Adventure Cycling Association Forum

Bicycle Travel => Routes => Topic started by: Oscar's dad on November 15, 2021, 12:37:41 pm

 
Title: Brit riding across the US
Post by: Oscar's dad on November 15, 2021, 12:37:41 pm
Just an idle enquiry at the moment...

I'm a Brit thinking of riding across America, perhaps in 2023.  I fancy  Route 66 (https://www.adventurecycling.org/routes-and-maps/adventure-cycling-route-network/bicycle-route-66/) from west to east then Adventure Cycling's Chicago to New York route  (https://www.adventurecycling.org/routes-and-maps/adventure-cycling-route-network/chicago-to-new-york-city-route/).

The provisional, very loose plan is that I'd take 4 months starting in May and my wife would fly out a couple of times to meet me so in total I'd probably have 4 weeks off the bike during the 4 months.  As I said, the plan is very loose at the moment.

Does anyone have any thoughts, experience, ideas, suggestions?  Thanks in advance  :-*
Title: Re: Brit riding across the US
Post by: HikeBikeCook on November 15, 2021, 01:18:46 pm
I am sure others who have ridden that route will provide more information, but from everything I have read the RT 66 route has pretty limited services in spots. If you are riding alone you will be a lot more "alone" than riding something like the TransAm Route.

Have you looked at journals on Crazy Guy on a Bike? https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/search/?main_type=all&query=Route+66 (https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/search/?main_type=all&query=Route+66)
Title: Re: Brit riding across the US
Post by: jamawani on November 15, 2021, 08:29:37 pm
OD -

One of the challenges of Bike Route 66 is the Mojave Desert.
Not only are there practically zero services between Barstow and Needles, California,
but the average May temperature is already 95F/35C.
Which for a Brit is pretty darn hot. (Birmingham is 61F/ 16C.)

You also have a good deal of urban riding:
Los Angeles, Albuquerque, Amarillo, Oklahoma City,
Tulsa, Springfield, MO, St. Louis, Springfield, IL & Chicago.

Finally, US 66 doesn't exist any more.
There are a few excellent, remote sections in California & Arizona,
But the vast majority of the route has been overlaid by Interstate highways.
Particularly in the West, right on top of the old road -
so you must ride on a busy Interstate. (On the paved shoulder)
Other places you are on a service road right next to the Interstate.

There are more scenic, less trafficked options out there.

Title: Re: Brit riding across the US
Post by: John Nelson on November 15, 2021, 08:34:16 pm
RT 66 route has pretty limited services in spots. If you are riding alone you will be a lot more "alone" than riding something like the TransAm Route.

Yes, Route 66 has limited services in spots, but so does every other route, including the TransAm. I wouldn’t let this be the deciding factor.

Route 66 does have the additional challenge of the Mojave Desert. I personally enjoyed that challenge, but you will want to be careful about what time of year you do it, especially if you don’t tolerate extreme heat well.

If you fancy enjoying the company of other cyclists, nothing beats the TransAm. I’m a huge fan of the TransAm, especially for first timers, but I know that many Europeans love the romance of Route 66. Most people doing Route 66, whether on a bike or in a car, are not Americans. Many Europeans are fascinated by the American Southwest.

