An Ultra Cycling Event Like No Other
The Nachez Trace 444
Phil Black Swayzee, IN
Don Brown Rock Hill, SC
Chip Duchame York,SC
Brian Hvid Sharpsburg, GA
Jon Kim Indianapolis, IN
Kenneth McNight Cordova, TN
Chris Stellato Columbus, OH
Douglas Tripple Polk City, IA
The Natchez Trace 444, often referred to at simply "The 444", runs the length of the Natchez Parkway from Nashville,Tennessee to Natchez, Mississippi. The Natchez Trace National Park is the longest and narrowest National Park in the US and runs the entire length of the Natchez Trace Parkway. During The 444 riders will encounter: no stop signs, no traffic lights and no turns along the route.
The 444 is the only RAAM Qualifier that is not a "race". 100% of The 444 takes place within Natchez National Park and is consider a personal challenge. All solo riders finishing within 44 hours will qualify to compete in the Race Across America as a Solo Racer.
All proceeds from The 444 go to benefit a wonderful Natchez Trace Parkway cycling safety project. The project includes placing signs along the entire parkway reminding drivers that cyclists have the right to the entire travel lane. I am very excited that this event provides a great personal challenge but also enhances riding on, what I consider, one of the most beautiful roads in the US.
As you can imagine, the rules are a bit different from other events. As this is not a race there are no penalties, however, these rules are in place to ensure safe use of the park by all parties. Failure to follow the rules may lead to the ride being shut down permanently by the National Park Service. Please follow the rules!
George Thomas - Event Coordinator
Live rider tracking will be provided by Track Leaders.
1) DO NOT impede traffic.
2) Leapfrog support only during daylight hours - 6:45AM - 6:45PM. When driving your vehicle you must travel the speed limit or speed of traffic.
3) Direct Follow is allowed and encouraged during night time hours - 6:46PM - 6:44AM. Be aware during this time that you MUST NOT impede the flow of traffic. Have your vehicles hazard flashers running at all times while in Direct Follow. (Suggestion: Run the vehicle hazards at all times during the event. Even during daylight leap frog support).
4) Crew - whenever you are outside the vehicle (in a support role) wear a reflective vest.
5) All riders must have a flashing tail light at all times on their bike.
6) All riders must have a flashing headlight on their bike during daylight hours and a steady headlight on their bike during night time hours.
7) Relay teams are allowed to exchange ONLY at the listed Time Stations. If you have an emergency and must make a change between Time Stations you must contact the Event Coordinator before making an emergency rider exchange and continuing. However, if cell service is not available, please make the change and contact the EC as soon as you are able.
8) Call or text the EC at each Time Station with your arrival time.
9) Cyclists must wear a high visibility jersey (or vest) during night hours (6:46PM - 6:45AM). Cyclists are highly encouraged to wear a high visibility vest or cycling jersey during the daylight hours as well.
10) No nudity of any type on the route. Gentlemen, you may view the world as your urinal, however, this is not your world, this is the Natchez Trace National Park. Restrooms are located at the Time Stations.
11) Cyclists must stay single file. Obviously when overtaking another rider you will be side by side at some point. Make your pass and move to the right as soon as safely possible. If you are overtaken allow the cyclist to pass - this is not the time to speed up.
12) No littering! No GU packets, bar wrappers, etc. This is critical to continuing this event in the future.
13) There are 8 Time Stations along the route. Relay exchanges may ONLY take place at the time stations.