A team of cyclists led by a Fallbrook man zipped to victory after departing Orange County last weekend in the first cross-country test for high-tech bikes known as human-powered vehicles.
Led by ultra-endurance cycling champ Pete Penseyres of Fallbrook and his brother James, of San Juan Capistrano, the four-man squad took turns piloting Lightning to the finish line in New York's Battery Park, covering the 3,000-mile race course in 5 days, 1 hour and 8 minutes.
Despite leading much of the way, a team that included Seal Beach bike shop owner Greg Miller abandoned the race Thursday with about 130 miles to go.
The foursome, riding the bike Gold Rush America, were passed by Lightning on Thursday morning and then took a wrong turn onto a heavily traveled freeway in Pennsylvania. The team members decided to pull out because of concerns for their safety in the traffic, according to Trisha Nerney, a spokeswoman for the Race Across America.
Long a test of endurance for cyclists on traditional bikes, the Race Across America this year introduced a new division for sleek human-powered vehicles like Lightning and Gold Rush America. Pete Penseyres won the endurance test two times before switching to the human-powered-vehicle division this year.