Author Topic: Traveling the TransAm spring of 2013  (Read 2803 times)

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Offline bobbybrady

Traveling the TransAm spring of 2013
« on: September 10, 2012, 07:21:13 pm »
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.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Traveling the TransAm spring of 2013
« Reply #1 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."

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.

Offline bobbybrady

Re: Traveling the TransAm spring of 2013
« Reply #2 on: September 10, 2012, 09:14:12 pm »
Thanks pdlamb for your quick response. We were leaning toward E to W now we will lock it in.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Traveling the TransAm spring of 2013
« Reply #3 on: September 10, 2012, 10:09:52 pm »
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.

Offline indyfabz

Re: Traveling the TransAm spring of 2013
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2012, 05:59:34 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."

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.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Traveling the TransAm spring of 2013
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2012, 06:19:15 pm »
I agree that starting in the west in mid May is a bad idea.  Start later or start in the East.

Winds...  I wouldn't choose based on this, but the TA goes in a SE direction in the plains if starting in the West and the surface winds in Summer tend to be out of the SE.  So I think that winds in the plains tend to be a better when starting in the West.  As I said that would not be a huge factor in my decision.

If you live near one end or the other...  I find that riding toward home is better.  One reason is that I think it makes logistics much easier if you can get the air travel out of the way up front.  That way you can have a flexible end date.  Additionally I found it nice to have friends and family meet us at the end.

Offline BikeFreak

Re: Traveling the TransAm spring of 2013
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2012, 06:21:58 am »

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?

I agree on all the above except (I did the TA this summer E-W):

1. The winds in Kansas came from S and they never settled during the night. The wind was constant 24h for 1 week crossing Kansas. Sleeping was annoying due to the constantly flapping tent fly and several times each night I had to go outside and check the tent stakes. The wind in Kansas was 30-45 mph, constantly. However no gusts.

2. I would rather do 5 Monarch Passes instead of the Ozarks  >:(

Lucas

Offline bryanmwood

Re: Traveling the TransAm spring of 2013
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2012, 06:50:23 pm »
If you go East to West I might have to meet up with you! Looking for some traveling partners, doing the transam for the first time.

Offline SpokedSTL

Re: Traveling the TransAm spring of 2013
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2012, 02:38:10 pm »
I'm also going to be heading out E-W in early May. Maybe we will all meet on the windy Mid-west plains where we can share a can of beans and tell ghost stories.  :D