Route 66 offers an interesting collection of vintage motels, bridges, gas stations and general weirdness. TransAm offers the best of the charm of small town America and the kindness of strangers. And the TransAm gives you Yellowstone National Park.
Title: Re: Brit riding across the US
Post by: jsc on November 15, 2021, 11:33:47 pm
My brother and I are also talking seriously about a west-to-east coast-to-coast ride in spiring/summer of 2023, the year I turn 70.   I've started calling it the Friends and Family Tour, since the original thought was to string together parts of several different ACA routes to go from southern California to the coast of Maine, taking some days off at stops in Mesa (AZ), Albuquerque, Amarillo, Oklahoma City, Joplin, St. Louis, Chicago, Fremont (OH), Fredonia (NY), Camden (ME), and other places where I have children, cousins, friends, wife, aunts, and the like.  I've gone so far as to buy a stack of maps from ACA and start creating the route in Ride With GPS. Exact timing at this point is uncertain (I don't want too much cold at the start, but I also want to miss the heat as summer comes on farther east), as is the starting point (if Santa Monica then so long Mesa), but I'm psyched about it. I'm not too concerned about spotty services in places. I often take long rides on my road bike in the hot Oklahoma summer (60-80 miles with maybe one stop to top off the water supply.  If I have to I'll strap on a 3-liter Camelbak until civilization starts to get a little denser farther east. I'd be happy to share ideas with you, Oscars dad.
Title: Re: Brit riding across the US
Post by: Oscar's dad on November 16, 2021, 01:53:19 am
My brother and I are also talking seriously about a west-to-east coast-to-coast ride in spiring/summer of 2023, the year I turn 70.   I've started calling it the Friends and Family Tour, since the original thought was to string together parts of several different ACA routes to go from southern California to the coast of Maine, taking some days off at stops in Mesa (AZ), Albuquerque, Amarillo, Oklahoma City, Joplin, St. Louis, Chicago, Fremont (OH), Fredonia (NY), Camden (ME), and other places where I have children, cousins, friends, wife, aunts, and the like.  I've gone so far as to buy a stack of maps from ACA and start creating the route in Ride With GPS. Exact timing at this point is uncertain (I don't want too much cold at the start, but I also want to miss the heat as summer comes on farther east), as is the starting point (if Santa Monica then so long Mesa), but I'm psyched about it. I'm not too concerned about spotty services in places. I often take long rides on my road bike in the hot Oklahoma summer (60-80 miles with maybe one stop to top off the water supply.  If I have to I'll strap on a 3-liter Camelbak until civilization starts to get a little denser farther east. I'd be happy to share ideas with you, Oscars dad.

Yes I'd love to share your ideas - thank you!

And thanks to everyone else for their input so far.  I will check out the TransAm - thanks jamawani and John Nelson.

I'm loving your forum.  For many years I have been a member of Yet Another Cycle Forum (www.yacf.co.uk) which is also based on Simple Machines so this place is very familiar!  I'm Oscar's dad there too (Oscar was a bike I once had, not a son!)
Title: Re: Brit riding across the US
Post by: HobbesOnTour on November 16, 2021, 10:15:06 am
As a fellow European who has done some riding in the States here's a few thoughts....

Distances can be big! By that I mean the distances between places to get a drink or food.

"Proper" food is rare and expensive.

I found ACA routes often unpleasant. (Atlantic coast in particular)

Dogs can be an issue.

The most dangerous traffic I have encountered is in the U.S.

Weather can be scary and much more extreme than what we are used to.

Camping can be very expensive

Bridges can be terrifying!

I think it's interesting that we tend to focus on a route eg coast to coast. I've had more success with thinking about places I'd like to visit and linking them together. cycle.travel was my default planner when I needed to do this or when the ACA route was not good.

With four months and a willing wife you really have your pick of things. (You'll need a visa for more than 3 months).

I've listed the negatives but I really enjoyed my time in the US.

Best of luck!
Title: Re: Brit riding across the US
Post by: dfege on November 17, 2021, 12:01:48 am
I bicycled Route 66 from Chicago to Oklahoma City this past summer.  Although I didn't bike the last part of the trip to Santa Monica, I am very familiar with that stretch.  I also have bicycle toured many times in Europe, including three times in Britain.

Many of the commenters are correct.  Distances between service are much longer in the U.S. than in Britain.  But these can be planned for.  However, on the Route 66 trip, there is one stretch between Ludlow, CA and Needles, CA where there are practically no services (over 100 miles).  There is a gas station/convenience store in Fenner, CA and the owner will generally let you camp, although it's not a real camp ground and that's about it.  Since it is the desert, you can usually "wild camp", but I never like to do that.  Also this stretch can get VERY hot, and it is best cycled in February, March, or early April or in the late summer/fall.

