Author Topic: TransAm summer 2015 - timing and solo female  (Read 7001 times)

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Offline Beth_DC

TransAm summer 2015 - timing and solo female
« on: January 16, 2015, 02:38:01 pm »
Is the first week of June too late to start the TransAm east to west? Also, any women out there who have done it solo, I would love to hear about your experience, particularly in terms of safety (men too of course!).

Offline staehpj1

Re: TransAm summer 2015 - timing and solo female
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2015, 03:05:53 pm »
Is the first week of June too late to start the TransAm east to west? Also, any women out there who have done it solo, I would love to hear about your experience, particularly in terms of safety (men too of course!).

June isn't too late for a start in the East.   You might hit hotter weather then than with an earlier start though.

If the DC in Beth_DC refers to Washington DC you may consider whether it would make sense to get air travel out of the way in the beginning.  A few advantages of starting in the West for folks living in the Mid Atlantic area are:
  • It is easy to know when you will start a trip and harder to predict when you will finish.  So buying a plane ticket at the beginning is easier than at the end.
  • Starting on the opposite coast makes you more committed right away.
  • We found the Appalachians to be the hardest part and it was nice to do them when were were well road hardened.
  • It was really nice finishing near home so friends and family could meet us at the end.  In our case some rode with us the last day and they threw us a nice picnic at the end.

I met solo women on the TA as well as on other tours and they didn't complain of problems.  You can find tour journals done by solo women at https://www.crazyguyonabike.com

Offline John Nelson

Re: TransAm summer 2015 - timing and solo female
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2015, 09:54:20 pm »
Lots of solo women do it, and the TransAm is probably the best route for the solo female because of all the support and other cyclists. See the following for a most entertaining TransAm journal by a solo woman. I'm sure Joy would be happy to converse with you personally.

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

Offline Beth_DC

Re: TransAm summer 2015 - timing and solo female
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2015, 09:28:54 pm »
Thanks to both of you! Very helpful!

Offline dayjack119

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Re: TransAm summer 2015 - timing and solo female
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2015, 01:36:15 pm »
I'd recommend West to East because of the prevailing winds.  I remember meeting people coming from your direction.  When I asked them how they were doing, they said that besides riding against the wind for 3,000 miles, they were doing just peachy. But that's your option.

To cross the Appalachians easily, take the C&O Trail/GAP out of DC to Pittsburgh.  Lots of single females on that run.  Again your option.

Whatever, have a great ride.  You will never regret it, no matter what happens.

Offline staehpj1

Re: TransAm summer 2015 - timing and solo female
« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2015, 02:23:07 pm »
I'd recommend West to East because of the prevailing winds.  I remember meeting people coming from your direction.  When I asked them how they were doing, they said that besides riding against the wind for 3,000 miles, they were doing just peachy. But that's your option.

My experience is that with the Trans America route, summer winds favor going  E-W, but I really don't advise choosing direction of travel on the TA based on wind direction.    In the middle of the country the TA tends toward southeast and the prevailing summer surface winds tend to be out of the southeast.  The map below matches what we found on the TA pretty well.

Offline DaveB

Re: TransAm summer 2015 - timing and solo female
« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2015, 05:58:55 pm »
To cross the Appalachians easily, take the C&O Trail/GAP out of DC to Pittsburgh.  Lots of single females on that run.  Again your option.
The GAP is pretty easy riding but the C&O can be miserable riding, particularly if it's wet.   Neither are particularly good on a narrow tire road bike so plan on 700-28 or larger tires if you go that route.

Offline dayjack119

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Re: TransAm summer 2015 - timing and solo female
« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2015, 06:03:45 pm »
I road it in the rains from Hurricane Irene and it wasn't that bad, but you bring up tire size.  I had 700x35s.  If she has the narrow tires, that could be a problem.  Glad you brought that up.

I wouldn't do a cross country with narrow tires.  There are too many places where they are useless.

Offline Westinghouse

Re: TransAm summer 2015 - timing and solo female
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2015, 10:14:35 pm »
You should be fine. It is a well established route. Just use good sense. It is very hilly. It will be hot. Be prepared for wide variations in weather from hotter than hell to freezing. You have it made. You are about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime. Keep a record of it. Be careful. Use the best tires and tubes,  Schwalbe, Gatorskins, whatever. I just went from southeast coastal Florida to North Carolina, PA  to Maryland, and east Florida to San Diego, CA on one set  of Schwalbe Marathon tires with plenty of tred left over. You should  be safe.

Offline Westinghouse

Re: TransAm summer 2015 - timing and solo female
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2015, 08:49:12 pm »
Lots of solo women do it, and the TransAm is probably the best route for the solo female because of all the support and other cyclists. See the following for a most entertaining TransAm journal by a solo woman. I'm sure Joy would be happy to converse with you personally.

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

I just went through that journal. An excellent example.
 

Offline rondickinson

Re: TransAm summer 2015 - timing and solo female
« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2015, 06:43:25 pm »
I did the Trans Am in 2014 with my son,  and I agree with the comments about the prevailing winds.  I was told it was pretty much random and that was correct.  The map above was spot on, so we didn't have much issues until we were in the Northwest.  Except we had 25 mph cross winds in Kansas, so we just got up at 4am and started at 5am with lights.  Anything to get across Kansas.

We did East to West.  Sun is always at your back in the morning.  I would hate to ride directly into the sun every AM, plus have it in drivers eyes.

We started in Mid May, with a goal of getting into higher altitudes in the west before July.  We made Rawlings Wy by July 4th.  The plains of the Midwest can be hot and brutal in July.

We saw solo female riders and they seems just fine.  There are a few jerks but 99.9% of the people are great and helpful.  Stay focused, ignore the jerks, and don't go in dark alleys after dark (in other words use common sense).


Offline DanE

Re: TransAm summer 2015 - timing and solo female
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2015, 08:33:14 am »
The latest Bicycle Touring Pro podcast deals with the subject of women touring alone. The OP may enjoy listening to the information.

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/bicycle-touring-pro-adventure/id949122089?mt=2