Author Topic: Los Angeles to Western Express/Trans-Am  (Read 7890 times)

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Offline apennypermile

Los Angeles to Western Express/Trans-Am
« on: May 29, 2007, 06:05:30 am »
I'm riding the Western Express/Trans-Am later this summer but I would really like to start in L.A, go through Las Vegas and connect in Utah, maybe Cedar City.  A serious dearth of usable roads makes planning a route troublesome. Anyone done this before?  Thanks for any help.

Offline CyclingInvestor

Los Angeles to Western Express/Trans-Am
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2007, 08:03:14 pm »
I live in LA and have ridden this way a few times.

The I15 route is the most straightforward, but you will
have a few long days in the desert. Here is my notes
from one of my rides :

14E South/Orangethorpe
21N Harbor/Brea/DmndBar
15N Towne/E ArrowHwy
13NE SummitAve/frontage to Devore
19N CajonRd/I15/fr (motel at Cajon Rd)
11N H395 to Adelanto(motels)
12N H395,
9E ShadowMtnRd
21N/E NatTrailsHwy to Barstow(motels)
19E I40/frontage to NewberrySt
6N Newberry
4E/N Riverside/Harvard
41E I15 to Baker(motels)
49E/N I15 to CalNev border(motels)
34E/N I15( to Sloan(motel)
13E/N Blue DiamondPkwy/MarylandPkwy Fremont, 15th,
         Stewart, Eastern, LVBlvd,Lamb (many motels)
39NE I15 to Glendale(motels)
42NE I15 to Littlefield(motels)
22NE I15 to AR/UT line,
8NE I15 to StGeorge, Exit#8, 1W to Motel6
50NE I15 to CedarCity(motels)

Offline apennypermile

Los Angeles to Western Express/Trans-Am
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2007, 09:08:54 pm »
Thanks for the info.  Just to clarify; these are miles and direction of travel, correct?  And when you say "I-15" are you talking frontage road or the actual I-15?  I didn't think bikes were allowed on the interstate so I'm just a bit confused.  Thanks again.  

Offline litespeed

Los Angeles to Western Express/Trans-Am
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2007, 11:11:02 am »
West of the Mississippi you can ride on the shoulders of the interstates except near major cities and on heavily traveled stretches ("No Bicycles" signs) such as Phoenix-Tuscon. But if there is a good frontage road, by all means ride on it.

Offline apennypermile

Los Angeles to Western Express/Trans-Am
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2007, 01:32:30 pm »
I checked with the Calif Highway Patrol and they emphatically stated that there are signs at every entrance to the interstate prohibiting bikes.  So is this a commonly accepted practice out there that is overlooked by law enforcement or will I need to outrun the law at some point?  I don't mind asking forgiveness but I really don't want a big ticket and to have my bike impounded.  Does anyone else have experience with this scenario?  Thanks.  

Offline CMajernik

Los Angeles to Western Express/Trans-Am
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2007, 01:53:58 pm »
There are certain places in CA where bicyclists ARE allowed - the Southern
Tier Route uses a portion of I-8. It is our understanding that bicycles can
use an interstate if there are no parallel roads. But to be sure, you should
check with the CA bike/pedestrian coordinator, Ken McGuire, email:, website:

If you know the law then you can mention it if a highway patrolman stops

Carla Majernik
Routes and Mapping Program Director

Adventure Cycling Association
Inspiring people of all ages to travel by bicycle.
800/755-2453, 406/721-1776 x218, 406/721-8754 fax

Follow Routes & Mapping on Twitter: @acaroutes

Offline valygrl

Los Angeles to Western Express/Trans-Am
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2007, 04:12:26 pm »
I got pulled over by hightway patrol in Ohio.   The road I was riding turned to freeway, and there were signs saying bikes prohibited, but I um... ignored them because I was too lazy to figure out my way through town.  :blush:

She was nice, though, just helped me figure out how to get where I needed to go off the highway.  Didn't ticket me.

