Author Topic: Transamerica general questions  (Read 2722 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline JoeZ

Transamerica general questions
« on: January 13, 2010, 03:19:28 pm »
Hi fellow cyclists!

I am a fairly experienced cyclist and plan to tackle the TA this year either April-May (E-W) or July-August (W-E) Astoria to St. Augustine. I never did long distance cycling, but ride about 150-200 miles per week. I plan to use ACA's TA, Underground RR and Southern Tier maps and have a few general questions to those of you who have experience with the TA

1. You think July-August will be too hot to go W-E?
2. You think April-May will be too cold for the western portions going E-W?
3. Is the information on ACA's maps accurate in terms of lodging, campgrounds, convenient stores and bike shops?
4. Any problematic areas on the TA in reference to getting enough food and water between segments? (I plan on 70-100 mpd)

I really appreciate your input and thank you in advance for your replies
JoeZ

Offline John Nelson

Re: Transamerica general questions
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2010, 03:31:01 pm »
1. There's no such thing as too hot. Temperatures over 100 F can occur in any of the summer months, and you can bike through it anyway.

2. There's no such thing as too cold, as long as you dress for it. There is, however, such a thing as too slick and too closed. If you're intending to cross the Rockies or the Cascades in May, you're going to need a lot of luck, probably too much luck.

3. Assuming you pull the addenda, it's as accurate as they can make it. However, you always risk the restaurant or motel that closed yesterday. It seems to occur more often than you would think.

4. There are always a few segments where you might go 60 miles or more without services. You will be aware of those segment ahead of time, and you can carry more food and water.

Have you added up the total distance of the route you are planning? Can you really do it in six months? Are April-May and July-August the only two windows you have available? I.e., is June out of the picture?

Offline JoeZ

Re: Transamerica general questions
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2010, 04:16:54 pm »
Thanks for the quick reply, John!
Yes, unfortunately June is not possible. I am pretty sure I'll go July-August starting in Portland, OR to St. Augustine, FL. Going by the ACA maps, I come to a rough total of 4750 miles, and if I divide that by 60 days I'll have a daily average of about 80 miles, which does sound doable. I know that there will be rest days, some days with more and some with less miles. However, I am confident that 8-9 weeks should be enough. What do you think?
Joe

Offline Tourista829

Re: Transamerica general questions
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2010, 04:24:52 pm »
You are taking an ambitious route. It should be an exciting trip. I beg to differ with Mr. Nelson. I believe your trip should be enjoyable not boot camp. Based on the route you are taking, I would do July/August. Once you get to the Southern Tier, I would be worried about heat, thunderstorms and mid day winds. I would start very early and plan to be done by 12 or 1pm. Any additional mileage is a bonus. That way you will avoid most of the heat and the afternoon t-storms. The ACO maps are pretty good but I would check ACO site to see if there are any updates. Unfortunately, I have never taken, your proposed route, sorry I can't help you there. I think 80 miles a day is ambitious. I would give yourself an extra cushion, in case you run into problems along your route and you don't feel rushed. I would also make sure you know enough maintenance and supplies to be able to handle most emergency. Good luck and have fun :)

Offline JoeZ

Re: Transamerica general questions
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2010, 04:41:16 pm »
Thank you! I am from Florida and used to T-storms, so I know how to handle them.
JoeZ

Offline indyfabz

Re: Transamerica general questions
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2010, 11:10:00 am »
One way to look at it:  4,750 miles.  Maximum of 63 days (9 weeks).  To average about 80 miles/day (79.16) would mean only 3 rest days, which is one every 21 days on average.  That's an average of 560 miles/week for 3 weeks--non-stop and then one day off.  Repeat.  Repeat.  IMO, that's very agressive.  With such a high daily average, having to take an unscheduled day off for something like horrible weather conditions, sickness or mechanical trouble will require more effort to get back on schedule that would be required with a lower average.  But if that's what it has to be, you feel you are capable of it AND you feel you would enjoy it, I say go for it.

Offline tonythomson

Re: Transamerica general questions
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2010, 12:36:31 pm »
I have to echo the others and that this is really ambitious never the less good luck but don't be down hearted if you are not able to complete it. It will still be a great experience.  You don't say if you are hauling all your own gear.

To ensure that I have fuller info I plot the ACA route onto Google Earth which will give you other lodgings in the area plus sometimes there are more direct routes you can see if needing to make up some time.

I always only use ACA as a guide nd feel you need more info and a wider view.

Good luck.
Just starting to record my trips  www.tonystravels.com

Offline staehpj1

Re: Transamerica general questions
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2010, 07:02:56 pm »
One way to look at it:  4,750 miles.  Maximum of 63 days (9 weeks).  To average about 80 miles/day (79.16) would mean only 3 rest days, which is one every 21 days on average. 

I always include the rest days, if any, in the average, don't most folks?  That said I don't usually take rest days at all unless I am either sick or have something interesting planned that will take all day.

Personally I prefer to just take a short or half day once in a while and skip the rest days.  Skipping rest days may not be for everyone, but I don't see the attraction to sitting in camp or worse yet in a motel room watching TV.  On the TA we never stayed the same place twice.  The day we went WW rafting we only went 8 miles and the day Lauren was injured in an accident we actually stayed a few miles back from our start for the day.  I think we rode 12 miles before she crashed, but I wound up riding 40 miles that day any way.

I'm not saying that is for everyone, but I recommend trying it.  Just don't ride so many miles that you need a full day off.  I think I make better mileage on average that way and find it pleasant.

Offline DU

Re: Transamerica general questions
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2010, 10:04:42 am »
I don't include rest days in my average. I always have some food or snacks with me just in case there are none available. Overall the maps are great but you will get a few surprises: some places out of business, some new businesses not yet listed, and some that are for some reason closed on the day you pass by. There are several stretches on the Transam in the west with limited services so you just need to be aware of what is ahead of you. I sometimes carried extra water and/or gatorade with me.

It may be more mental than physical but since I average 55-60 miles/day on tour I like to have trained sufficiently to ride that far at home before I start. With the amount of riding you do and your ability to do long days you should be fine but you don't have much margin for error.

Offline John Nettles

Re: Transamerica general questions
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2010, 12:33:10 pm »
Quote
I always include the rest days, if any, in the average, don't most folks? 

I almost always say I rode "X" miles per riding day.  I prefer to say per riding day as some people take a day off every other day it seems while others never take a day off.
Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!
John

Offline staehpj1

Re: Transamerica general questions
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2010, 05:55:31 pm »
Quote
I always include the rest days, if any, in the average, don't most folks? 

I almost always say I rode "X" miles per riding day.  I prefer to say per riding day as some people take a day off every other day it seems while others never take a day off.
That makes sense, but I don't do it that way myself for two reasons...
Reason 1, the main reason I think about average daily mileage is to figure out how many days I need for a trip.
Reason 2, I prefer to take partial days off rather than full rest days.

In any case it is probably a good idea to qualify it with a statement like your's ("I rode "X" miles per riding day").  I try to remember to specify total days.