Author Topic: March on the East Cost  (Read 1753 times)

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Offline Dyson

March on the East Cost
« on: January 21, 2008, 04:57:24 am »
Hi there, I have just a quick question. After postponing for a year I'm doing a solo TransAm this year. I want to head off as soon as possible really and was targeting the end of March.

Is this too early for Virginia and the Appalachians?

The only other thing would be personal safety on a solo trip (I'm a 29yr old guy) - any problems experienced in the more remote areas by anyone?

Thanks very much


Offline staehpj1

March on the East Cost
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2008, 10:35:49 am »
My experience from the TA last year isn't too much help because we went W-E, but I am familiar with the Virginia area so I will comment anyway.

There is some luck of the draw there.  Weather is likely  to be OK, but it is a bit of a gamble. You will need to be ready for cold and wet weather, snow isn't impossible, but you have a good chance of avoiding it.  Will you have the option to push back the start at the last minute if it looks awful?

I wouldn't sweat the personal safety issues especially in remote areas.  We were amazed how nice just about everyone we met was.  People were almost universally kind and generous.

Any risk we felt was more from traffic than anything else, but we found the route to be OK in that regard too.  The most aggressive drivers were on what will be your first day or two, but overall we felt pretty safe.


Offline JayH

March on the East Cost
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2008, 11:49:48 am »
We've had some serious snow mid-march here in northeast, like NJ, Upstate NY, New England. I'm sure it can easily get cold in the appalachians too...  I'd be prepared for the cold, but not sure if there is anything you can prepare for the snow, other than having 'snowdays' incorporated into your schedule...

jay


Offline staehpj1

March on the East Cost
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2008, 11:55:40 am »
I think the risk of snow is pretty low, but not completely nonexistent.  The route in Virginia and Kentucky stays pretty far south, but does get to 4000' or so if memory serves correctly.  Realizing that you may have a snow day or two may be enough.


Offline DaveB

March on the East Cost
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2008, 09:31:52 pm »
We drive through Southwest VA on I-77several time a year going to Florida and to the Winston-Salem area in NC.  My experience is that unplesantly cold weather is just as likely in that part of VA as it is in the north, mostly due to the altitude and the weather doesn't improve noticcably until we get to the VA/NC line as we go south.  Some of the coldest, nastiest evenings I can remember were in Wytheville.  

My feeling is that even late March is pushing the boundary of favorable weather.      


Offline Dyson

March on the East Cost
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2008, 09:10:21 am »
Thanks for the posts - most useful.

I can delay if required, but was considering the trade off between a cold start and a very hot mid-section of the trip. I figured I could adjust to the cold with clothing but there's not a great deal you can do when its boiling hot!

Again, thanks for the advice.


Offline JayH

March on the East Cost
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2008, 09:29:40 am »
I agree with you there... In march, you will most likely encounter a day or two that may be a bit chilly.. It's hard to beat week long heatwaves in the great plains though.. :-)

Jay


Offline staehpj1

March on the East Cost
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2008, 11:56:18 am »
Regarding the heat...  We did the TA last Summer W-E and the headlines seemed to permanently read "Record Heat Wave", pretty much everywhere we went.

We had MANY days over 100 degrees.  Before the trip both my daughter and I would have told you that we didn't tolerate heat well at all.  After the trip I think she would agree with me that you can really get used to it particularly in the West where it is dry.

FWIW: For me humid 96 degree days in the Missouri were worse than 106 degree ones in the Montana, but still tolerable.

In addition to acclimating to the heat you can also avoid riding in the hottest part of the day especially if there is a major climb.  Starting early in the day and finding a swimming hole or at least some shade in the afternoon, then riding some in the evening worked well for us.