I have heard the law is it's ok if there are no other choices.  Generally there is something posted at the onramp, either no bikes, or no pedestrians.  When the bikes-allowed part ends, there's another sign that tells you bikes must exit.

apennypermile, have you checked out the average temperatures in those areas in summer?  I would strongly suggest you do that - the services are scarce, and it will be seriously hot and dry - like in the 100's - in the southwest.  Could be dangerously hot and very not-fun.

Offline litespeed

Los Angeles to Western Express/Trans-Am
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2007, 09:49:59 am »
Don't worry about being ticketed, fined, arrested or whatever for riding the shoulder of a freeway. I have been booted off a number of freeways. I was always very polite, relaxed and asked the cop what I should do. They invariably just check you out and tell you what to do. They know that touring cyclists are not a threat to anyone.
Also, cops are second only to mailmen for getting directions in a strange town. They put up with enough guff from people and are always grateful for friendly conversation.

Offline apennypermile

Los Angeles to Western Express/Trans-Am
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2007, 11:19:10 pm »
Valygrl,  Thanks for the concern.  I will have a personal SAG that will be within ten miles at all times through the desert and I plan on doing most of my riding in the very early morn and late evening, plus I will have been training in a similar climate for three months.  Hopefully I've got it covered, but I was wrong once before, in '87.  I'll contact the bike laison for CA, also, and see what he has to say.  I'm big on asking forgiveness, instead of permission sometimes but the ride will be in trouble if I'm in the middle of nowhere and have to bail off the highway.  Thanks, again, everyone.    

Offline MrBent

Los Angeles to Western Express/Trans-Am
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2008, 01:52:46 pm »
I can't speak for others, but there is no way in hell you'd get me on I-15 between Barstow and Vegas--absolute hell on earth for fast, unbelievably high volumes of traffic.  Nasty, impatient LA drivers headed for gambling and flesh pots of Lost Wages--yikes!  Then you have to get through Vegas itself, which is another nightmare.  You may have a higher tolerance for such roads, but I'd seriously consider skipping that part of the desert.

The more southerly stretches of 395 suffer from sections of little to no shoulder and some bad traffic, especially on weekends with loads of off-roaders and the like.  Keep that in mind.  If you can work out a route to pick it up farther north, you can have some very fine riding indeed and take a number of different routes to eventually pick up Hwy 50 and the Western Express.  Break out the maps again.  I 15 is just plain nasty.

Have a great tour!


Offline apennypermile

Los Angeles to Western Express/Trans-Am
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2008, 05:53:15 pm »
Actually this is an old question as I completed the ride last fall.  I ended up starting in Virginia to avoid August in Death Valley but, as a result, I ended up freezing my tookus off in Colorado in October!  

I rode I-15 from Cedar City to Las Vegas with no problems, averaging 20 mph after 38 days in the saddle (with two rest days.)  Two days rest in Vegas was followed by riding I-15 to Barstow with a couple of encounters with unappreciative and ill-informed highway patrol officers as I was on bike legal sections of interstate.  From Barstow I took Hwy 66 and then rode through (over) Los Angeles National Forest to LA (Hwy 2, I think it was.)  

Very heavy traffic, obviously, on the interstate and lots of debris resulting in numberous flats.  I wasn't concerned about the traffic as the shoulders were wide with rumble strips, actually the safest I felt the whole trip!  3400 miles in 42 days of riding.

Offline MrBent

Los Angeles to Western Express/Trans-Am
« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2008, 08:40:09 am »
Hey, Glad you made!  I understand about wide shoulders and rumble strips.  Still, for my taste, I'd go through Death Valley.  We actually rode to Las Vegas from our home in the southern Sierras and crossed DV and finally dropped into LV on Hwy 160.  We did that on Christmas day to avoid traffic--worked like a charm!

Keep on ridin.