Author Topic: TransAmerica 2012  (Read 15368 times)

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Offline webm8

TransAmerica 2012
« on: July 28, 2011, 09:42:00 am »
Hi there, just joined the group today as I'm starting to research the possibilities of doing the TransAmerica ride in 2012.  I'm guessing there is a huge resource of information on here somewhere?  I've read a few blogs and spoken to some guys who've done it in the past few years, they have provided some great information on their sites/blogs and in emails. 

I guess the first place to start is when best to do it, from what I've seen May or June is good, and I expect it to take around 3 months if I amble along enjoying the scenery.  I've found the maps for sale on the site here.  How did you guys start the process of?  Thanks

Simon in London

Offline indyfabz

Re: TransAmerica 2012
« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2011, 10:10:03 am »
Your direction (west to east or east to west) will likely affect your start date decision.

West-east too early and you might have to deal with snow, cold termperatures and closed passed. You may also mind yourself in the midwest and east during hotest portion of the summer. This summer it has routinely been 90-100+ degrees (F) with killer humidity up and down the mid-Atlantic region, which the TransAm passes through.

Personally, if I had the opportunity, I would go east to west starting in early to mid-May because I do not do well in extreme heat and humidity. I was on a portion of the TransAm route (heading east) a month ago (June 30th-July 2nd and then again on July 4th.) I met several people heading west who had started in mid to late-May. They said the timing worked out well.

Offline webm8

Re: TransAmerica 2012
« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2011, 11:08:49 am »
hi there, yes I think East to West is the best option, and the one most of the people I've came across so far seem to do.  I've seen the news reports and it looks rather hot!  We were in NY, Philly and DC (not cycling), at the end of June, early July for two weeks.  We were lucky it was not as hot as it has been recently, even having some heavy thunder storms out in Lancaster way.  That's something I've noticed too, lots of thunder storms that time of year.  Thanks

Offline Shane

Re: TransAmerica 2012
« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2011, 12:00:32 pm »
Hi Simon,

Here yet another trip blog for your to read ;D. The epilogue is a good read in my opinion :)

Have fun planning your trip, but dont plan too much, plans lead to expectations and expectations lead to disappointing. Just RIDE!

Shane

Offline webm8

Re: TransAmerica 2012
« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2011, 12:12:06 pm »
Thanks, your one?   I'm on this one at the moment:

http://cycleacrossamerica.co.uk/

Sounds like a good plan and that's something I want to do.  Get away from London and live a little. Although I'm not really a camping kinda guy, and am happy stay in motels and b&b's all the way.  Not really wanting to use panniers either, so trying to work out how I can do this.   ::)  odd request i know, but I just like that feeling of being free and light.  From the photo's on blogs, it looks amazing and I'm sure/hope I won't be disappointed.  Thanks Shane

Offline staehpj1

Re: TransAmerica 2012
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2011, 12:27:26 pm »
Thanks, your one?   I'm on this one at the moment:

http://cycleacrossamerica.co.uk/

Sounds like a good plan and that's something I want to do.  Get away from London and live a little. Although I'm not really a camping kinda guy, and am happy stay in motels and b&b's all the way.  Not really wanting to use panniers either, so trying to work out how I can do this.   ::)  odd request i know, but I just like that feeling of being free and light.  From the photo's on blogs, it looks amazing and I'm sure/hope I won't be disappointed.  Thanks Shane

My impression from my TA was that places to get a room were sometimes not conveniently spaced.  Others have managed though so it must be do-able.

Offline webm8

Re: TransAmerica 2012
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2011, 12:31:54 pm »
Hi there.  Yes that could be a problem and something I would have to look into more carefully once I get the maps and work out distances.  Expect more posts lol.  Is there a good resource section on here, maybe just follow in someone elses exact footsteps regarding distance and motels etc?  Really appreciate the help and advice.

Offline Shane

Re: TransAmerica 2012
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2011, 12:34:27 pm »
« Last Edit: July 28, 2011, 12:37:41 pm by Shane »

Offline webm8

Re: TransAmerica 2012
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2011, 12:38:29 pm »
cool thanks, will check that out next week when back home.  Looks like you get about!

