Author Topic: Trans Am advice for newbie?  (Read 3788 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline ChiWally

Trans Am advice for newbie?
« on: March 01, 2016, 02:52:19 pm »
I'm trying to sort out my first trans american ride and planning to join family and friends for the RAGBRAI at the midpoint.

I'm trying to get to Western Iowa by July 24 and was hoping to start in Oregon in mid-June. Has anyone made that trip or something similar? It seems like a mix of some of the Adventure Cycling maps can work, but I'm wondering about timing/mileage. If I started, say, in Florence, OR, and then knit together parts of TA Trail, Lewis&Clark, it seems to come to about 2,500 miles. Are there routes that aren't listed on the Adventure Cycling site that might work?

Any advice, words of wisdom on what to aim for (I was thinking about 70-90 miles per day, though that will obviously vary with terrain, etc.).

Sorry for the long note but I'd appreciate any collective wisdom you all might have.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2016, 03:00:45 pm by ChiWally »

Offline DaveB

Re: Trans Am advice for newbie?
« Reply #1 on: March 01, 2016, 06:07:58 pm »
I was thinking about 70-90 miles per day, though that will obviously vary with terrain, etc.
How experienced are you as a multi-day loaded bike tourist?  That sounds like a very aggressive mileage schedule unless you have experience that tells you it's possible for you.

Offline ChiWally

Re: Trans Am advice for newbie?
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2016, 06:50:05 pm »
Good point. I've done a decent number of long mileage/multi-day rides, but this trip is definitely an unknown for me. Long story, but I will have a wife-driven support vehicle for most of the ride so don't need to ride too heavy. But I'm willing to build in a little buffer so I don't ruin the ride by worrying about getting to Iowa in time.

indyfabz

  • Guest
Re: Trans Am advice for newbie?
« Reply #3 on: March 02, 2016, 02:08:11 pm »
Having a support vehicle is a horse of a different color. Still, at those daily mileages I recommend you build in a day off every week or so.

In 2002 I did my first Cycle Oregon, which is a supported event so you don't have to carry anything. It was the 15th anniversary of the ride, so they planned something big: A cross-state ride from Nyssa to Florence in 6 days with a day off in Sisters after day 4. Much of the route followed the TransAm. Including the optional mileage on Day 3, which made the day 117 miles vs. about 75 for the regular route, I averaged something like 93 miles/day. Take out that extra mileage on Day 3 and the daily average would have been in the mid-80s. People, including myself, were extremely tired the last few days. Plus, the chip seal and heat (even in early September) in central and eastern OR really look its toll.

Offline ChiWally

Re: Trans Am advice for newbie?
« Reply #4 on: March 02, 2016, 05:13:00 pm »
I hear you loud and clear. ... Will start revising my estimates. This is supposed to be a joyful experience, after all. I'll take a look at that route you mentioned from the 2002 ride. ... I will plan for what I can and adjust to the rest. Thanks for the insights.

Offline Motomarcus

Re: Trans Am advice for newbie?
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2016, 03:15:22 pm »
Just wanted to chime in and offer best wishes and perhaps I'll see you at Ragbrai. Looking to do a TA next summer (2017).

Mark

Offline roderick.young

Re: Trans Am advice for newbie?
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2016, 10:01:29 pm »
Should work out great.  With a support vehicle, there is very little that you cannot recover from easily.  Hopefully your wife is the sociable type who can amuse herself by chatting with the locals at the town ahead, otherwise, she might get bored or resentful.  But precisely because a support vehicle makes everything easier, you may miss out on some of the adventure of self-support.  For example, on one ride, I zoomed down the road with a tailwind for 20 miles, only to discover later that it was the wrong road.  If I had a sag wagon with me, I'd just call for pickup, but being self-supported forced more creative solutions.  Or when my wife and I were touring self-supported, we'd be having ice cream at the local Dairy Queen, or be in a supermarket, and people would invite us into their homes to stay the night.  There were a lot more invitations when we were together than when I was alone on a bike.  A couple seems less threatening, I guess.

No matter what, have a blast!