Bicycle Travel > General Discussion

The TransAmerican for a beginner?

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staehpj1:

--- Quote from: DaveB on October 14, 2012, 07:30:09 am ---Unless you are a very strong rider and expect to complete the trip in 6 weeks or less, I think August is too late in the year to start.  You will most likely take to mid to late October and perhaps into November to complete the trip and that pretty much guarantees cold and bad weather at the end.  If you go East to West, many of the Western mountain roads will have snow by late September.  West to East pretty much assures cold, rain and possibly snow in the Earstern mountains.

--- End quote ---
Good point, but starting August 1st and taking 10 weeks would usually be OK.  The Appalachians might be cold at night, but the Fall colors would be amazing Oct 1-14 or so.  10 weeks is a fairly normal pace, some take more some less.

Also if time isn't tight waiting out a bit of bad weather in the fall in the Appalachians is usually do able especially if the OP plans to finish in October.  There is a small chance of snow or really bitter weather, but it is likely to change for the better within 48 hours.

Having spent a lot of time in the Appalachians in October, I think it would be a lovely time to ride through if you allow for a possible weather delay.  November gets more iffy.  While it isn't completely out of the question, I'd try to schedule a finish in October.

Cat:
Yes, I will try to ride as light as posible even with that camping gear. I will read your journals, thank you!

Oh, I don´t expect to complete the ride in 6 weeks. I think I can get 3 months off of work. I could start a little bit earlier but I understand that if I do - it´ll be too warm in the beginning, right? (I´m a swede and not used to very hot temperatures... :P)

I guess the appalachians have pretty much the same weather as I have at home. And thinking about it, we have already had some snow... A friend mentioned the posibility to end in Savanna. I would then follow the TA to Kansas or so and then go down more to the south east. But when I look at the map of biking routes, I can´t see any at all in that area. I guess there would be a reason for that?

John Nelson:
"Too warm" and "too cold" are relative and something each person has to decide for themselves. Furthermore, every year is different, so that July might be oppressively hot in the Midwest one year, and then quite comfortable the next year.

You may tolerate cold well and hot poorly, but I'm more the opposite. I will point out that preparing for hot doesn't require adding any weight, but preparing for cold does.

Good luck.

staehpj1:

--- Quote from: John Nelson on October 14, 2012, 04:58:33 pm ---"Too warm" and "too cold" are relative and something each person has to decide for themselves. Furthermore, every year is different, so that July might be oppressively hot in the Midwest one year, and then quite comfortable the next year.

You may tolerate cold well and hot poorly, but I'm more the opposite. I will point out that preparing for hot doesn't require adding any weight, but preparing for cold does.

--- End quote ---

All of that is quite true.

Still, I find I can manage fairly cold weather with the same gear I use in the summer.  I figure that in the mountains regardless of time of year you need to be prepared for a bit of cold.  At a 15 pound base weight I did fine when I camped on top of a pass and it was 18 F.  Since I have gone lighter yet I have not done anything that makes me less able to deal with cooler temperatures.  Not too many have the same tolerance for the cold that I do though, so most would have to pack more to accommodate the same temperature.

For hot weather there is only so much you can do.  You can always put on a bit more clothing, but can only take off so much.  Staying hydrated helps, but again only so much.  As a result I find that while I can tough out really hot weather (even 110 F), I do find it unpleasant once it is much above 80.

It was kind of funny on my ST.  The guy I rode with much of the way hated the cold.  He grew up in Southern Florida and recently was living in San Diego.  At one point he had a face mask on when it was in the upper 50s.  When it was 50ish and raining he was absolutely miserable.  I was happy.  The last day of the trip the temperature gout well up into the 90s and I commented that it was pretty oppressive.  He said it was the first nice day of the trip and then commented that it was also the first time the whole trip that he heard me complain about the weather.  Some of the difference is just our makeup and some is what we are acclimated to.

I guess the bottom line is that everyone has to figure out what works, for them because we are all different.

Cat:
If it gets too hot, one could start early in the morning. I suppose it doesn´t stay light all night long, not even up in the north of the US?
I think somewhere between 60 and 80 F is the most pleasant temperature - thats why I thought july would be too early.

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