Author Topic: TransAmerica from DC, but I need to go east first.  (Read 3155 times)

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Offline tende

TransAmerica from DC, but I need to go east first.
« on: April 04, 2012, 06:36:25 pm »
Mid May I fly into Washington DC to begin my ride to Portland, Oregon, but first, to make it official, I need to ride another 120 or so miles to the Atlantic.  I've heard about a shuttle to Rohoboth Beach, but cant find info on it.  Any other ideas?

And, as long as I have your attention, Im thinking about riding the C&O/Allegheny Trail, from DC towards Pittsburg.  Good idea?  Which route should I take if it's raining.

I should mention that, while I've done quite a bit of touring in the past, for the first time, I'm dealing with time constraints.

Thanks all.

Offline VeloVeg

Re: TransAmerica from DC, but I need to go east first.
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2012, 10:16:25 pm »
To make it "official", you won't be riding to Portland, but 75 miles further west to the coast. The "TransAmerica" route officially begins at Yorktown, VA which would be a good option for beginning your trip. Ride on down to Yorktown (on the Atlantic) and take the TransAm route west to Missouri and connect to the fantastic Lewis & Clark route which will lead you all the way to the Oregon coast.

Of course another option is to continue all the way to Missoula, MT on the TransAm and pick-up the Lewis & Clark to the Oregon coast from there. Either way you should have a great trip!

Safe journeys,

Ted

Offline John Nelson

Re: TransAmerica from DC, but I need to go east first.
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2012, 11:02:34 pm »
If you are actually riding the "TransAmerica", you'll need to head south from DC to Yorktown. Many people do it. There are quite a few recommendations for routes to join up with the TransAm. If you're pressed for time, you can skip Yorktown and join up with the TransAm in Richmond.

On the other hand, if you are riding some route across the country other than the TransAmerica Trail, you can pick any route you want, and there are millions of possibilities. I'd recommend one of the ACA routes however if you want to simplify the route planning. Planning your own route all the way across is a very large task. Alternatively, you could just point your bike west and start pedaling--you'll end up on some good roads and some bad ones.

You mention "time constraints." How severe of constraints are we talking about? Six weeks? Eight weeks? Ten weeks? Twelve weeks? It makes a big difference on what we'd recommend.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: TransAmerica from DC, but I need to go east first.
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2012, 08:42:55 am »
If you're pressed for time, you can skip Yorktown and join up with the TransAm in Richmond.

If I were riding TransAm and starting from D.C., I'd consider taking the W&OD trail out of Washington, riding from the end over to Front Royal, then take the Skyline Drive down to Waynesboro, and pick up the official trail there.

Of course, I'd expect one long, slow, painful climb coming out of Front Royal as my introduction to hills on the trail and the Appalachians.  After that, it'd surely get better.  (Can it be worse than Afton Mountain?)

Offline tende

Re: TransAmerica from DC, but I need to go east first.
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2012, 01:04:22 pm »
Sorry about my lack of clarity.
I intend to ride across the county - to Portland, OR and then on (probably to Astoria).
I will not be following, for any length of time an official ACA route.  I probably will be on it from Monroeville across Indiana, and from Missoula down into Oregon.
I want to ride, more or less, as good roads will allow, from DC across to Peru, IL, and then up, maybe through the Black Hills or Bad Lands, to Missoula and then into Oregon.
I have 18 days to get from the Atlantic to Peru, IL (northcentral Illinois). I know this is not unreasonable, but in starting out, I'll not be in the best shape, and there's always other things.
I have 55 days to ride from Illinois to the coast - which I believe should be plenty of time.
I realize that in not following and official ACA route, my planning will be complicated.  I have, in the past followed ACA routes (Illinois to Denver, Seattle to Denver, Oregon coast), but I have also, mostly, followed my own path.  However, before I've not had time constraints.

Thanks all!

