The original racers. (Photo from AP via Rough Riders blog)
In 1982, John Marino gave start to one of the hardest, longest, Ultra-endurance races in the world. It has come to be called the Race Across America, but its first incarnation was The Great American Bicycle Race. The 2,968 mile route went from the Santa Monica Pier in LA to the Empire State Building in New York. Only four racers participated: John Marino, John Howard, Michael Shermer, and Lon Haldeman (the race winner).
RAAM has since grown in size and popularity with around 200 solo racers and many more two- and four-person team racers, but it is still a relatively-obscure, niche cycling event. Its modern semi-obscurity is part of the reason it’s so amazing that ABC’s Wide World of Sports was there to cover the very first race. And the Internet being what it is, some kind soul has uploaded the coverage of the race to Youtube in 10 parts.