Author Topic: I rode the Western Express and TransAmerican routes this year.  (Read 1161 times)

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Offline ucandoit

I rode the Western Express and TransAmerican routes this year.
« on: September 25, 2013, 01:15:18 pm »
I started my solo self contained ride on June 16 in San Francisco and finished August 21 in Yorktown.

Does anyone know how many people do this ride per year?
Thanks.

Offline John Nelson

Re: I rode the Western Express and TransAmerican routes this year.
« Reply #1 on: September 25, 2013, 01:30:24 pm »
I think the answer is no. When I was in Missoula, I asked Greg Siple if they knew how many people did each route each year. He said that they didn't track that. They do know how many maps are sold, but there's no way to translate that into trips because some maps are never used and other maps are used by dozens of people. Some start and never finish. Some just do part of the route.

My own wild guess is that about 500 people do the complete TransAm each year, about half from each coast. But I admit that this is just a wild guess based on very little information. Maybe 5 people start from each coast on each of 50 days. That estimate might be low--could easily be double that. You could also look at how many people get their pictures taken at the ACA headquarters each year, and then guess as to how many of those were on each route, and how many people skipped the HQ visit.

Anybody else got a guess and a rationale for how they come up with that guess?
« Last Edit: September 25, 2013, 01:33:31 pm by John Nelson »

Offline ucandoit

Re: I rode the Western Express and TransAmerican routes this year.
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2013, 02:25:27 pm »
Thanks John.  I think you are probably pretty close. 

Offline rabbitoh

Re: I rode the Western Express and TransAmerican routes this year.
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2013, 07:44:18 pm »
Sounds like an interesting research project for someone with a whole lot of free time.

Last year, I rode a combination of the Southern Tier/Grand Canyon Connector/Western Express.

On the ST I met 13 touring cyclists. Some (7) were riding the whole route and the rest were riding only part of it and some were riding parts of it in subsequent years ie. I met a couple who were riding the Del Rio to St Augustine section, having ridden from San Diego to Del Rio in one or two previous stages.

On the GCC, I met 4 touring cyclists, 2 of whom didn't have ACA maps, and were simply doing their own tour. I met those 2 cyclists at the North Rim of the Grand canyon. I did see another 2 touring cyclists riding into the North Rim, but never got to meet them.

On the WE, I met 5 touring cyclists. I kept getting told that there were 2 touring cyclists a day's ride ahead of me, but I never caught up with them.

All the cyclists I met, bar 2 on the ST, were coming the other way to me, which is obviously the reason I got to meet them.

In 1991, I cycled the Northern Tier. On that ride, I either met or saw 69 touring cyclists. 60 were coming in the opposite direction and 9 were riding the same way as me. Of course, I never got the full stories of all 69 riders, however 69 over an 11 week period was surprisingly high I felt.

As I said, it would make for an interesting project, but it would never be 100% accurate.
Good Cycling
Dennis

Offline zzzz

Re: I rode the Western Express and TransAmerican routes this year.
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2013, 08:54:10 pm »
Last year when I was on the Trans Am there was at least 2 stores in Kentucky (I can't remember exactly where now) who took out a log book as soon as I walked in and asked me to sign who I was, where I was from, and where I was coming from and where I was going to.

Both these stores were in really rural parts of the state and I imagine they get a pretty significant percentage of the cyclists who come thru stopping to reload on water and/or food, though certainly not all. But what struck me was that these guys may have had 30 of these loose leaf binders lined up on the wall.

It would be interesting to ask them (& maybe somebody reading this has) how many people they get every year and if they keep track of how many people are going all the way across.

It would be a incomplete total but it would give you a minimum for the Trans Am.

Pete

Offline ucandoit

Re: I rode the Western Express and TransAmerican routes this year.
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2013, 09:10:21 pm »
Hindman, KY-stayed at the Hindman Historical society.  The host was Dave Smith.  I believe he told me about 250 go through each year.  But of course not all would stop there.

Offline John Nelson

Re: I rode the Western Express and TransAmerican routes this year.
« Reply #6 on: September 26, 2013, 11:42:46 am »
Hindman, KY-stayed at the Hindman Historical society.  The host was Dave Smith.  I believe he told me about 250 go through each year.  But of course not all would stop there.
That's ballpark consistent with my guess of 500, if you guess that maybe only half stop at the Hindman Historical Society (I did not).

If you wanted to count the TransAm, you could come pretty close by sitting at the Yorktown Victory Monument for a whole year. I would guess that very few TransAm cyclists don't stop there for a picture. Of course you would miss those that deviate from the TransAm to start or finish somewhere else on the East Coast, but those aren't doing 100% of the TransAm anyway so maybe you shouldn't count them. That raises the other question of what you should set as the criteria for who counts and who doesn't. There are so many variations of a cross-country trip.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: I rode the Western Express and TransAmerican routes this year.
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2013, 01:03:07 pm »
I'd guess that nearly 100% of TransAm riders stop at some of the remote places like the cafe at Jeffry City, the store at Muddy Gap, WY, or Rand, CO.  Trouble is, none of those places pulled out a log for us to sign.  If someone were interested, if you could get those two Wyoming sites to offer a bicyclist log for a summer, and then cross-reference the two, I'd think you'd get about the most accurate count possible.  Follow up if you get email addresses to see who made it all the way across.

Offline John Nelson

Re: I rode the Western Express and TransAmerican routes this year.
« Reply #8 on: September 26, 2013, 01:31:15 pm »
Yes, probably most cyclists stop at those places, if they are open when they pass. I did not stop at the cafe in Jeffrey City the first time I was through there, but did the second. I did stop at the store in Muddy Gap, but I only got there 10 minutes before they closed so I almost missed it (and they didn't have a log as far as I know). I did stop in Rand, but that store is only open a few days a week (and I didn't see a log either).