” she says. “For this race I added in dairy. I needed more fat. I did a ‘milkshake’ with egg, raw milk from the farm.”
“I don’t do any sugar, fruit, vegetables. I’ve been that way for 656 days today,” she says.
Kate’s love of cycling began with mountain biking. She picked up road cycling to improve her speed on the trails. After getting a bike that fit properly she began to enjoy riding the scenic roads of rural New Hampshire and set her sights on the TABR.
“It ended up being such a huge passion of mine riding out in the open,” she says.
With the Covid-19 pandemic, Kate opted to go with the virtual ride for this year. With her successful ride now under her belt, she’s already looking ahead to enjoying the cross-country scenery when she rides the in-person race in 2022.