« on: May 12, 2007, 07:38:28 pm »
Mary, I'm sorry to hear about your wrist. Hopefully it's on the mend.
I'm the Aussie who responded to your previous post, and perhaps am responsible for putting the idea of an East to West crossing into your thinking.
My own personal rationale for an East to West crossing was primarily because I do the bulk of my cycling, either when I am touring or cycling for relaxation, early in the day. By early, I mean as the sun is coming up. For that reason, I chose to head west, so that I would not be riding, and glaring into a rising sun. That would also mean that motorists, approaching me from behind, would also not be glaring into a rising sun.
A second consideration for me, was that psychologically, I set the crossing of the Rockies and the Cascades as a target, something to aim for. I did not want to be climbing the Cascades in only the 2nd or 3rd day of my tour. I was also expecting that my fitness level by the time I reached the mountains, would be fairly high (and it was).
I was concerned about head winds, but took the gamble anyway. And I did have a few days of soul destroying head winds, but also a number of days of tailwinds. In fact, the most common complaint I heard from cyclists with whom I spoke, heading east, was that they were severely disgruntled at the fact that the winds were not behaving as they had been hoping. In other words, they were telling me that the whole reason that they had decided to cycle east, was the expectation of tailwinds and they'd been disappointed. But, as any cyclist knows only too well, winds can be fluky. And maybe it was just that particular year.
Just one point about you wrist to remember, is that climbing also puts a certain amount of stress on the wrist; not just braking when descending.
Importantly, cylce touring is all about setting your own agenda. I've just set out what were my own reasons for heading west. I guess in a way I also was cycling in a homeward direction.