Author Topic: van supported Transam  (Read 3852 times)

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Offline randy-56

van supported Transam
« on: January 10, 2014, 09:30:51 pm »
Has anyone experienced the van supported Transam?  I am trying to determine if the van supported trip would include many (several or none) side-trips once the group makes it to the camp site or during the day's ride.  Thoughts are this would allow a person to see even more "sights" of the good ole USA during this adventure. thanks for your input.....   

Offline DaveB

Re: van supported Transam
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2014, 10:08:28 pm »
I think the practicality of those side trips depends on the strength of your riders and the planned daily mileage.  There are some riders for whom a 60 mile day is completed before lunch, particularly if not loaded with luggage, so side trips and extra excursions are very doable.  There are others that, even unburdened, will take all day just to do 60 miles (or whatever your planned mileage is).   

So, yes and no. How far do you expect to ride every day and what is the make-up of the riding group?

Online John Nelson

Re: van supported Transam
« Reply #2 on: January 10, 2014, 10:24:12 pm »
I'm curious to see how someone from the ACA will reply, but I think the answer to your question is "no". The tour descriptions do not mention side trips in the van and none of the journals I've read of van-supported tours mention them either.

On the other hand, I think you'll see and experience plenty without any side trips.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2014, 10:25:44 pm by John Nelson »

Offline DaveB

Re: van supported Transam
« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2014, 09:54:57 am »
OK, I may have misinterpreted the OP's question.  I was thinking of a private van supported group of riders while he may indeed have been thinking of a commercial supported tour like the ACA or other businesses operate. 

I agree these pre-planned tours don't offer side trips with van support.  There is nothing to prevent riders from going off on their own as long as the get to the day's end location at a reasonable time and don't expect the van to be with them off-course or to bail them out if they have a problem.

I've ridden several organized supported tours where road markings and maps were provided and luggage was all transported.  Only the marked route was patrolled by SAG cars.  Groups of us have gone off-route many times to see a different town or find an out-of-the-way restaurant but we knew we were on our own until we returned to the main route.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: van supported Transam
« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2014, 10:33:45 am »
I think the answer to your question is "no". The tour descriptions do not mention side trips in the van and none of the journals I've read of van-supported tours mention them either.

If you're staying with the group, I agree with John.  I'll note, though, that membership in the group that was close to us was somewhat fluid; people would take off on a side trip for a few days to do their own thing, and then might rejoin later.  A few left the trip, and some of the journals I've read suggest other people might hook up with the group later in the trip.

Online John Nelson

Re: van supported Transam
« Reply #5 on: January 11, 2014, 12:13:04 pm »
people would take off on a side trip for a few days to do their own thing, and then might rejoin later.  A few left the trip, and some of the journals I've read suggest other people might hook up with the group later in the trip.
More feasible on self-supported trips than on van-supported trips. I think on a van-supported trip, you would practically need to limit your side trips to during the day only unless you brought a pannier to carry overnight supplies.

On the TransAm, there are plenty of opportunties for short side trips.
 - You could visit the Yorktown battlefields. The visitor center is only 1/2 mile from the official start of the TransAm at the Victory Monument.
 - You could stop at Colonial Williamsburg. Of course, that's not much of a side trip because the route goes right through it. The route also passes right by Jamestown Settlement if you wanted to visit that.
 - Approaching Charlottesville, you will pass near Ash Lawn Highland, home of James Monroe, and Monticello, home of Thomas Jefferson. Ash Lawn Highland is about a mile and a half off route, but Monticello is right on the route.
 - A short side-trip in Charlottesville takes you to the University of Virginia and the Historic Downtown Mall.
 - A side trip of a few miles between Lexington and Troutville takes you to Natural Bridge and Foamhenge.
 - A slight detour off the TransAm will take you down the Virginia Creeper Trail outside Damascus. It's a bit bumpy.
 - You might want to visit the college in Berea, but that's right in town.
 - The TransAm passes right through Lincoln Homestead State Park, so that's an easy visit.
 - In Bardstown, you might want to take a distillery tour.
 - In Hodgenville, a short side trip will allow you to visit Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park.
 - A side trip to Mammoth Cave is not feasible unless you plan to take overnight gear. And touring the cave might require you to take an extra day there. You'll have to hustle to catch back up with the group a few days later.
 - It's less than a mile off route to visit the cave at Cave-in-Rock IL.
 - You might want to ride a bit of the Tunnel Hill State Trail in Illinois. You'll pass right by it.
 - There's plenty of Popeye stuff to visit in Chester IL.
 - I personally recommend the Cosmosphere in Hutchinson KS.
 - In Colorado between Tribune and Eads, it's about five miles off route to visit the Sand Creek Massacre site.
 - Possible side trips abound in Grand Teton and Yellowstone. The ACA tours usually take a day off there, and there are plenty of bus tours available.
 - Outside Wisdom MT, it's a short detour to visit the Big Hole National Battlefield.
 - It's a mile off route (and up a very steep hill) to visit the National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretative Center outside Baker City OR.
 - Between Dayville and Prineville OR, it's about 6 miles off route (one way) to visit the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument.
 - The tours typically end at Florence OR, but if you take the main route up to Astoria, you can tour the Tillamook cheese factory.

If you really like side trips, and if you have extra time to complete the crossing, you might prefer to go on you own and self-supported. If you allow a full three months to complete the crossing, you'll have time to visit lots of sites.

Offline randy-56

Re: van supported Transam
« Reply #6 on: January 11, 2014, 07:01:51 pm »
Thanks for everyone's input as it has been helpful.  The 2014 Trans Am will be my first tour and it is good to hear the perspective from all the experienced cyclists via the forum.    It should be an exciting summer....

 

Offline transamwesteast

Re: van supported Transam
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2014, 11:02:36 pm »
Hi, I'll be leaving from OR on teh TransAm this summer (actually taking lewis and clark to missoula, then TransAM). Leaving around Jun 1. I have a support car and will be taking lots of side trips, esp. at Glacier, Yellowstone, and Grand Tetons.

What's your itinerary?

Offline randy-56

Re: van supported Transam
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2014, 10:04:23 pm »
Hi,

I have decided to join the self-contained ACA TransAm tour that begins on May 3rd.  Hope to see you on the road and have a wonderful trip!!