Bart Yasso: A Running Icon Talks Cycling

Bart Yasso may be known as more of a runner than a cyclist, but this running idol says that “Riding my bike cross country is by far my favorite athletic achievement.  I wasn’t out there trying to set any records.  Just riding solo enjoying the natural beauty, diverse landscape and friendly people.”

I had the pleasure of meeting up with Bart while he was in Austin for The Running Event last week, and sat down with him to talk about cycling and his love for the Bike.  He is a very kind, funny, and interesting man and I invite you to watch our short video interview.


More about Bart

He is one of the few people to have completed races on all seven continents from the Antarctica marathon to the Mt. Kilimanjaro marathon.  In 1987, Yasso won the U.S. National Biathlon Long Course Championship and won the Smoky Mountain Marathon in 1998. He has also completed the Ironman six times and the Badwater 146 (Ultra-marathon) through Death Valley.  Bart has also cycled, unsupported and by himself, across the United States twice….doing so in 20 days (1992) and then 18 days (1994).  Wow.

He’s currently promoting his book called “My Life on the Run: The Wit, Wisdom, and Insights of a Road Racing Icon” which talks about his life as a runner, but also includes his cross country cycling adventures as well.

Ask Bart:

What would you ask Bart Yasso if you sat down with him?  Leave your questions in the comments section and we’ll send them off to Bart for the answer.

  • John Breckner

    How has running helped make you a stronger cyclist?  I just got into running myself and am wondering if it will make me stronger on my bike.

  • chills

    I enjoyed the post and video.  My question for Mr. Yasso is how did you train for your ride across the United States?

  • Christopher Whelchel

    Indeed, Bart is “Kind, funny and interesting” as you so well stated. I had the opportunity to run with him while in town and we had a great time. I’ll have to reach out to him sometimes about the route he used to ride across the US. I would love to do something like that but the logistics would crush me…. so if I had someone’s plan, I could do it!

  • Freddie

    I would like to ask Bart what his athletic plans are for 2012.  Do you have any epic runs or rides coming up next year?

  • Craig

    Good post.  I would like to know what kind of bike he did his across the US ride on.  Doing it in 18 days is incredible.

  • Recbriggs

    Hi Bart, what kind of bike do you ride?  Let us know the brand, model, and what you like best about it.

  • Eric Mathews

    This is a nicely put together article and I enjoyed learning more about Bart.  My question for him is about running, actually.  I would like to know what first got him into running and at what age he knew that it was something he was passionate about.

    • Bart Yasso

      At age 22 back in 1977 I needed a change from drugs and alcohol. Running was my escape I was lucky I made the change before it was too late. My Mom and my brother George played a major role in my success.

      • Darryl is Loving the Bike

        Wow Bart…I didn’t know about that part of your background.  Thanks for sharing it.  You are an incredible role model on so many levels.  Awesome.

  • Anonymous

    Wow, I can’t believe he rode across the States in 18 days!!  That’s amazing.  It’s also really neat to hear that, as a runner,  he considers cycling across the States as his most rewarding athletic achievement.  I love it, and I hope to experience more of the world by bike!  

  • Meghan F

    I would like to know if Bart remembers his first bike and if so, what it was.

    • Bart Yasso

      First real bike was a Team Fuji back in 1978. Before that I had a 3 speed and 10 speed no clue what barnd.

      • Darryl is Loving the Bike

        Good question, Meghan.  I meant to ask him what kinds of bikes he had and then forgot when the camera was on.

  • Jen

    I have a copy of Bart’s book and never knew about his cycling across the country until I read it.  He is one amazing athlete.

  • rdg collective

    WHAT…..I am so jealous.  Bart is so awesome.