Author Topic: Western Express - Nevada & Utah  (Read 4106 times)

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Offline Bicycle Rider

Western Express - Nevada & Utah
« on: August 31, 2011, 04:05:42 pm »
I haven't exactly gotten an overabundance of help with my other queries, but since this is about an actual A.C.A. route, maybe I'll get lucky this time. :)

My question is about the Western Express Route (west to east) particularly the regions listed above which are described by the map pages in the A.C.A. web site as very remote, with few if any resources. Is it even possible to do this route on a self contained (no sag) tour? Has anyone done it? What recommendations do you have, aside from extra water and/or a water filter?

I'm not really looking forward to attempting a fully packed tour de force series of 100+ mile days (40-60 would be more my style).
May you always have the winds at your back, and a low enough gear for the grades

Offline John Nettles

Re: Western Express - Nevada & Utah
« Reply #1 on: August 31, 2011, 04:31:26 pm »
I would suggest you go over to CrazyGuyOnABike and review this list of journals which go on all or part of the Western Express http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/categories/?o=1r4vFZo&category_id=201&doctype=journal.  You will probably have your question answered.
Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!
John

Offline John Nelson

Re: Western Express - Nevada & Utah
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2011, 04:38:27 pm »
www.crazyguyonabike.com houses 95 journals that use all or part of the Western Express. Not all of them have the same parameters as yours, but here's one that looks close.

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/goeastyoungman

I'm sure you can find others. They will give you an idea of different itineraries that have worked (or not worked).

Offline Bicycle Rider

Re: Western Express - Nevada & Utah
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2011, 06:22:09 pm »
Thanks, I will certainly check it out! :)
(Nobody in the A.C.A. forums has done this A.C.A. route? :-[)
May you always have the winds at your back, and a low enough gear for the grades

Offline aggie

Re: Western Express - Nevada & Utah
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2011, 06:31:17 pm »
The ACA Maps are pretty accurate when it comes to availability of water on this route.  It is doable if you bring enough water.  If you decide to stay on hwy 50 instead of taking the old 50 route (hwy 722) you can get water at Cold Springs.  There used to be a store there (it burned down a few years back) but there is a "motel" still there and they were supposed to rebuild the store.  The advantage of this route is that there is less climbing than the 722.  You should be able to do it in 40 to 60 mile segments.  

Offline John Nettles

Re: Western Express - Nevada & Utah
« Reply #5 on: August 31, 2011, 06:42:16 pm »
(Nobody in the A.C.A. forums has done this A.C.A. route? :-[)
[/quote]

While I have done many ACA routes, I have not done this one.  You will find that many more touring cyclists use CrazyGuy.  It seems that people new to touring come here first and then migrate to CrazyGuy for some reason.
Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!
John

Offline tsteven4

Re: Western Express - Nevada & Utah
« Reply #6 on: August 31, 2011, 08:05:19 pm »
It can be done self supported, we did it in July 2003.  Count on some 85 mile days.  I would recommend carrying water as opposed to filtering it.  I recall days with no apparent natural water sources and no human settlements between towns that were ~85 miles apart.  Our strategy was to ride very early, rolling between 3am and 5am and try to finish by noon.  It hit 115 degrees at Hite, UT.  A better strategy would be to avoid July and August.  I only recall one campground on the route in Nevada east of Fallon, and while you could probably stay just about anywhere, carrying enough water for an overnight would be a daunting task.  In Nevada we stayed in motels which generally had AC, slept in the afternoon, woke up for dinner, and then slept some more.  Most motels are quite reasonable in Nevada.  We carried up to 2 gallons of water each which was sufficient.  Most cyclist we met had run out of water.  You should be self sufficient, some of the roads, e.g. between Milford and Baker, have very little traffic and other cyclist told us most people wouldn't stop.

It is a very beautiful route, we enjoyed it immensely.

Offline Bicycle Rider

Re: Western Express - Nevada & Utah
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2011, 09:26:49 pm »
That is excellent, thank you guys (and gals, if applicable, it's kinda hard to tell with screen names). Yeah, I am currently looking for a larger set of panniers than what I have now, preferably ones which have pockets well designed/situated for carrying extra water jugs. I plan to be hitting this section in the beginning of June, so if climatological changes don't go to rampant by then hopefully it won't be too hot. And yes, I've read about the wild weather swings on some of the journals, and I have ridden mountains/high desert before, many times. ;D
May you always have the winds at your back, and a low enough gear for the grades

Offline aggie

Re: Western Express - Nevada & Utah
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2011, 09:40:23 pm »
In Nevada there are two forest service campgrounds (primitive).  One is at Bob Scott Summit just east of Austin and one at Hickison Summit which is a little further east of Austin.  Neither have water and as was previously mentioned running water you can filter is not easily found.  I've ridden the Nevada portion 8 times so I can say it is doable with plenty of water.  I've only driven the Utah portion so can really comment on the ride other than to say its a long way between services.