Nobody mentioned that the trip has a lot of climbing, which isn't that big a deal if you climbed before with gear on your bike or are in good shape.  The trip tops out at 7000 feet in around Flagstaff, Arizona.  The climbs are long but not steep.
Most of the climbs in California, Arizona, and New Mexico are in the 5%-8% range. Traffic can be a problem in the U.
S., especially on some of the two-lane roads.  I ALWAYS ride with a mirror in the U.S., it really helps to know what's behind you. 

Once you get past Oklahoma City, distances between services are not a problem.  You can usually find a gas station with a convenience store at least every 25 miles or less.

Best to you.  Let me know if you need any other information.
Title: Re: Brit riding across the US
Post by: Oscar's dad on November 19, 2021, 06:25:04 am
I bicycled Route 66 from Chicago to Oklahoma City this past summer.  Although I didn't bike the last part of the trip to Santa Monica, I am very familiar with that stretch.  I also have bicycle toured many times in Europe, including three times in Britain.

Many of the commenters are correct.  Distances between service are much longer in the U.S. than in Britain.  But these can be planned for.  However, on the Route 66 trip, there is one stretch between Ludlow, CA and Needles, CA where there are practically no services (over 100 miles).  There is a gas station/convenience store in Fenner, CA and the owner will generally let you camp, although it's not a real camp ground and that's about it.  Since it is the desert, you can usually "wild camp", but I never like to do that.  Also this stretch can get VERY hot, and it is best cycled in February, March, or early April or in the late summer/fall.

Nobody mentioned that the trip has a lot of climbing, which isn't that big a deal if you climbed before with gear on your bike or are in good shape.  The trip tops out at 7000 feet in around Flagstaff, Arizona.  The climbs are long but not steep.
Most of the climbs in California, Arizona, and New Mexico are in the 5%-8% range. Traffic can be a problem in the U.
S., especially on some of the two-lane roads.  I ALWAYS ride with a mirror in the U.S., it really helps to know what's behind you. 

Once you get past Oklahoma City, distances between services are not a problem.  You can usually find a gas station with a convenience store at least every 25 miles or less.

Best to you.  Let me know if you need any other information.

Someone who's actually ridden Route 66! Fantastic, thanks for your words of wisdom, much appreciated!

Up thread people mentioned TransAm which I take is THIS ROUTE (https://www.adventurecycling.org/routes-and-maps/adventure-cycling-route-network/transamerica-trail/).

Assuming I'm right I'd love a comparison, have you ridden some or all of TransAm as well as R66?

I initially focused on R66 as I'd heard of it (who hasn't?) and it seemed a great way to get a feel of the USA.  However, the TransAm route looks like it might be even better so I'd appreciate your view if you have one, plus feedback from anyone else reading this!
Title: Re: Brit riding across the US
Post by: staehpj1 on November 19, 2021, 07:56:51 am
I have not ridden Route 66, but I have crossed much of the general area that it covers.  I have ridden the Trans America and the Southern Tier.  I have also done a number of other ~1000 mile or more sections of the country, so I have some general notion of what much of the area is like.  In addition I have driven across the country a few times.  So my knowledge of the routes isn't perfect, but may be at least useful.

My general impression is that The TA is a wonderful sampling of what the rural US is like.  You will see "fly over land" and meet the folks who live there.  You will also see of the natural beauty that the country has to offer.  RT 66 offers a much more limited sampling.  My personal preference was to go W-E, but your proposed May start would require a E-W travel if doing the TA.  Nothing wrong with that though other than that the steepest climbing is in the east, despite the fact that the mountains are not that high.
Title: Re: Brit riding across the US
Post by: Oscar's dad on November 19, 2021, 08:49:51 am
@staehpj1 - many thanks, some great insights! 

From what I've read since starting this thread I thought this might be the case...

Quote
My general impression is that The TA is a wonderful sampling of what the rural US is like... RT 66 offers a much more limited sampling.

