Last year we found the opposite to be true. We had a mix of headwinds and tailwinds most places and it was the luck of the draw, but across Eastern Colorado and Kansas the wind was out of the southeast and benefited the westbound rider. I am told that this is quite typical. The effects of wind can be minimized in most cases by starting and finishing as early as possible in Eastern Colorado and Kansas. This helps to beat the heat too.
There are a lot of other factors besides the wind though.
The Appalachians are the toughest part of the trip and we didn't want to start with them.
The sun is going to be in your eyes either in the morning or in the evening if you ride early or late. This is worth considering.
We liked the idea of having air travel and shipping of bikes out of the way first.
We liked the idea of it being hard to bail on the trip and flying out west made it tougher to bail out.
We originally wanted to have the west to look forward to and were concerned that there wouldn't be much that was new to look forward to in the east. That didn't prove to be as big of a deal as I expected. We actually found the east more beautiful and interesting than I imagined.
We didn't think about it ahead of time, but it was really nice to have family and friends following us the last day and we had a nice picnic with them in Yorktown. I still get choked up when I think about the welcome we got.
Oh and your starting time... It is probably OK (if a bit more likely to be wet) for an east to west, but too early if you decide to start in the west. In that case I wouldn't start any earlier than June.
You can find more info on our journal at:http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/staehling2007
There are lots of other folks TransAmerica journals there as well. It is both educational and entertaining to read them.
Feel free to contact me directly if you have questions that I can assist with. I don't claim to be an expert, but do still have the trip fairly fresh in my mind.
pete dot staehling at gmail dot com
This message was edited by staehpj1 on 1-18-08 @ 4:25 AM