Offline John Nelson

Re: TransAmerica from DC, but I need to go east first.
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2012, 02:56:00 pm »
The first segment of your route is about 45 miles a day, and the second segment about 39 miles a day. This are modest goals, and I would say that you are pretty low on the "time constrained" scale. You'll have plenty of time to enjoy the trip.

There are several possible approaches to planning your route (other than letting the ACA plan it for you). You could get a copy of all the state maps, study the average daily traffic volumes of each road, check out the quality of pavement and width of the shoulders, etc., and plan a detailed route before you start. This information is all readily available on-line. This is a lot of work, but has a good chance of getting you on great cycling roads, and many people enjoy the planning.

Or, you could plan particular segments where you know there's a great cycling path, and link them together.

Or, you could just plan one or two days ahead at a time as you go, using maps and asking locals.

Different people enjoy different approaches. You'll have to figure out what works for you. Also, search this forum and the CGOAB forum for route planning, and you'll get a lot of different advice on how to do it.

Have a great time! You're headed in the right direction.

Offline tende

Re: TransAmerica from DC, but I need to go east first.
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2012, 03:21:05 pm »
Thanks all,
Yes, I think you're right: It will be a combination of gathering paper maps with some ACA maps and preplanning, and some seat of my pants. I'm also trying to download maps to my new smartphone.

I figure the first section at 63 miles/day and the second at 50 miles/day; that's with 1 day off/week.  No, not really hard, (and ive certainly averaged more), but Im older, and in poorer shape.

Cheers.

Offline jamawani

Re: TransAmerica from DC, but I need to go east first.
« Reply #7 on: April 07, 2012, 02:16:05 am »
First - getting east is problematic.

Since you will be flying cross-country you will either be getting in rather late or early if you take the "Red Eye".  The most direct Atlantic access from DC is via a 5 hour Greyhound ride with connections to Ocean City, MD.
If you insist on getting to Rehoboth/Lewes - then you can take Greyhound or Amtrak to Wilmington -
then take DART busses with two connections to Rehoboth.  7 hours, iffy bike carriage.
Of you can take Amtrak to Philly, 2 different NJ Transit routes to Cape May, and the ferry to Lewes.
6-7 hours, but Amtrak tricky with bikes.

Given the time and the cost, it may be cheaper and better to reschedule your flight into Philly.
Taking on a one-way shuttle from DC to PHL is super expensive right now.
Finally, there is the possibility of one-way car rental or limo - - probably pricey.

There really isn't a good way to get from DC out to the Atlantic.
You will probably have to make some compromises - - time/cost.
(Plus, you can't bike across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and there is no shuttle)
One close-in alternative is Point Lookout - near St. Mary's City - state park.
There's a Maryland Transit Commuter bus that runs out from DC.

Juan

Offline irc

Re: TransAmerica from DC, but I need to go east first.
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2012, 07:07:43 pm »
Mid May I fly into Washington DC to begin my ride to Portland, Oregon, but first, to make it official, I need to ride another 120 or so miles to the Atlantic.

Make it Official? It's your ride. Start it where it suits you.  I counted my DC to San Francisco ride as a coast to coast as the Potomac River in Washington is tidal.

From DC the C&O Canal and GAP trail followed by the Old Lincoln Highway give an easy to follow and high quality route west  for the first few hundred miles.

Aside from the coast or tidal river argument a capital city is a nice place to start a tour. There are not many capitals with a continuous traffic free route starting right in the downtown area like the C&O
« Last Edit: April 07, 2012, 07:09:48 pm by irc »

Offline jamawani

Re: TransAmerica from DC, but I need to go east first.
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2012, 08:02:01 pm »
Ya know - -
You could ride from Point Lookout, Maryland to Cape Lookout, Oregon??

Here's an image of Point Lookout -
http://dailyholiday.yakohl.com/pop.php?pid=1066
(I don't think cruises out to Smith Island start until after Memorial Day.)

