The Big Race

Pippa Middleton To Cycle Across America ... Starting Tomorrow

Say what you like about Pippa Middleton, the girl is up for a challenge.

For our future Queen's sister has registered to be part of a team that is hoping to cycle 3,000-miles across America.

The Race Across America departs from Oceanside, California tomorrow, and ends at Annapolis, Maryland, some 12 days later.

According to an entry on the publicly available race website, Pippa and her brother James are registered for the Race Across America as part of an eight-person team - which wil race in relay - on behalf of a charity named for one of the competitor's brother's, Michael Matthews, who died in 1999 after during a descent from Everest.

The website details the route, where Pippa and other cyclists can be cheered on, and suggests that as part of an eight-man team, Pippa will spend about 3 hours a day cycling.

"Teams consist of 2, 4, or 8 racers. Teams generally race in a relay format with one racer always on the road. Teams may put more than one racer on the road at a time if they feel it will be advantageous. The strategy of who races when, and for how long, is constantly changing. It depends on the strengths of the team members and the terrain. Shifts vary from 20 minutes to several hours. With an 8-Person team, each racer spends about three hours a day on the bicycle."

The concept of a bicycle race across America can be traced back to newspaperman George Nellis, who in 1887 crossed the USA on a 45-pound iron high-wheel bicycle with no gears and with pedals attached directly to the front wheel. Following the railroad routes across the country, he made the crossing in just under 80 days.