Therefore I'm now more drawn to the TransAm rather than R66 although I'm a long way from having to make a decision so much time still to ponder.

I'm intrigued, why do you say east to west would be better than west to east?  If I was to go west to east when should I start?
Title: Re: Brit riding across the US
Post by: staehpj1 on November 19, 2021, 09:14:36 am
Going W-E you should consider when the snow and ice is out in the Cascades and the Rockies.  A good marker for that is when McKenzie Pass opens.  You can detour to Santiam Pass since they keep that open all winter, but riding McKenzie is worth doing and you really don't want to be in the mountains too early.  Snow and cold weather could be dangerous if there too early.

I'd suggest timeing the start to correspond with the opening date for McKenzie Pass to bikes.  It typically opens to bikes a couple weeks before it opens to cars and if you catch it then it is a great time to ride it.  The thing is opeing dates will vary year to year.  The year we rode the TA we started June 11th and hit McKenzie Pass on June 16th.  The pass was open and we had no cars yet that year on that date, but some years the pass may not be open yet on that date.

Snowpack and spring thawing will affect the date, so it is a moving target, but they do make some predictions as the date approaches.  Info is available at:
https://www.oregon.gov/odot/regions/pages/mckenzie-highway.aspx

As I said if you miss the date by a bit and the pass isn't open there is Santiam Pass, but don't try to go too early.  Spring snow and cold isn't unusual and it can be bad enough to be dangerous so don't fudge on the date and try to go W-E real early on the regular TA route.  I'd suggest early June at the earliest and I'd be inclined to push it back a bit if I knew I needed to in order to ride McKenzie Pass.
Title: Re: Brit riding across the US
Post by: Oscar's dad on November 19, 2021, 09:45:16 am
Got it!  Thanks, east to west it is if I settle on the TransAm. 

That could actually work quite well given the current idea is that my wife flies out to join me 2-3 times during my trip.
Title: Re: Brit riding across the US
Post by: HikeBikeCook on November 19, 2021, 09:46:26 am
If you are going East to West, thinking of the TransAm, and have 90 day visa issues to deal with, consider using the TransAm Eastern Express Route. We are using that for our May 2022 E=>W TransAm trip. It saves 600 miles, some difficult climbs, avoids areas with nasty dogs, and starts in Washington D.C. which has two major airports. The first week is an easy start on canal and rail trails with limited climbing.

We have done the first section with and without camping and it is a great way to get acclimated to riding a fully loaded touring bike without the worry of traffic. https://www.easternexpressroute.com/ (https://www.easternexpressroute.com/)
Title: Re: Brit riding across the US
Post by: BikeliciousBabe on November 19, 2021, 09:47:17 am

I'm intrigued, why do you say east to west would be better than west to east?  If I was to go west to east when should I start?

The later W-E start time to avoid snow out west could put you in the Midwest and east during July and August, which can be unbearably hot and humid.

I have spent several days riding a portion of the Trans Am route in Montana during June during three separate loop tours from/to Missoula.  The overwhelming number of people I have met started in the east in May.  One night there were probably 12 Trans Am riders camping in Jackson.  All but a couple had started in the west. One of them was participating in the race.  (He was in next to last place.)
Title: Re: Brit riding across the US
Post by: HikeBikeCook on November 19, 2021, 09:54:20 am
People often claim that headwinds are more favorable West to East but that is not actually the case. While the jet stream is from the west to the east, ground surface winds are actually predominantly from the southeast towards the northwest. Regardless, EVERYONE reports headwinds on their ride although from all of the journals I have read, eastbound riders seems to complain a bit more than westbound.

The other plus riding east to west is safety on the roads. The sun is at your back in the morning and therefore drivers sharing your lane are not blinded by the morning sun. Many people get a dawn start during peak heat to beat heat and winds that tend to develop later in the day. Start early finish before the heat of the day.
Title: Re: Brit riding across the US
Post by: John Nelson on November 19, 2021, 12:55:21 pm
Wind is always a fun topic. In some places, its direction and intensity is pretty predictable, e.g., in Wyoming you can expect it to come from the west. In most places, however, it depends on the month of the year, so you should check the historical data for each location for the month you will be there.

