Author Topic: Estimating travel days to arrive on specific date  (Read 3969 times)

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Offline Nyimbo

Estimating travel days to arrive on specific date
« on: February 29, 2016, 03:24:45 pm »
As I am typing the question I know there is no easy answer, but I thought I'd solicit suggestions anyway.  I have had to change my plans because of a family reunion that has been planned for the middle of the summer.  I was planning to leave the dates open and leave Oregon when the passes opened... arrive on the East Coast when I arrived.  But now the family has planned a reunion and I have to be in Bozeman Montana on a certain date the end of July.  So I am changing plans and will leave Yorktown, VA in May and travel E-W.  But what date do I leave?

I am asking for any ideas on how to plan a departure date.  This is my first long tour - longer than a week so I'm not positive how many miles a day I will travel or how many rest days I'll need.  I could estimate very conservatively but I don't want to arrive in Montana a week early for the reunion  :)  I certainly don't want to arrive late.  My first thought was to just count the miles and divide by 50 miles per day and add one rest day per week.

If any practiced travelers have wise suggestions I'd appreciate your thoughts...

Offline jamawani

Re: Estimating travel days to arrive on specific date
« Reply #1 on: February 29, 2016, 04:17:45 pm »
Ahem, ahem (clears throat)

You know - those appointed dates can act as a lead weight to your tour.
Do the best you can - and if you are late, you are late.

I did a major x-USA fundraiser back in 1988 for a non-profit with dozens of stops.
Started on the east coast with events and TV along the way.
In Spokane, WA, the chair of the local organization said, "You're a day late!"

Late July should be no problem to reach Bozeman - if you can do 60-ish miles per day.
With 1 1/2 days off per week that would be 333 miles per week - 1000 every 3 weeks.
The TransAm is 2900 miles from Virginia to West Yellowstone.
Thus - 3000 miles 9 weeks.

If you have to be there about July 26 - June and July give you 8 weeks. Plus a week in May.
So add a few days and think about May 20. Which is a Friday.
You should make sure to start on a weekday in case of bike shop or other needs.
(Some bike shops are closed Mondays - also fewer on Sunday or Tuesday)

Offline John Nelson

Re: Estimating travel days to arrive on specific date
« Reply #2 on: February 29, 2016, 06:07:53 pm »
It varies with everybody. If you take a one or two week tour, you should get a pretty rough idea what you can do and like to do. I also take in time of year. I average more miles per day when the days are long.

I generally like to keep moving, and almost never take rest days, so I usually take the total mileage and divide by 60 to get the days. I also usually figure about 5 extra miles per day over and above what the map says, to account for riding to campgrounds, getting food, getting lost, etc.

You'll have to do some experimenting to see what formula works for you. I estimated 50 miles per day for my first cross-country tour and got to the end point two weeks ahead of the original schedule.

Offline jrswenberger

Re: Estimating travel days to arrive on specific date
« Reply #3 on: February 29, 2016, 10:33:51 pm »
Do you know about WarmShowers?

Leave either coast on the day of your choosing, maybe as previously planned. A week or two before you need to be in Bozeman, locate a WS host along your route willing to store your bike and gear for a week, or however long it'll take for you to return. From that location, catch a plane, train, bus or any other form of rapid transit to MT and return to your trip after the wedding.

Enjoy the ride,
Jay
ACA Life Member 368

Offline Nyimbo

Re: Estimating travel days to arrive on specific date
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2016, 01:27:19 am »
Thanks all.  Here are my thoughts after your suggestions. 

I think I'd rather just keep moving too, except since I am a retired minister and seminary lecturer, I do have an interest in visiting different church traditions in different parts of the country.  I think I would enjoy it and as a perk I just might get myself invited to a few Sunday lunches.  I certainly won't be wearing my Sunday best clothes tho  8)

I do like the idea of using a warm-shower host to keep the bike and take a bus etc to my reunion IF it looks like I will be delayed.  That may take the pressure off and if delayed at all I can just enjoy my ride without worry.

Jamawani, it was funny you put down an example date of May 20.  I had made a tentative date on my first attempt at guessing a departure and I came up with May 21 to fly out.  I like the idea of perhaps arriving earlier in the week so maybe the 18th would add a couple buffer days and I could arrive on Wed rather than Sat.

I also just discovered Skiplagged.com that will let me see a timeline of prices so I can see at a glance which day of the week and which airline has the best price.  Just now looking I see that flying into Washington DC instead of Richmond or Newport News is $100 cheaper.  It surprised me that Richmond and Newport News were almost the same price.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Estimating travel days to arrive on specific date
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2016, 07:26:49 am »
I do like the idea of using a warm-shower host to keep the bike and take a bus etc to my reunion IF it looks like I will be delayed.
Depending on the location and distance, I find that a rental car sometimes works out to be fairly cheap and would allow you to take your bike and gear with you.   It also allows the option of seeing the sights a bit more on the side trip.

Offline Iowagriz

Re: Estimating travel days to arrive on specific date
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2016, 09:33:38 am »
The beauty of going East to West and towards Bozeman is that as you get closer, you have many options on sight seeing and "wasting" a day or two.  I'd start a week earlier than planned and take some interesting side-trips.

indyfabz

  • Guest
Re: Estimating travel days to arrive on specific date
« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2016, 10:46:04 am »
The beauty of going East to West and towards Bozeman is that as you get closer, you have many options on sight seeing and "wasting" a day or two.  I'd start a week earlier than planned and take some interesting side-trips.

That's pretty much what I was thinking. As you get out Bozeman way there are worse places to have kill time. Take a few days off in Yellowstone and do some hikes. Stay on route though the "old west" town of Virginia City, drop down to the Bike Camp in Twin Bridges then swing around and visit Lewis & Clark Caverns between Cardwell and Three Forks.

If you get to Bozeman some other way, you can get back on the TransAm pretty easily. MT 55 and MT 41 between Whitehall and Twin Bridges is relatively flat with a nice shoulder. Send me a PM if you want an alternative from there to Missoula that avoids the passes west of Dillon and you don't mind some dirt riding.