Author Topic: NYC to SF - Best route over the rockies?  (Read 3628 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline laminico

NYC to SF - Best route over the rockies?
« on: May 31, 2009, 11:51:59 pm »
Hi, I am a week away from starting my ride from NYC to San Francisco. I plan to head for the Niagara Falls, then Detroit, and move onto the plains of the mid-west. My concern is more about the Rocky mountains. I'm looking for an "easy" and rather safe route towards San Francisco, presumably from either Denver or Salt Lake City. Any idea or advice?

-- Nicolas

Offline staehpj1

Re: NYC to SF - Best route over the rockies?
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2009, 02:35:48 pm »
In general most routes over the Rockies are not all that bad.  We found the Rockies to be a very pleasant part of our TransAmerica and found the Appalachians much harder.  The grades in the west tend to be long, but not terribly steep.  That and the fact that by the time you get there you will have ridden yourself into shape if you weren't already.  Bottom line...  I would just pick a fairly standard route like the Western Express.  I have not done the Western Express so I can't comment specifically.

Offline litespeed

Re: NYC to SF - Best route over the rockies?
« Reply #2 on: June 03, 2009, 08:33:05 pm »
staehpj1 Is right. By the time you get to the Rockies you will be in fine shape to make the long 6-8 degree climbs. The only way to really avoid climbs out west is to do the Hiawatha Trail on the Idaho-Montana border (tunnel under the divide) but that is way north of your route. Also you can go way south across southern New Mexico and Arizona. No appreciable climbing there. You might also make sure to avoid the Big Horn Mountains in northern Wyoming. Killer climbs there.

Offline whittierider

Re: NYC to SF - Best route over the rockies?
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2009, 02:55:35 am »
Quote
you will be in fine shape to make the long 6-8 degree climbs.

er, make that 6-8%.  6-8 degrees is 10.5 to 14%.  I understand they hold the grades down to about 6% in Colorado because they don't want cars sliding off in the ice.  You'll find plenty of steeper ones in California if you don't stick to main highways.

Offline litespeed

Re: NYC to SF - Best route over the rockies?
« Reply #4 on: June 04, 2009, 10:08:51 am »
You might be right but I had always assumed that a gradient expressed in percentages was a percent of 90 degrees (vertical). So, for example, a 6% gradient would be about the same - 5.4 degrees. My brother, a very smart patent attorney, agrees with me although he's not dead certain. If we are wrong I'd be happy to have the learning experience.

Offline staehpj1

Re: NYC to SF - Best route over the rockies?
« Reply #5 on: June 04, 2009, 10:35:00 am »
%grade=100* rise/run

So climbing at 45 degrees is 100%.  Seems weird, but that is how it is calculated as far as I know.

Edit:
Check out http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grade_(slope) for clarification if that doesn't make sense.

Offline litespeed

Re: NYC to SF - Best route over the rockies?
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2009, 01:42:34 pm »
I get it. Live and learn. It's 100 x rise/run. I knew about the angle measurement and the roofer's method (3 in 12, etc.) but never really knew this. Many thanks. 

Offline aggie

Re: NYC to SF - Best route over the rockies?
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2009, 10:43:59 am »
The Western Express Route from Baker, NV to Carson, NV is a good ride.  The road is good and there is light traffic.  The people in the towns along the route are friendly and helpful.  However, between towns there isn't much in the way of supplies.  In some cases you may have to travel about 70 miles between water stops.  The store at Cold Springs burned down a couple of years ago and I don't know if they have or are going to rebuild it.  This road is know as the "Loneliest Hwy".  It has more traffic now but it is still pretty light.   Traffic picks up between Fallon and Carson.

Offline klofton11

Re: NYC to SF - Best route over the rockies?
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2009, 03:30:05 pm »
staehpj1 Is right. By the time you get to the Rockies you will be in fine shape to make the long 6-8 degree climbs. The only way to really avoid climbs out west is to do the Hiawatha Trail on the Idaho-Montana border (tunnel under the divide) but that is way north of your route. Also you can go way south across southern New Mexico and Arizona. No appreciable climbing there. You might also make sure to avoid the New York City Luxury Hotels. They're super expensive.

I agree with staehpj1. The hills in the rockies are not that bad and by the time you get there you will be so strong and in such good shape. Don't worry about the altitude either. It does effect you, but if you're already in incredible shape it wont be a big deal. Good luck!

Jeff Madden
New York City Pet Friendly Hotels -Assistant Manager