Latest posts by Becki Zisk (see all)

Ask any cyclist and they’ll likely tell you that some of their closest friends are fellow cyclists. Why? There’s something about riding a bike—the effort, the adventure, the struggle, the pure fun—that bonds you with the people you ride with.

trans america bike race oregon virginia cyclist kody gunderson bike

We had the pleasure of sitting down and talking to one of Oregon’s most passionate cyclist, Kody Gunderson, 28, from Portland, Oregon.

Kody, an experienced cyclist, is participating in the 2017 Trans America Bike Race with his track bike — a bike with no brakes. The Trans Am Bike Race, which is a 4,400-mile journey across the country from west coast to east coast, requires cyclist to use their own power and it’s completely self supported. It’s for people who “have a wild itch to cycle day and night.” Kody, who lives and breaths cycling, has dreamed of completing this race for years. It’s the ultimate for any serious cyclist. He plans on cycling 100-miles per day, but has the ultimate goal of trying to complete the race in 30 days. The record is currently 16.5 days.

trans america bike race oregon virginia cyclist kody gunderson

Kody’s first experience with cycling was racing BMX as a kid. He quickly realized that cycling was not just a hobby, it’s was a lifestyle, and he was able to understand the whys and hows of that choice. Kody’s passion for cycling kept growing and it led him to start mountain biking and road riding.

“It was a great way for me to experience my passion while getting to explore the beautiful state of Oregon that I am fortunate enough to live in. It’s the perfect place to try out all types of cycling. My great grandma used to drive behind me in the family van as I went out on the road exploring different parts of Oregon. It was safer for me, being that I was only 12-years-old when I started my adventures in cycling. Those adventures as a kid sparked the need to continue to explore on my bike to this day.”

trans america bike race oregon virginia cyclist kody gunderson culture

One of the best experiences Kody’s had so far in cycling was his first 100 mile century ride at the age of 19-years-old.

“We started out as a group of five riding up highway 138 to the Umpqua National Forest. I rode my track bike for this ride and with an elevation gain of a few thousand feet, my fellow riders kept saying that I wasn’t going to make it and I was riding too hard. This ride tested my knowledge, ability, stamina, and even my patience due to my fellow riders leading me to believe I’d fail. Turns out, only myself and one other rider finished — the rest gave up.” 

Following his first century ride, Kody raced from Roseburg, Oregon to Portland, Oregon. That race – 200 miles – took two days to complete, with full gear on.

Kody has had many other experiences cycling within the nine years he’s cycled on his track bike. He also plans on competing in a few more races before the Trans Am to help him prepare for his biggest race yet.

trans america bike race oregon virginia cyclist kody gunderson bike

To help him train, he plans on racing in the Velo Vulture. it’s a 24-hour scavenger hunt and problem solving bicycle race, raced by teams of two, all around Portland, Oregon. He also plans on completely a 1,000 mile ride from Portland, Oregon to Venice Beach, California in the winter, as well as a ride from Portland to Astoria, Oregon down to Tillamook, Oregon then back to Portland. That ride is approximately 250 miles with a pretty steady elevation gain.

Kody recently became an ambassador for Polar Bottles. It’s just one example of Kody’s many accomplishments within the cycling community.

| Check out Kody’s bio as a Polar Bottle Ambassador! |

|Donate to Kody’s GoFundMe page to help him prepare for the 2017 Trans America Bike Race! |