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Messages - staehpj1

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Routes / Latest date for starting the Trans Am?
« on: April 29, 2008, 06:13:40 am »
Mr Bent,
To me a TransAm means the TransAmerica route, not just any route across the US.  So August may be a great time to start a trip across the US, but I doubt that it is a great time to start a TransAmerica if going east to west.

I still think west to east would be my choice, but Mr Bent has a point.  It might be worth looking into whether  a TransAmerica and Western Express combination would work.  It sounds promising.   AC says the Western Express "can be ridden from mid-May through October, depending on weather".  Go farther south if necessary.

Routes / Latest date for starting the Trans Am?
« on: April 28, 2008, 07:00:58 am »
Are you the same person who asked this on Bike Forums?  If so excuse me for answering again.

Hopefully others who have started later will comment, but my impression is that it would make more sense to go west to east if starting late. You are likely to find snow on the passes if starting in the east and going at an average pace. It isn't rare for Mckenzie pass to close for the season in October (you can detour to Santiam pass, but still...). Snow is fairly likely on Hoosier Pass in September.

Assuming 9-12 weeks for the trip I wouldn't want to start in the east on or after Aug 1. Starting in the west Aug. 1 is about as late as I would start.

Routes / new biker for coast of maine
« on: April 11, 2008, 12:45:25 pm »
It depends.  Can you do a 60 mile day ride and be fine to ride the next day?  60 miles is a nice distance per day once you are used to the load and riding everyday.  It could be a bit much starting out, everyone is different though.

Routes / If i Leave in mid-MAY....which Route do i Take?
« on: March 18, 2008, 05:00:38 am »
We did the TA in 73 days.  Considering that we started off slow in the beginning and that the WE is a bit shorter I think it probably could be done in under 70 days by somewhat average riders.

OTOH it is nice to not have a schedule that you have to stay on, or at least to have one with some slop on it.

I can't speak first hand about the ST, but from what I have heard about it I would do that in the winter or not at all.

Routes / Brits Tackle Transamerica
« on: March 19, 2008, 08:06:12 am »
I wouldn't want to be too rushed, but 50 days would be about 85 miles per day for the TA.  That might be OK or not; you would have to make that call.  If it was me I would probably opt for the pacific coast or the great parks route.

The ST still might be an option if you can go when it is cooler.

Routes / Brits Tackle Transamerica
« on: March 11, 2008, 07:50:14 am »
To some extent it might be luck and to some it might be the route chosen, but people were generally very nice to us and drivers mostly courteous.  The exceptions to this were rare.  A very few times someone gave us "the finger" and once some redneck kids intentionally blasted us with diesel smoke as they passed.  OTOH we constantly got waves, thumbs up, and rock on gestures.

There are a lot of dogs that run loose and chase bikes in Missouri and Kentucky, but I didn't consider them a big problem.

People everywhere offered us food and cold water and were generally kind and generous.

As far as the 45-50 days... Some people do manage to do TA or NT that fast, but I think not too many.

The ST would seem like it might be a good bit quicker to finish, but plan to do it in cooler weather if you go that route.

As Valygrl says the Pacific Coast isn't coast to coast, but does cross the country north to south and is very nice and can easily be done in you time frame.  You won't see the whole country that way though.

Routes / Brits Tackle Transamerica
« on: March 10, 2008, 10:46:00 am »
Three of us did the transamerica last summer.  We took 73 days total.  I am sure it can be done in less, but we found that just right for us.  We trained as we went and took a fair number of short mileage days rather than take full rest days.  We took time to do some side hikes and tourist stuff.  How much time do you have?

I didn't find the drivers/traffic to be a major issue, but I am used to worse traffic at home than we found on the tour.  There are roads without shoulders but most are fairly light traffic.  Logging trucks and motor homes are a bit scary, but I never felt too endangered.

