Pippa Middleton Cycles Through Oceanside on Cross-Country Race

The Duchess of Cambridge's sister is part of an eight-person relay in the Race Across America

By Andie Adams
|  Monday, Jun 16, 2014  |  Updated 8:35 AM PDT
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San Diego’s North County was graced with the presence of British royalty (once removed) as Pippa Middleton pedaled her way off on a cross-country bike race.

Pippa, the sister of Great Britain’s Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton, joined an eight-person relay in the Race Across America (RAAM), which set off from the Oceanside Pier Saturday.

The grueling trek stretches 3,000 miles from the Pacific Ocean to Annapolis, Maryland.

The only woman on her team, Pippa should rack up nearly 300 miles herself over the nine-day relay as she and her team switch off every 25 minutes, event representatives say.

Road.cc reports Pippa and her brother James are riding for the Michael Matthews Foundation, which helps provide education worldwide for children who do not have access to schools.

The foundation is named for the youngest Briton to have summited Mount Everest. Unfortunately, Matthews, 22, died on his way back down the mountain.

The Middletons are closely tied with the Matthews family, Road.cc says, since Pippa once dated Michael’s brother James, who is also part of their eight-person team.

On the road, there is no rest for the weary. Unlike stage races like the Tour de France, RAAM is all about time. Once the clock starts, it won’t stop until their tires touch the finish line.

Racers are required to complete the trek – which crosses 12 states and climbs 170,000 feet – in roughly half the time allowed for the Tour de France, and the course is about 30 percent longer, according to the race’s website.

And if you think Pippa and her team have an exhausting journey ahead, just remember: some cyclists are riding the race solo.

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