Offline Fred Hiltz

Re: TransAmerica 2012
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2011, 01:03:42 pm »
Be sure to check out the wealth of very pertinent information in the How-To Department, linked from the home page at http://www.adventurecycling.org. With this background, you can ask about the less obvious things that come to mind.

Fred

Offline webm8

Re: TransAmerica 2012
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2011, 01:07:10 pm »
Cheers Fred

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: TransAmerica 2012
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2011, 02:01:43 pm »
Is there a good resource section on here, maybe just follow in someone elses exact footsteps regarding distance and motels etc?

Get the AC maps, and check out the addenda on-line.  They offer a great resource for planning, including exactly the motel and distance information you're looking for.

Many (most?) of us who've ridden it either carried some camping equipment, or had a support vehicle which could carry it.  We met a couple on the Northern Tier who'd planned their entire trip based on AC maps, with motel reservations for each and every night.  That's not a bad idea, especially in July and August in the west, as motels are few, far between, and often booked solid on weekends and in popular tourist locations.

There's a couple of spots on the TransAm I'd try to book really early, cross my fingers, and hope.  The first is the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone.  Book spots early in January, as they fill up fast.  The second is the stretch through Jeffrey City; there's no lodging between Rawlins and Lander, if the reports of the Jeffrey City motel closing are true, and it's about 120 miles.  If you hit a bad headwind, like we did, you're going to be hurting.  I'd recommend you plan on two nights either side of that stretch to rest up before and after that ride.

Offline staehpj1

Re: TransAmerica 2012
« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2011, 02:43:51 pm »
Is there a good resource section on here, maybe just follow in someone elses exact footsteps regarding distance and motels etc?

Get the AC maps, and check out the addenda on-line.  They offer a great resource for planning, including exactly the motel and distance information you're looking for.

Many (most?) of us who've ridden it either carried some camping equipment, or had a support vehicle which could carry it.  We met a couple on the Northern Tier who'd planned their entire trip based on AC maps, with motel reservations for each and every night.  That's not a bad idea, especially in July and August in the west, as motels are few, far between, and often booked solid on weekends and in popular tourist locations.

There's a couple of spots on the TransAm I'd try to book really early, cross my fingers, and hope.  The first is the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone.  Book spots early in January, as they fill up fast.  The second is the stretch through Jeffrey City; there's no lodging between Rawlins and Lander, if the reports of the Jeffrey City motel closing are true, and it's about 120 miles.  If you hit a bad headwind, like we did, you're going to be hurting.  I'd recommend you plan on two nights either side of that stretch to rest up before and after that ride.
I agree on the necessity for reservations and the difficulty getting them last minute in some places.  That said, having to plan daily destinations for all or even a major portion of the trip would be a definite bummer to me.  Different strokes though.

On the time to go...  There is a lot to be said for starting early in the East.  We started in June in the west and it was fine, but we would have had better weather going the other way and starting earlier in the season.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2011, 02:46:58 pm by staehpj1 »

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: TransAmerica 2012
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2011, 10:19:54 pm »
I agree on the necessity for reservations and the difficulty getting them last minute in some places.  That said, having to plan daily destinations for all or even a major portion of the trip would be a definite bummer to me.  Different strokes though.

Absolutely agree!  I think of the days we Just. Couldn't. Go. Any. Farther. and think of what it would be like to have to keep going, or make it up the next day, to keep all the rest of the reservations valid.  Rain, wind, bad food -- doesn't matter, got to keep going.  (One of the reasons preplanned supported trips don't have much appeal over a week or two for me.)  Recommend the OP carefully consider the profiles while planning -- 60 miles in eastern Kentucky is a lot harder, and feels a lot longer, than 60 miles in Kansas.

OTOH, the lady I alluded to who did that pre-planned trip was lightly loaded.  She mentioned she and her husband figured they could go up to 50% farther every day, which allowed them to fit their cross-country trip into a limited time.

Offline cdavey

Re: TransAmerica 2012
« Reply #14 on: July 29, 2011, 11:28:58 pm »
webm8 -- you might also check out this journal by Marilyn Hedges and her husband Mike Sorenson on their TA trip in 2001. It was the first bike journal I ever read, and it still remains for me the best one I have ever read. There may not be a lot of overt literal nuts and bolts advice (though nuts and bolts are there at least by implication), but it will give you an excellent sense of what this trip will be/should be about for you.

http://www.biketrip2001.com/