Bicycle Travel > General Discussion

Traveling the TransAm spring of 2013

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bobbybrady:
My friend and I are going to ride the TransAm May 15, 2013. We are thinking we should go E to W because of the snow in the mountains.  On the other hand are the winds really mostly out of the West and would we have a harder time with that or the snow in the mountains. Look forward to some tips on this or any other things that may come up.

Pat Lamb:
I guess it's time for the fall, 2012 iteration of this question.  Most all the answers will be, "Do it like I did it."

I did it east to west.  Points in the favor of this direction include the following:
* Get past the east while the temperature and humidity are reasonable
* When you hit Kansas, you'll want to leave early in the morning to beat the heat and winds.  Going west means the following cars' drivers don't lose you in the glare of the early morning sun.
* You get to follow the early settler's path - most of the U.S. was settled east to west
* You get more time to get acclimated to the Rockies' altitudes
* Do the Appalachians and Ozarks look little after you've been through the Rockies?
On the flip side, you'll have more gradual climbs in the west to get you toughened up for the eastern mountains.

Ignore the wind arguments unless you're cycling at 30,000 feet.  Most of the predictable winds are in Kansas and come out of the south; riders in both directions think they're getting headwinds when it's actually a crosswind.

bobbybrady:
Thanks pdlamb for your quick response. We were leaning toward E to W now we will lock it in.

John Nelson:
I have no general preference for E-to-W or W-to-E. Both work well and wind is not a differentiating factor (even though most people swear it is). I've ridden across the country in both directions.

But a May 15 start screams for E-to-W. If you start in the west on May 15, you'll more likely get cold and wet for the first several weeks.

If you said you were going to start on June 15, I would tell you to go W-to-E.

indyfabz:

--- Quote from: pdlamb on September 10, 2012, 08:30:24 pm ---I guess it's time for the fall, 2012 iteration of this question.  Most all the answers will be, "Do it like I did it."
--- End quote ---

Heh.

As noted, your start date screams E-W. We were on the TA heading east from Missoula for a few days last year at the end of June and met people who had started east mid-May. They were having a fine time.

At a minimum, you want to experience McKenzie Pass in OR, which will almost certainly be closed if you start in the west mid-May.

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