Furthermore, the wind seems to laugh at the historical data. You can have a strong headwind one day and a strong tailwind the next. But a fact that we cyclists are reluctant to admit is that on most days, there isn’t a significant wind in either direction.
Title: Re: Brit riding across the US
Post by: HikeBikeCook on November 19, 2021, 01:11:47 pm
I find that a tailwind is mythical. Wind changes direction at the same time I do on an out-and-back ride. As for historical data, with climate change we have had the second hottest and wettest summer in history (seems like weekly flood warnings). I have not checked historical data but this has also been the windiest year I can ever remember. We have a weathervane on our shed and that thing is always spinning. We have had regular wind damage to our vegetable garden, especially peppers, like we have never experienced, causing us to stake and tie on a weekly basis. Also tornado warnings to our phones which I have never had in the past. It seems things run in cycles so I am hoping for a dryer less windy 2022 :).

P.S. I hiked the AT during a record drought and the following year they had record rainfall - go figure.
Title: Re: Brit riding across the US
Post by: Oscar's dad on November 19, 2021, 01:46:23 pm
Well what a week this has been!

Having parked my tank on your lawn as recently as Monday I've thoroughly enjoyed reading your posts which certainly have been food for thought so thank you.

One of the things I find fascinating about people are their contexts.  Everyone's context is unique to them and colours everything they do, say and think so perhaps I can share something of my context which might go some way to explaining why I am contemplating this adventure.  I'm afraid you're not about to read anything amazing so please don't set your expectations too high.

My real name is Steve and I live in the county of Essex, in a little town called Witham, which sits between the city of Chelmsford and the large town of Colchester which was established by the Romans.  I am 57 years old although I have always looked younger than my years, this is down to lucky genetics not lifestyle choices (he says taking another slug of beer).

I have cycled on and off since boyhood.  In 1987 I jacked in my job as a sailmaker (boats are my other passion) to cycle around Europe.  I managed 9 weeks till my funds ran out.  That trip was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime but the naivety of youth, too little money and fear of the unknown quashed my dream.  I returned with a resolve to do better at some point.  Since then, in between getting married (twice!), having kids, paying the mortgage, building a mediocre carrier in telecoms and generally ducking the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune (just like everyone does) I have done bits of adventuring. 

The most notable and most recent being in 2019 my wife Kirsty and I gave up our jobs and took off in our posh caravan (you guys call them trailers I think) and toured England for 4 months then France for 5 months.  Since then we have been working hard to refill the coffers before embarking on further adventures and gently welcoming the concept of retirement in whatever form that might take.

My school reports often mentioned I was a daydreamer, too true, so I have a list of adventures to be undertaken before old age gets a hold.  Cycling across America has long been on the list, why you might ask.  I'm British, you're American but despite sharing a common language we are entirely foreign to each other.  However, because we share a common language I can travel to your amazing country (I have visited a few times) and really begin to know America and its people - which I find fascinating! 

So there we are, a little about me and why I'm looking forward to cycling across the USA.
Title: Re: Brit riding across the US
Post by: HikeBikeCook on November 19, 2021, 02:05:20 pm
Sorry mate, if you think we share a common language ;D. However, if you survived France and the language barrier you will do fine in the US.
Title: Re: Brit riding across the US
Post by: jamawani on November 19, 2021, 05:46:20 pm
The North American continent does seem to have
more drastic climate extremes than Great Albion.
And what many say here is quite true.

The western mountains stay snow-capped into June -
whilst the Great Plains and Midwest roast by July.
Not to mention the occasional earthquake, tornado, and hurricane.

