Deena Mastracci never says no to a new challenge. Refusing to be outdone by her fiancé, professional endurance driver Carl Reese, (who set the fastest time on a motorcycle from Los Angeles to New York), Mastracci decided to set her own long distance motorcycle record; but first, she needed a motorcycle license, no easy feat in itself.
Mastracci’s cross-country trip of more than 11,000 miles began June 1, in Santa Clarita, California. She had no prior on-road experience other than that gained at a one-day class at Streetmasters Motorcycle Workshops—on a closed racetrack—as part of her preparation and a Motorcycle Safety Class given at the local college for her motorcycle test. The coast-to-coast ride by way of the Arctic Circle was no vacation as Mastracci encountered a variety of challenging road conditions, including snow, mud, ice, 50 mph wind, flooded roads and golf ball-sized gravel. Her route included the full length of the Dalton Highway, a treacherous road that leads to Dead Horse, Alaska, over the Brooks Mountain Range. Her journey included pit stops in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska; Denver, Colorado; Brookfield, Connecticut; and Grand Rapids, Michigan, before concluding in New Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Mastracci covered an average of 400 miles per day. During the third week of her journey, she travelled 1,000 miles from Denver, Colorado, to Hammond, Indiana, within a 24-hour time period, a feat that is only attempted by the most seasoned riders, often referred to as an “Ironbutt Challenge.”
Mastracci’s total mileage of 11,236 miles surpassed the previous record of 9,000 miles held by Clif Chu set back on July 23, 2012. Clif’s journey was witnessed by William Schoetteler.
Mastracci’s very first motorcycle ride was not only a successful attempt to set a record for “Longest Distance Traveled by a New Motorcycle Licensee,” but was also a way to bring attention to the work of the Motorcycle Relief Project, a nonprofit charity that helps veterans with PTSD and other injuries. The group arranges multi-day motorcycle tours and other activities and also offers counseling for veterans in an effort to decrease suicides. Additionally, Mastracci hopes her ride would inspire other women who may feel intimidated by driving a motorcycle.
“My journey was the trip of a lifetime: a terrifyingly beautiful ride and an incredible learning experience all in one,” said Mastracci. “Everything about the voyage was a challenge for me. From navigating in traffic to maneuvering through mud and ice, it was very tough. While challenging, this journey was nothing compared to the trials that our armed forces face on a daily basis, which is why the work that the Motorcycle Relief Project does is so important to me.”
Reese, who followed Mastracci on the journey on a separate motorcycle as a safety precaution, said, “It was remarkable to see how Deena evolved as a rider over the course of her journey. Going from no on-road experience to tackling more than 11,000 miles over the course of 27 days is nothing short of epic! I am so proud of her for taking on and conquering such a challenge.”
No stranger to setting records, Mastracci (together with Reese and Rodney Hawk) already holds the Guinness World Record for the “Shortest Charging Time Cross-Country Trip in an Electric Vehicle” and as part of Reese’s driving team, has helped set records for the “Fastest Time for Crossing the USA in an Electric Vehicle (EV)” and for a “Double Transcontinental Trip (LA-NYC-LA).” She holds a total of five EV records, all set with a Tesla P85 D. Whether as a couple or individually, Mastracci and Reese are always seeking to accomplish new driving feats. For this record attempt, Mastracci rode a used F800GT BMW motorcycle purchased at West Valley Cycle Sales in Los Angeles, California. This attempt was Mastracci’s first individual record, and has been submitted to Guinness World Records book for formal verification.
Deena Mastracci’s Maiden Motorcycle Ride was sponsored by GPS Insight, First Gear, National Cycle, Clearwater Lights, EarthX Batteries, Streetmasters Motorcycle Workshops and Dillon Optics.