Author Topic: TRANSAMERICA should start on the Atlantic!  (Read 2465 times)

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Offline 1waytimemachine

TRANSAMERICA should start on the Atlantic!
« on: February 03, 2010, 10:29:47 pm »
I am curious why the TransAm starts in Yorktown,VA, which borders the Chesapeake Bay and so does not begin on the Atlantic Ocean.  I know this is perhaps a trivial point, however one of the rewards of biking the TransAm is going coast to coast, touching your tires in both oceans.  I have biked from VA Beach to Yorktown, and biking through Norfolk was terrible. We got a flat within 15 minutes from some broken glass. What do you all think?  Does it frustrate anyone else that the TransAm does not start right on the Atlantic? Are there any established bike routes to connect Yorktown with the Atlantic?

-EP
 

Offline Fred Hiltz

Re: TRANSAMERICA should start on the Atlantic!
« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2010, 07:23:21 am »
... I have biked from VA Beach to Yorktown, and biking through Norfolk was terrible...
I suspect that you have answered your own question. I do not know a way through there that I would recommend to the public. Does anyone else? Inquiring minds want to know.

Fred

Offline dubovsmj

Re: TRANSAMERICA should start on the Atlantic!
« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2010, 07:38:53 am »
if you're desperate for atlantic ocean then hitch ride across chesapeake bay bridge and the ocean will be more within reach of pedal, so to speak...

but, i think you'll find after a xc tour or two that it's not necessarily if you reach ocean to ocean, but rather everything inbetween.

just my opinion.

Offline indyfabz

Re: TRANSAMERICA should start on the Atlantic!
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2010, 10:01:18 am »
"Does it frustrate anyone else that the TransAm does not start right on the Atlantic?"

Doesn't frustrate me just as Seattle-Bar Harbor didn't frustrate me because I didn't go ocean to ocean.  Never thought of the whole dipping the wheel thing as a reward.  Like someone wrote, it's everything in between.

Offline staehpj1

Re: TRANSAMERICA should start on the Atlantic!
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2010, 11:08:35 am »
For that section we started with a ferry ride on the free Jamestown Scotland Ferry, and rode the nice rural Virginia roads until we got to Portsmouth. Some of the ride through Portsmouth was kind of seedy, but OK.

We rode the Elizabeth River Ferry across to Norfolk and proceeded through downtown Norfolk toward Virginia Beach. It was getting dark by then. Traffic was heavy, but if we were not heading for one of my companion's homes we could have skirted the busy areas by going further south.

In the morning we rode to Sandbridge on a lovely route that went to the south of the developed areas.  There isn't much at sand Bridge though.

Actually we did all that at a later date though.

Offline scott.laughlin

Re: TRANSAMERICA should start on the Atlantic!
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2010, 02:53:12 pm »
if you're desperate for atlantic ocean then hitch ride across chesapeake bay bridge and the ocean will be more within reach of pedal, so to speak...

but, i think you'll find after a xc tour or two that it's not necessarily if you reach ocean to ocean, but rather everything inbetween.

just my opinion.

This is a great response.

Offline 1waytimemachine

Re: TRANSAMERICA should start on the Atlantic!
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2010, 07:36:50 pm »
Thanks staehpj1, those are some useful directions. My group also took the Jamestown Ferry  across the James River, a fun ride.  It appears that for a lot of people the details of the end locations are insignificant. I agree that the end points are a tiny fraction of the overall journey and time spent in between defines the trip.  However, I enjoyed the symbolic significance of going from ocean to ocean. I also believe it could make the TransAm a more complete route.

Offline CMajernik

Re: TRANSAMERICA should start on the Atlantic!
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2010, 10:25:15 am »
I contacted Lys Burden, the principal designer of the TransAm Trail back in the mid-1970s. Here's what she has to say:
The TransAm Trail was launched as a bicentennial project and focused on history as much as geography and suitable backroads for bicycling. The original west coast teminus was Reedsport, Oregon, but the trail was extended to the north to end at Astoria, to include, celebrate and honor the end point of Lewis and Clark's expedition. We looked for an equally historically significant and "off-the-beaten-path" place for the east coast terminus, and the historic triangle of Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown seemed like the perfect place. We also had to factor in the total length of the trail, as we were trying to keep it in the vicinity of 4,000 miles. We reasoned that if it became too long, cyclists would not be able to complete it during a "summer vacation" time period.
 
Also as the route approached the east coast there were not too many viable options to find a good, continuous route of backroads all the way to the Atlantic Ocean. We had to make regional decisions as far west as the Cumberland Plateau in Kentucky. We decided to cross the Appalachians at a narrow spot and take the trail parallel to the trend of the mountains to the north through Charlottesville (to include Thomas Jefferson's home at Monticello) and make an expedited crossing of the piedmont. To make a bee-line for the Atlantic, the trail would have to head straight east from Blacksburg, Virginia, through an endless expanse of piedmont hills, with not too many noteworthy or historic places... to end somewhere near Virginia Beach.
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
www.adventurecycling.org

Follow Routes & Mapping on Twitter: @acaroutes

Offline briwasson

Re: TRANSAMERICA should start on the Atlantic!
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2010, 10:30:16 am »
As a Philadelphia, Pa. native, I've always been amazed that the bicentennial trail did not include Philadelphia in some way, given it's significant role in the founding of the USA. Yorktown was significant, too, but not until well after 1776.