Then St. Mary's City is the oldest colonial settlement in Maryland -
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/bb/St_Marys_City_Historic_District_Dove_Jul_09.JPG/800px-St_Marys_City_Historic_District_Dove_Jul_09.JPG
Gives you a nice colonial/Eastern feel for the trip's start.
And a lot easier to access.

J

Offline tende

Re: TransAmerica from DC, but I need to go east first.
« Reply #10 on: April 09, 2012, 03:29:25 pm »
Well, Im liking all your perspectives.  Ive done quite a bit of touring in the past - and Ive never been one to collect "trophies".  Im not sure why I feel I have to ride "coast to coast"  this time.  Certainly the route Im looking at will be adding several hundreds of miles to a direct ride west.
As Im flying into Reagan National and have a friend to stay with in Chevy Chase (with nearby transit), riding out via the C&O would certainly be easiest.  And perhaps Point Lookout would be the logical compromise.

Offline DGoodrich

Re: TransAmerica from DC, but I need to go east first.
« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2012, 02:41:33 pm »
I did this route (DC-Waldport, OR) last year, and did the DC-Delaware leg also.  See http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/8087

To get to Delaware, you need to get a shuttle to take you across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. Contrary to earlier post, there is a shuttle: www.kentislandexpress.com .  I rode the C&O Canal, but you will need a bike with at least 32mm tires, which most touring bikes have.  Connected at Cumberland, MD, to the Great Allegheny Passage, which is beautiful.  Then turned west to the Ohio at Connellsville, PA.  Across OH, IN, IL to connect with the Katy Trail across Missouri.  Then caught the TransAm north of Wichita and followed it out to Corvallis, OR, then over the Coast Range to the tire dip.

Routes for the individual days are posted on ridewithgps.com ; search on Goodrich.

Good luck.  It was a ball.

Offline hirundo

Re: TransAmerica from DC, but I need to go east first.
« Reply #12 on: April 23, 2012, 08:26:17 pm »
One reply suggested the W&OD to Front Royal, Va.I drive the route over the mtn on rt 50 or rt 7. Both are major high speed commuter routes with narrow to no shoulders. I cringe with horror when I see a touring cyclist on these roads. I have considered stopping to offer a ride up and over, but there is NO place to pull over. There are safer times to ride these routes, but still expect high speed traffic.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: TransAmerica from DC, but I need to go east first.
« Reply #13 on: April 24, 2012, 12:02:00 am »
One reply suggested the W&OD to Front Royal, Va.I drive the route over the mtn on rt 50 or rt 7. Both are major high speed commuter routes with narrow to no shoulders. I cringe with horror when I see a touring cyclist on these roads. I have considered stopping to offer a ride up and over, but there is NO place to pull over. There are safer times to ride these routes, but still expect high speed traffic.

FWIW,  I put Purcellville (the end of the W&OD) and Front Royal into google maps, hit the bike route icon, and the route it popped up included 3 miles on 7 and 4 miles on 50.  Call me a flaming optimist, but I think that's reasonable for a 40 mile leg.  With any luck you could be going against commute traffic in the morning and get into Front Royal before the afternoon rush hour strikes.  (Fridays before federal holidays excepted, of course!)

Offline jamawani

Re: TransAmerica from DC, but I need to go east first.
« Reply #14 on: April 24, 2012, 11:44:00 pm »
Sorry, I don't consider a shuttle that charges nearly $100 for two cyclists to be a "shuttle" - especially when the toll is $4 for a car - and that only in the eastbound direction.  So, technically, if two riders were doing a loop that required crossing the Bay Bridge in both direction - it would be almost $200.  For a car it would be $4.

There's a serious problem here.

Not to mention that if requires a couple of days riding and shuttling as the person above did on Crazyguy.  There really is no easy way to get from DC out to Lewes/Rehoboth.  As I said earlier, the most convenient route - although counter intuitive - to to fly into Philly - take Jersey Transit to Cape May - then the Ferry over to Lewes.  Relatively easy, direct, adn scenic.

Not to mention that a ferry ride is always a good start to a x-country trip.