Author Topic: Transamerica - First timers need help  (Read 2198 times)

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Offline Papa6k

Transamerica - First timers need help
« on: April 12, 2010, 11:43:37 pm »
My wife and I are going to do our first long distance ride from Denver, CO to Plymouth, IN in June.  Looking through previous postings I think I have a good route from Colorado Springs to Pueblo where we will pick up the Trans America.  We plan to ride it through most of MO.  I would like to start heading northeast through St. Louis and IL so that we end up hitting IN near its northern border.  Any suggestions - especially for the east end of our trip through IL?

Offline MrBent

Re: Transamerica - First timers need help
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2010, 08:47:15 pm »
The one option I know of that you might consider would be to hook up with the Katy Trail, a nice, 230 miles of car free riding across the heart of MO.  I can't think of a better way to do that state.

Scott

Offline Papa6k

Re: Transamerica - First timers need help
« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2010, 10:40:00 pm »
Thanks, Scott.  I was considering the Katy Trail, but then I read several post about how many flat tires people had due to thorns from trees and the limestone base being washed out or hard to navigate on smaller tires.  Should we not be worried about that? 

Offline Blackbear

Re: Transamerica - First timers need help
« Reply #3 on: April 29, 2010, 10:44:43 am »
Papa6K:  I've done the Katy many times.  I had problems with flats and the thorns only on the September ride. All other times my rode bike did well.  Blackbear

Offline staehpj1

Re: Transamerica - First timers need help
« Reply #4 on: April 29, 2010, 03:41:38 pm »
Thanks, Scott.  I was considering the Katy Trail, but then I read several post about how many flat tires people had due to thorns from trees and the limestone base being washed out or hard to navigate on smaller tires.  Should we not be worried about that? 
I haven't ridden the Katy so I can't add any Katy specific info.  That said I will say this...  It depends on whether you personally would enjoy the Katy more than riding on the roads.  Personally I avoid bike routes especially unpaved ones.  If road touring I'd rather ride the roads.  Some people love trails like the Katy.

It looks like the Katy is a reasonable options if you like that kind of riding.  Otherwise stay on the Trans America until Chester, IL (home of Pop Eye).  BTW, other than the fact that it was over 100F when we were there, we enjoyed stopping for a while in Chester IL.

Offline roadrunner

Re: Transamerica - First timers need help
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2010, 10:36:28 pm »
I would recommend riding theKaty Trail to cross Missouri for several reasons.  A prime one is to avoid the never-ending short, steep hills that cover most of the state; surveys of some TransAm riders have rated Missouri as the toughest part of the route.  Also I found the Katy scenic, and and it's relaxing -- not having to deal with traffic and being able to communicate easily with other trail users.  The trail can get somewhat soft after rains and, when dry, will leave your bike dusty, but it's a great ride.  What ever way you get to the St. Louis area, you might want to take the Great River Road along the Mississippi north from there to about mid-Illinois, then head to your destination.  Southern Illinois is also very hilly.

Offline DU

Re: Transamerica - First timers need help
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2010, 12:07:11 am »
You can get bicycle maps for Illinois from the Illinois DOT. Here's the link.

http://www.dot.state.il.us/bikemap/STATE.HTML

You would probably only have to buy 2 or 3 of the Illinois maps and then use them to connect with the Northern Tier section 8, which passes through Illinois and Indiana, and could get you to about 30-35 miles south of Plymouth.

Offline Ryo69

Re: Transamerica - First timers need help
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2010, 10:25:13 am »
The Route 66 Trail through Illinois will take you from St. Louis to Chicago.

http://www.bikelib.org/maps-and-rides/route-guides/route-66-trail/

If you didn't want to ride through the city, you could break the trail around Dwight or Wilmington, IL and head east from there.

If you choose to take this route, let me know how it is.  This looks to be the first official tour that I plan to take.

Offline Papa6k

Re: Transamerica - First timers need help
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2010, 09:53:09 pm »
Thanks to everyone who has responded to our post.  We are about ready to begin our ride.  We are driving from Plymouth to Denver on May 27th.  My wife will run in the Boulder Bolder run on Memorial Day and then we will start our ride.  The weather and winds have really affected our training this Spring.  I guess we will work ourselves into shape during the ride.  We have a blog at www.spokinhome.com if anyone wants to keep up with us.  Our plan is to post each day, or at least everyday that we can get Internet Access.  If you are along the route and see two 60 ish grandparents riding along the road give us a wave. :)