I've been three times: 2000, 2005, 2007. The route varies every year. In fact, there used to be three routes every year but now all the riders (up to 800) take the same route. Riders stay in tents or school gymnasiums overnight and spend 7-8 hours a day riding. Routes across the state vary from about 475 miles to 550 miles! It's pretty intense but a lot of fun.
When my sister and I go, we are usually some of the youngest riders. The average age is probably in the 50s. If you get tired, the support team won't leave you behind. You can load up your bike in the back of a SAG (Support and Gear) truck and ride to the next town (though some of your friends might make fun of you for wimping out).
Here are some pictures from when I rode in 2000. I was 12.
|Me and my bike at the Colorado/Kansas border|
|My dad, me, and John Cooper.|
|Mmmm. Roadkill Helper.|
|Me and some "SAG Hags." I was rockin' the bangs as a 12 year old.|
|Finished! It's tradition to stick your bike tires in the Missouri River.|