Summer vacation 2018 - Race bikes across america!

We’re back! It’s been 4 years since our record-breaking row to Hawaii and though we’ve got a lot going on, we’re dying for another adventure. Since you last heard from us we’ve been busy! Remember how we decided to have a kid during the row? Well, somehow, while my brain was marinating in oxytocin from breastfeeding Nelly, we decided to have a second- it was game changing (and I don’t mean in a positive way, right now!). We also have been working hard to make Virta a success (more about Virta below). So, we’ve got our hands full...but we want more. A chance to escape our two children, work and our ‘monkey’ brains by beating ourselves up riding our bicycles from the Pacific to the Atlantic? Yes, please! Sign me up! Enter the Race Across America (RAAM).


What is RAAM? Race Across America is exactly what it sounds like- a bike race from one end of the country to the other. We’re racing on a team of four and will be riding around the clock for 7ish days. Unlike our row to Hawaii, we will be supported...very supported. RV’s, vans, 17 volunteers and a crew director will be helping us to get to the Atlantic safely and as fast as possible. Each of the riders will be on the bike for 6 hours per day and will rest and recover in the RV the rest of the time. We are thinking that we’ll ride 3 hours two times per day- one during the daytime and one at night. After experiencing 18 hour rowing shifts in our last expedition, this sounds pretty manageable!



Our team includes Sami Inkinen (husband of me and CEO of Virta), Ray Tonsing (VC investor at Caffeinated Capital) and Patrick Sweeney (Fear Guru and adventure personality)...and yours truly.

Sure, give me an adventure and I’ll ride it.
— Melissa Auf der Maur


We’re still fired up about nutrition and its impact on health. After raising $300,000 for awareness on the dangers of sugar we moved on to an even bigger mission- to reverse type 2 diabetes in 100 million people by 2025 with Virta’s groundbreaking treatment. Virta is having incredible success and growing like a powerful weed- we have more than 80 people on the team now, including all-star’s like Sarah Hallberg, Steve Phinney and Jeff Volek. Virta wouldn’t have been founded if we hadn’t met Steve Phinney during our preparations for Fat Chance Row - Sami and Steve really got the idea then, so when you think about it, the impact of that adventure is even bigger!


Our RAAM team members have all been in nutritional ketosis for quite some time and we are all fat-adapted. We think that’s going to be an advantage for us during the ride given the long hours in the saddle at fairly high intensities and interrupted sleep - efficient recovery is going to be really important. I’ll post later on our race eating plan, but we will be eating unprocessed carbs during the race, with the intention of remaining in nutritional ketosis throughout the race.


The race is in mid-June and I’m frantically trying to get back into decent shape after having our second (and last!) baby and breastfeeding for about one year. I stayed in ketosis this whole pregnancy and breastfeeding period, which was hugely helpful in coping with lack of sleep, stress and hormones (not to mention our huge baby), but I still have fitness gains that need to be made. We’re training pretty heavily now- riding our bikes to work most days (with intervals) and doing long rides on the weekends. Trying not to get stressed by normal stuff - overly emotional 3 year old, big crying baby (I don’t mean Sami this time), our relationship and work.


This is what happens when you tell a 3-year-old you can't get on an airplane to Hawaii right now.

Or any one of thousands of other practical things.


OK, that’s all for now! We’ll post if/when something interesting happens! Let me know if there’s anything you want us to detail.