Meet Laura Scott: a close friend of Fashercise and an avid cyclist who is about to undertake the challenge of a lifetime. In just a few days, Laura starts the Trans America Bike Race, an epic 7081km unsupported bike race across the US. With no help along the way, sleeping rough and nothing but the road and her bike, Laura is one of just 67 people (and one of 12 women) to be crazy enough to enter this race. Right before she left, we spoke to her about why she decided to enter this race, advice for budding female cyclists and how she’ll handle a vegan diet on this incredible journey.
Who are you?
Hey, I’m Laura. I’m originally from Canada, but have been living in London for the last 8 years working in advertising and cycling loads.
Why did you decide to ride the Trans Am?
Last year my uncle passed away after battling cancer. One of the last conversations I had with him was a few days before I signed up to The Trans Am Bike Race. He told me not to wait to live out my dreams, and to just get out there and do what I love. So when inquiries opened for the Trans America Bike Race, I didn’t think twice and signed up.
The Trans America Bike race is a 7081 km, unsupported race across America. Riders can access commercial services along the way, but there’s no support crew or team car tending to bike issues, handing out bottles and preparing a bed to sleep in. Riders have to find their own food and water, fix bike issues out in the wilderness, carry all the equipment and spares they need to be safe, and find places to catch a few hours of sleep in a bivvy bag.
The route will take me through Virginia, Kentucky, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and Oregon in addition to Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks.
Do you have any advice for girls wanting to start (long distance) cycling?
I have personally only been road cycling for 4 years, so it’s never too late to get into it. I recommend joining a local club as its a great social way to find more people to ride with and to learn from. I ride with Islington CC and have met so many incredible people through it.
In the past I was always intimidated by cycling clubs, as I was worried I wouldn’t be good enough, but quickly realised other cyclists are keen to share and only want to help others improve and get into the sport.You can find a local club in the UK through British Cycling.
Does being vegan make endurance races like this harder? What will you mostly be eating throughout your race?
No,I don’t think so. I’ve been vegan for a long time and it’s just about making sure you maintain a balanced diet.
Admittedly this is harder to manage while racing and eating out of gas stations and fast food joints, so I worked with nutritionist Sophie Pelham Burn to plan out what supplements I need to be taking to keep myself healthy.
When riding long distances it’s not unusual for me to burn 13-15000 calories a day, so I tend to eat a high fat high carb diet while riding. It’s a bit weird, but you feel like your eating constantly.
My favourite snacks while riding are Oreos, banana chips, and nuts.
What’s the thing you love most about cycling?
Feeling free – I’ve been able to explore some incredible places and see things you would never get to by car or on foot.
What’s the thing you hate most about cycling?
Punctures and awkward tan lines haha.
Do you have any fitness/cycling goals left you would love to achieve?
At the moment I’ve put all my focus into the Trans Am, but I’m sure it won’t be long before I come up with more crazy goals.
What do you do to relax?
My gym has a great spa area with a jet pool and saunas, so I often go there when I need to unwind. Otherwise, I find walking a great way to relax and clear my mind.
What is the best piece of advice anyone has ever given you?
Do what you love 😊
What’s the one item every woman should have in her wardrobe?
A good sports bra!
What’s your favourite healthy snack?
Bbq baked tofu
What do you indulge in on a cheat day?
When you cycle long distance, almost every day is cheat day, haha!
You can follow Laura live on her journey from Saturday June 4th via the live tracker.
We held a little lycra party in our office, dressed Laura up in our latest arrivals, then dragged her around our office building for a mini photoshoot – awkward cycling tan lines included!