Offline cgarch

Re: Western Express - Nevada & Utah
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2011, 01:55:04 pm »
Here are two journals well worth a good look. Both are experienced cyclists with a good approach.
http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=RrzKj&doc_id=6385&v=2S
http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?o=RrzKj&doc_id=7318&v=1V0

Craig

Offline rabbitoh

Re: Western Express - Nevada & Utah
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2011, 06:58:05 pm »
And another couple of useful journals from GCOAB

 http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/SFtoPhilly

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/2137

Regards

Dennis
Good Cycling
Dennis

Offline Bicycle Rider

Re: Western Express - Nevada & Utah
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2011, 06:39:35 pm »
(Nobody in the A.C.A. forums has done this A.C.A. route? :-[)

While I have done many ACA routes, I have not done this one.  You will find that many more touring cyclists use CrazyGuy.  It seems that people new to touring come here first and then migrate to CrazyGuy for some reason.[/quote]

I think you just answered your own question. ;D
May you always have the winds at your back, and a low enough gear for the grades

Offline MrBent

Re: Western Express - Nevada & Utah
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2011, 08:55:40 pm »
Although not related to the remote sections, we found the stretch between the base of the Sierras and Placerville to be unacceptable for touring: Way, WAY too much traffic, steep, slow hills, poor sight lines, etc.  I haven't got it mapped out, but on one trip over the Sierras we stayed on 88 a bit past Mormon Immigrant Trail (snowed in) and dropped down to Fiddle Town via, I think, Shake Ridge Rd.  You should be able to find it on Google maps.  Do some research, and you'll find a very nice alternate leading south out of Folsom and then up into the mountains.  We did it heading west.  This alternate is MUCH better.  For what it's worth, others have complained about this section of the Western Express, too.

Have a great time!  Do your best to avoid mid-summer.

Scott

Offline Bicycle Rider

Re: Western Express - Nevada & Utah
« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2011, 09:38:37 pm »
Although not related to the remote sections, we found the stretch between the base of the Sierras and Placerville to be unacceptable for touring: Way, WAY too much traffic, steep, slow hills, poor sight lines, etc.  I haven't got it mapped out, but on one trip over the Sierras we stayed on 88 a bit past Mormon Immigrant Trail (snowed in) and dropped down to Fiddle Town via, I think, Shake Ridge Rd.  You should be able to find it on Google maps.  Do some research, and you'll find a very nice alternate leading south out of Folsom and then up into the mountains.  We did it heading west.  This alternate is MUCH better.  For what it's worth, others have complained about this section of the Western Express, too.

Scott

I won't even be using the portion you mentioned, I will be accessing it via the Sierra Cascades route through Yosemite/Mono Lake to where it connects to the W.E. and heading east from there. Unfortunately, time constraints dictate that i will likely reach that point around the beginning of June. :-\

May you always have the winds at your back, and a low enough gear for the grades

Offline jamawani

Re: Western Express - Nevada & Utah
« Reply #14 on: October 04, 2011, 10:45:00 pm »
B.R. -

So you are saying that you will be crossing Tioga Pass in early June -
Then heading across Nevada - most likely on US 6, eh?

Here was my route - at Crazyguy
http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/page/?o=1r4vFZo&page_id=26313&v=RE
(I took the route via Rachel and Caliente from Warm Springs.)

Notice that I had to take the long way around -
Because Tioga Pass often is closed until mid June.

BTW - coming into Yosemite from the West -
Hwy 140 is WAY, WAY better than Hwy 120.

Hwy 120 east of Yosemite and US 6 in Nevada are really nice.
They are even more remote than US 50.

You can get a minimum of food & water at Benton.
Tonopah has most services.
Then there is no developed areas until Ely.

You can usually beg water at the closed motel at Montgomery Pass.
There is a rest area with water 7 miles west of Tonopah.
There is a rest area without water 30 miles east of Tonopah.
(If you hand out long enough you can beg water from someone pulling in.)
Warm Springs is an abandoned bar/pool. Begging of water possible.
The Blue Jay Highway Maintenance Station - 15 miles east of WSarm Springs has water.
There's a funky, tiny store - the man is a tough sister - at Lockes.
Bar/cafe at Currant - sometimes there is someone home in the trailer behind it for H2O.
Lund is well off the route - but does have a little store.

I rec staying in old downtown Ely at the Hotel Nevada rather than out on the strip.
Course, you can always camp in the national forest above town and ride in the next a.m.

J