Author Topic: West to east, or east to west on the TransAm?  (Read 986 times)

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Offline ward&sallie

West to east, or east to west on the TransAm?
« on: January 11, 2010, 08:00:34 pm »
My wife and I are riding the TransAm route this summer, but we are struggling with which direction to go. W to E, we start in June. E to W, and we are planning a mid May departure.  But, we are open to advice. Thanks

Offline John Nelson

« Last Edit: January 11, 2010, 08:41:20 pm by John Nelson »

Offline staehpj1

Re: West to east, or east to west on the TransAm?
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2010, 05:22:36 am »
My wife and I are riding the TransAm route this summer, but we are struggling with which direction to go. W to E, we start in June. E to W, and we are planning a mid May departure.  But, we are open to advice. Thanks

I am confused.  Are you starting in mid May or June?  Mid may and maybe even early June are kind of early for W-E, with a good chance of snow in the Cascades and Rockies and maybe some passes still closed.  McKenzie Pass in particular might be closed as late as July some years, but Santiam Pass is an alternate for it.

There are a bunch of reasons to go either way, but for an early start E-W will have better weather.  Later in the season W-E starts to be better weather wise.

A few things to consider:
  • Wind - Contrary to popular belief you will usually have more trouble with the wind when riding W-E on the TA.  The Summer winds in Eastern Colorado and Kansas (the part of the trip where the wind matters most) tend to be out of the SE and that is the way the TA goes there.  So if someone tells you about "prevailing westerlies" don't listen.
  • Sun - Do you want the sun in your eyes in the morning or evening?
  • Climbing - Surprisingly the hardest climbing of the trip is in Virginia.  I kind of prefer to do it after I am road hardened a bit.
  • History - Do you want to follow the historic move west?
  • Air Travel - If you live near one end or the other, it is nice to get air travel out of the way up front.  Also it was nice to have family and friends meet us at the end.
  • Scenery - Do you want to save some part for last?
  • The best way to miss the cold in the Rockies and heat and humidity in the SE is to either go E-W early in the season or W-E late in the season.
  • It is harder to back out if you start far from home.  I like the commitment of that.

In the end either way is fine though.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2010, 05:26:05 am by staehpj1 »