• Diagonal vertical stripes move through shades of blue, cream, and finally bright read from top to bottom, with large text following the lines of the stripes and a silhouetted cyclist nestled on the right of cover, cycling off the covers edge. Full text reads: “Shifting Gears: Coast to Coast on the Trans Am Bike Race. Meaghan Marie Hackinen”.

Shifting Gears: Coast to Coast on the Trans Am Bike Race


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978-1-77439-080-1 | 2023 October | 272 Pages


Meaghan Marie Hackinen’s follow-up to her award-nominated debut South Away charts her unforgettable, twenty-five-day journey on the Trans Am Bike Race: a coast-to-coast ride across the entire North American continent from Oregon to Virginia. Without the aid of a support crew, Hackinen must rely entirely on her wits, ingenuity and sheer determination to finish this extremely challenging feat. A sports story with a unique theme, Hackinen writes about the Trans Am Bike Race as a cultural whole, as she encounters consequences and unforeseen repercussions of an underground, unregulated athletic endeavour. Shifting Gears is another expertly-delivered travelogue and a thrilling glimpse into a world of athletes driven to impossible lengths.

“In 2017 Meaghan Marie Hackinen joins the 4264-mile (6862 km) bike race from Astoria, Oregon to Yaletown, Virginia. One of thirteen women out of 131 racers in total, on her Cannondale Synpase named Epona she brings her whole self to this race. “Bring on the hills and heartache,” she writes, “the out-of-your-seat climbs and lonely switchback roads.” But also, she brings self-doubt and determination, fear of wild camping and the courage to do it, brings her thoughts pulling and pushing her along, the voice of Arnold Schwarzenegger for macho motivation, she brings her writer’s eye, her strength and metaphors for all the beauty and struggles the road offers. If you aren’t already in love with the machine of the bicycle and the open road, perhaps this book will pull you into Hackinen’s slipstream.”
—Yvonne Blomer, author of Sugar Ride: Cycling from Hanoi to Kuala Lumpur

“A reminder of simplicity and complexity. Meaghan really takes us on the road, accompanying her race across the U.S. Vividly written, telling the authentic story of long-distance cycling – with all it's set-backs, obstacles, emotions, craziness, rewards, weirdness. Because this sport got it all, like Meaghan, we just have to be curious, embrace the unknown and find out.”
—Stefan Barth, Author of “Ultracycling & Bikepacking: Everything You Need to Know”, Founder of SBU Coaching

“Witty, insightful, unfiltered, and brutally honest. Meaghan Hackinen opens our eyes to the emotional rollercoaster and perils every ultra-distance cyclist faces. Hackinen takes us along for the ride in this gritty, raw account of her 2017 self-supported race across America. She comes clean about rookie mistakes, self-discovery, hardships, heartache, and the unbreakable bonds forged between fellow riders. This exhilarating read will inspire and resonate with every adventure cycling enthusiast.”
— Robert Biron, Salty Beard Bikepacking

“Armchair enthusiasts will appreciate the vibrant writing and glimpses into the daily physical and mental challenges participants endure. Sure to appeal to cyclists and readers who enjoy two-wheeled adventures.”
— Brenda Barrera, Booklist

“An inspiring narrative, Shifting Gears details momentous highs, overbearing lows, and the lessons that come with such experiences. Some readers may even feel compelled to hop on a bike and test Hackinen’s theory that cycling can offer self-understanding.”
— Miru Yogarajah, Literary Review of Canada (full review)

Shifting Gears by Meaghan Marie Hackinen is more than a story about cycling; it is a narrative rich with human emotions, challenges, and triumphs. This is a must-read if you are looking for a book on becoming an endurance cyclist. It is a testament to the enduring strength of the human spirit and an inspirational read for anyone interested in the interplay between physical endurance and personal growth. Hackinen’s journey encourages readers to contemplate their limitations and inspires to venture beyond them.”
— Amy Tucker, The British Columbia Review (full review)