That said, a May/June start is best east-to-west.
A later start and northerly route is best west-to-east.
Title: Re: Brit riding across the US
Post by: j1of1 on December 02, 2021, 08:07:04 pm
Make sure to sign up for WarmShowers!
Title: Re: Brit riding across the US
Post by: Westinghouse on December 03, 2021, 06:40:25 am
The first three posts on this thread are in line with information I recently got on crazy guy on a bike.com. He detailed the entire route from Santa Monica to the Windy City. He also posted detailed maps of the route. Go to that site and search Route 66. Like they have told you, plan ahead carefully. You could end up in high temperatures in areas where surfaces are spaced out long distances, I mean long distances by bicycle travel. Other than that it looks like A decent ride. If you do it, good luck.
Title: Re: Brit riding across the US
Post by: gibbo on December 06, 2021, 11:03:32 am
Well what a week this has been!

Having parked my tank on your lawn as recently as Monday I've thoroughly enjoyed reading your posts which certainly have been food for thought so thank you.

One of the things I find fascinating about people are their contexts.  Everyone's context is unique to them and colours everything they do, say and think so perhaps I can share something of my context which might go some way to explaining why I am contemplating this adventure.  I'm afraid you're not about to read anything amazing so please don't set your expectations too high.

My real name is Steve and I live in the county of Essex, in a little town called Witham, which sits between the city of Chelmsford and the large town of Colchester which was established by the Romans.  I am 57 years old although I have always looked younger than my years, this is down to lucky genetics not lifestyle choices (he says taking another slug of beer).

I have cycled on and off since boyhood.  In 1987 I jacked in my job as a sailmaker (boats are my other passion) to cycle around Europe.  I managed 9 weeks till my funds ran out.  That trip was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime but the naivety of youth, too little money and fear of the unknown quashed my dream.  I returned with a resolve to do better at some point.  Since then, in between getting married (twice!), having kids, paying the mortgage, building a mediocre carrier in telecoms and generally ducking the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune (just like everyone does) I have done bits of adventuring. 

The most notable and most recent being in 2019 my wife Kirsty and I gave up our jobs and took off in our posh caravan (you guys call them trailers I think) and toured England for 4 months then France for 5 months.  Since then we have been working hard to refill the coffers before embarking on further adventures and gently welcoming the concept of retirement in whatever form that might take.

My school reports often mentioned I was a daydreamer, too true, so I have a list of adventures to be undertaken before old age gets a hold.  Cycling across America has long been on the list, why you might ask.  I'm British, you're American but despite sharing a common language we are entirely foreign to each other.  However, because we share a common language I can travel to your amazing country (I have visited a few times) and really begin to know America and its people - which I find fascinating! 

So there we are, a little about me and why I'm looking forward to cycling across the USA.

Hi Oscar's Dad - I'm just down the road from you in Hadleigh (the Suffolk one). Been watching this thread plus the one on YACF as interested to see how you get on with info on here and planning etc. I fancy "ride the divide" as it won't take as long as the coast to coast although realistically even this is a pipedream for the time being.

I used to live in the Bay Area (Cupertino nr. San Jose) so would love to ride through there again.

Good luck with the trip.

Gibbo.
Title: Re: Brit riding across the US
Post by: staehpj1 on December 06, 2021, 12:09:55 pm
I fancy "ride the divide" as it won't take as long as the coast to coast although realistically even this is a pipedream for the time being.
Would it really take much less time?   Yes it is quite a bit shorter in total mileage, but it would seem to me as if average daily mileage would be quite a bit less as well.
Title: Re: Brit riding across the US
Post by: jsc on January 14, 2022, 03:44:51 pm
Happy New Year, Oscar's Dad! I haven't posted since I replied to you in November, but that doesn't mean I haven't been pondering and investigating.  I drove out to California to visit family at Thanksgiving and on the way back took the opportunity to do some reconnoitering of parts of the Southern Tier and Bicycle Route 66. Given the choice of starting or ending a coast to coast ride in Santa Monica or San Diego, I would definitely choose San Diego for a number of reasons (amount of urban/suburban riding, the routes into/out of the costal basins, etc.), but I'm HEAVILY leaning away from both of those alternatives.I've driven between the central U.S. and the West Coast many times over the past 40 years, many times paralleling Route 66 and the Souther Tier.  On my trip 6 weeks ago I was struck anew by just how many miles I would spend on a road bike trip in the American Southwest along the Southern Tier or Route 66 on the shoulders of interstate highways, on frontage roads immediately next to interstate highways, and on other roads paralleling interstate highways and within a mile or so of them.

