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General Discussion / Re: TransAmerica bike tour- travel East or West?
« Last post by staehpj1 on July 05, 2015, 09:07:34 pm »
IMHO West to East will be easier if you are low on conditioning. East to West has more steeper climbs early on.
I found that to be true.  In fact I found the Appalachians to be the hardest part and the climbs out of the river valleys in the Ozarks were a challenge as well.

But I believe you will hook up and share the experience with more riders going east-west. This is from reading several journals and my experience as well.
I didn't notice that, but I have only done it W-E.  Not sure why that would be the case.  I am curious, care to elaborate?
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General Discussion / Re: TransAmerica bike tour- travel East or West?
« Last post by SlowAndSlower on July 05, 2015, 06:45:56 pm »
IMHO West to East will be easier if you are low on conditioning. East to West has more steeper climbs early on.

But I believe you will hook up and share the experience with more riders going east-west. This is from reading several journals and my experience as well.
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FWIW, I find sun sleeves are OK up to about 85-90F.  Above that, I prefer to baste myself with sunscreen and sweat, because the sun sleeves are so much hotter.  I suppose if you're carrying adequate water, you could douse the sleeves, but even with that I reach a point that I'm already dripping sweat and can't tolerate the extra layer.  Again IME, that's usually around 95-100F with 70-90% humidity that's normal in the eastern US.
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General Discussion / Re: TransAmerica bike tour- travel East or West?
« Last post by Pat Lamb on July 05, 2015, 05:49:23 pm »
You note having the sun in your eyes, and because of that I was really happy to ride west when we hit Kansas.  The heat was oppressive (near or above 100F every day), which is slightly unusual, but the best way for me to beat it was to ride early.  Passing traffic did not have the glare of the rising sun as we rode west.

Of course, some folks prefer to ride late into the dusk.  For them, it would be logical to ride east.
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Thanks very much.  Great recommendations!
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This will be my first bike tour and would like to spend the first week or so with someone else while I get accustomed to being on the road. If we end up going the distance together that is fine too. I'm planning on doing 60-70 miles a day, but could flex if need be. I'm a male and 47 years old. I've done a half ironman and several centuries. I've even done long distance inline skate trips of 80+ miles but those were years ago. Would you like to join me?

When I get to the West Coast I will likely go from San Diego up to San Francisco to see some of the Pacific Coast and even do some surfing along the way.
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General Discussion / Re: New BOB trailer owner observations
« Last post by moonie on July 05, 2015, 11:34:58 am »
A golf ball works very well, whether sand or grass.  A friend first used it on his touring bike to help with panniers, so I didn't invent the idea, but maybe for a BOB trailer I figured it should help. Just finished a 4 day fully loaded trip in PA and it worked beautifully!
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General Discussion / Re: TransAmerica bike tour- travel East or West?
« Last post by mzimmerm on July 05, 2015, 10:09:49 am »
Extremely helpful response. I do believe that several of the organized supported TransAmerica tours including Adventure Cycling.....travel East to West. Makes sense to follow their maps and their direction as often as possible. We live in Texas, so really doesn't matter where we start as it relates to Family or Friends. And looks like you are right on with the wind factor. Another factor we thought of...which might seem trivial....is the sun in your eyes EVERY morning for 4 months if you are heading East.
I'm thinking we do East to West.
Thanks again so much for a perfect response. Very very helpful!
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General Discussion / Re: TransAmerica bike tour- travel East or West?
« Last post by staehpj1 on July 05, 2015, 08:26:19 am »
I am planning a TransAmerica Self-supported bike tour with my wife in 2016. Which direction is optimal and why? We will do the middle of the country Adventure Cycling Route- I believe Astoria and Virginia Beach?!

There are quite a few possible factors to consider, but to me the most important are weather and which end is closest to home.

Wrt weather and direction of travel, basically if you go early in the season start in the east and avoid the heat and humidity there and the snow in the Rockies.  If you go later in the season starting in the west works well.

If you live near one end or the other, my preference is to fly to the far coast to start.  It is easy to know when you will start a tour, but knowing when you will finish is another matter.  That makes it easier to plan air travel for the start.  Also it is nice to have friends and family to meet at the end.

People often mention wind as a factor and suggest riding W-E because of the supposed prevailing westerlies.  That would make sense if you were traveling at 30,000' of altitude.  I wouldn't choose direction of travel for the TA based on the winds, but if I did I'd go east to west.  In the middle of the country the Trans America angles southeast and the surface winds in the Great Plains tend to be out of the SE in summer.

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General Discussion / Re: Natchez Trace Parkway - Cell Phone Signals
« Last post by mzimmerm on July 04, 2015, 09:35:55 pm »
Got it. Understand completely. We camped several nights. Some of the parks had little to no service.
But....if you are on the parkway and spending nights at motels or B&B's in or near towns....I would guess you would be ok.
Given your situation- the satellite phone might not be a bad idea.
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