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Be careful, going over 50 lbs may be a show stopper.
Something I really appreciate is my woolen cap and my gloves for chilly mornings. However, during summertime on the trans am you would never need that.Not necessarily true. In the Rockies you can get a short cold snap or even snow in any month of the year. We did the TA an especially hot year and still had a few cold mornings and a freezing afternoon/evening once as well. I took my light gloves and cap and used them in the Cascades and Rockies.
it is rigged strongly in favor of the Easterly travelerThis perception doesn't match National Weather Service monitoring data. The worst headwinds I've ever had in my life was the day I rode southeast from Wolf Point to Glendive, MT. The best tailwinds I've ever had in my life was the day I rode east from Cut Bank to Havre, MT.
My only thought to counter it is that it was valid for sure for that point in time only.
Out of curiosity, what and how did you determine this?Here's a small sample of my data from the summer of 2010, just the part through Kansas. These readings were all taken at 11:00 a.m. The columns are the date, the destination city for the day, the wind speed in MPH, and the wind direction. As you can see, it was a mixed bag. This data does not imply that the wind blew as shown all day--only that one moment at 11:00 a.m. So it's just a snapshot. Note that the day I rode from Hutchinson to Rush Center, the forecast said that the winds would be out of the SW at 26 MPH. That would have been devastating. Luckily, that forecast was very, very wrong. I had a strong tailwind (westbound). In the first two hours, which included the stretch through the Quivira National Wildlife Refuge, I covered over 35 miles. That's astounding considering my average speed for the whole cross-country trip was only 12.4 MPH. I stayed with my cousin in Pittsburg, and he warned me that I would face strong headwinds all the way across Kansas. That was his perception, but it was wrong. I met some eastbounders in Rush Center that were complaining that they had had nothing but strong headwinds ever since they got to the plains.