Underwater Bike Races in North Carolina
No sweat cycling
Source of this article – Los Angeles Times, July 27, 2004.
On the day Tour de France contenders cranked more than 1,000 feet up Cote de Borlon, some cyclists in Beaufort, N.C., dipped beneath the Atlantic’s surface for a 40-foot-long reef ride. Twenty-eight seal-skinned spectators and 12 competitors jockeyed for winner’s glory and a nifty neoprene mask strap in the 10th annual Underwater Bicycle Race on the Fourth of July.
For this race, organizers dump bikes about 14 miles from shore, where the landing-craft repair ship Indra sits on the bottom collecting coral. Divers plunge 65 feet, scrambling for a pair of wheels to tread to victory. One aqua-athlete painted her bike bright yellow in anticipation of a flashy lead. To prepare, divers release air from their buoyancy compensators in hopes of gaining traction.
After 25 minutes of submersion, racers and spectators return to the surface. Winning bicycles are left for future wreck wanderers or join ranks with the artificial reef.