Routes / Aussie riding the USA
« on: March 10, 2008, 06:15:04 am »
The Pacific Coast is beautiful!  It is a wonderful place to ride.  Do you have all of August thru all of October?  If so that is probably way more time than you need to do the Pacific Coast route.  You can probably add lots of extra time by doing some side trips inland.  You could spend extra time in the San Juan Islands, the Williamette Valley, and maybe go up into the Cascades to name a few options if you have extra time.

If you have 10-12 weeks you could also consider a coast to coast trip.  You would get to see more varied terrain and towns, but would also have to travel across more monotonous areas too.  It would give you a picture of the whole country rather than just the coast though.

Routes / West to East Coast
« on: February 27, 2008, 07:21:55 am »
We started on June 11th 2007 from a day north of Florence on the coast.  Most years at that time McKenzie Pass is likely to but, may or may not be open.  If not Santiam Pass will be.  I would recommend either when we started or a bit later.

The history of opening and closing of McKenzie Pass is online at:
Be aware that they usually are open to pedestrians and bicycles a couple weeks before they open to cars.  That is a great time to ride it if you are lucky enough to get there then.

If you can be flexible with your start you can time it based on this years conditions by monitoring the ODOT web site for openings.

This message was edited by staehpj1 on 2-27-08 @ 5:23 AM

Routes / Anacortes, WA to Sanfrancisco, CA
« on: February 26, 2008, 06:29:55 am »
I would want lower gearing if it was me.

Routes / Mckenzie Pass (oregon, Transamerica route)
« on: February 07, 2008, 10:14:38 am »
Can you say a bit more...  Specifically what don't you think is true?

The historical record of openings and closings is at:
But that lists the dates for cars, bikes are apparently different.

I would have guessed that they wouldn't plow McKenzie pass through the winter.  Is that true or no?

Routes / Mckenzie Pass (oregon, Transamerica route)
« on: February 03, 2008, 06:45:31 am »
I haven't done Santiam Pass, but based on comparing notes with others who did, I would recommend doing McKenzie if it is open.  It is a nice ride the view is great. and seeing the lava field was cool.  It is a big climb but it is very do-able.  Two of our group had almost no miles under their belts before this trip.  One wasn't a cyclist and started riding only a few weeks before the trip.  Their longest training ride was 31 miles.  They made it fine.

Routes / Mckenzie Pass (oregon, Transamerica route)
« on: February 02, 2008, 04:53:28 pm »
the historical info on the openings is at:
but remember that they open it to bikes before they open it to cars.  The ideal time to do it IMO is when there are no cars on the top part.

Routes / Mckenzie Pass (oregon, Transamerica route)
« on: February 02, 2008, 04:50:17 pm »
Last year we started June 11th and it had been open for weeks to bicycles.  That particular year it never opened to cars since there was road work that was to be done.

Actually it officially closed for the road work the day before we rode it, but there were lots of bikes and the work had not started yet.  I think that it is often open by early June and sometimes early May.

I would keep in touch with the ODOT website as the trip approaches to see what the deal is.  I am not sure if the work was finished last year, but I am sure ODOT will have that posted on their site.

Realize though that you can use Santiam Pass if McKenzie pass is closed.  Still I wouldn't start before early June.

Routes / Is April 15 to early to start the TA?
« on: January 29, 2008, 06:16:58 pm »
It might be a bit early.  You could be OK, but you might find cold and snow in the higher altitudes.  You are also more likely to have rain in the east.  You will miss the heat and humidity in the east though.

I wouldn't be too surprised if you got to Hoosier Pass a little faster than that either.  I think we took 33 days for that section (going the opposite direction).

I would be inclined to go a bit later if it was me.  Is that an option or is the start date hard to change for some reason?

Oh, one other thing.  Expect the Appalachians to be tough.  They were far and away the hardest part of the trip.  I say this so that you won't be thinking that the Rockies will be harder and obsessing over that.

Whenever you go, have a good time.  It is a great route.

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