When I returned to Oklahoma I did the math. Starting in Santa Monica and taking Bicycle Route 66 to Chicago I would be on or within sight of or earshot of interstate highways for about 877 out of 2528 miles (35% of the time) on that portion of the trip.  From San Diego on the Southern Tier, then cutting up to Bicycle Route 66 on the Grand Canyon Connector the numbers would be similar, 867 out of 2489 miles (35%).  I'm not knocking interstate highways  per se. They're certainly the fastest way to get from point A to point B in that part of the world, but I don't want to spend that much time on a bike looking at them or listening to them.

Since then I've spent a lot of time looking at other alternatives.  I don't really want to do a complete Southern Tier tour, even though it's the shortest route across the country. I've spent most of my adult life living in Texas, Oklahoma and Mississippi, so I've seen a lot of Southern Tier country.  The remaining alternatives are farther north. I considered the Transamerica Trail in its entirety until I discovered that it crosses the Continental Divide at above 11,500'. It will be enough of a challenge to go the distance next year at age 70 without adding the insult of extreme elevation to the injury of thousands of miles of riding. I looked at the higher elevations along the other major east-west routes, and I think I've come up with a plan, which I pitched to my brother yesterday.

I'm proposing starting on the Transamerica Trail on the East Coast in early May (maybe a little earlier), and heading west to intersect the Great Rivers South route south of St. Louis, then cutting north to intersect the Lewis and Clark Trail west of St. Louis and following it to the Oregon Coast using the Blackfoot option on Map 6 of the Lewis and Clark to cut off the huge southern loop on Map 5).  As far as I can tell the highest point on my proposed route would be the 5610' Rogers Pass at the Continental Divide between Great Falls and Missoula, Montana.

I was originally wary of the "headwind" issue for an east to west ride. My experience in the southern plains of the U.S. is strong prevailing southwest winds in spring and summer; however, my (limited) experience in the northern plains tells a different tale. I rode west to east across Nebraska in 2012 and 2014 and west to east across South Dakota in 2015. My notes from those rides complain of easterly headwinds on most days. In the end it will be a crapshoot regardless of the travel direction.

So, that's where I am right now.  Today I ordered the maps I need to further evaluate the new plan. How is your planning going?
Title: Re: Brit riding across the US
Post by: Buddy_Hall on February 01, 2022, 03:02:16 pm
I strongly recommend that you consider the Transam route instead of Route 66.  I've ridden the Transam in 2015, and met several Brits along the way.  The Transam will give you a much better experience/adventure.  I haven't ridden Route 66, but I live in Tulsa, OK (a major city along the route) and I have ridden parts of Route 66 in Oklahoma.  Don't misunderstand; the Transam is very challenging, especially the Appalachians in Virginia and Kentucky, and crossing the country will be a test.  I've ridden 3 of the Adventure Cycling routes to date; The Transam (2015), Western Express (2017), and the Northern Tier (2021).  Of these 3 routes, the Transam is the only one that I hope to ride again someday.

You can also find trip journals on the Cycle Blaze site; www.cycleblaze.com , including the journal from my Transam trip.  I'd recommend that you consider the Transam route, that you ride it from east to west, and that you start about the last week in April.  Also, you need to be adequately trained before arriving, because the hardest parts of the entire Transam will occur in the first couple of weeks (if you ride from east to west).  I'd recommend that you plan on meeting your wife in Colorado (Canon City would be a nice place to take a week off the bike and play tourist).  Best of luck,

Buddy Hall