Author Topic: What is Your Favorite Cross Country Route and Why?  (Read 5391 times)

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Offline jamawani

Re: What is Your Favorite Cross Country Route and Why?
« Reply #15 on: July 02, 2022, 10:23:15 am »
Lynn -

I'm not a big fan of the Eastern Express.
There are much better ways to cross the Great Plains.
The Eastern Express has you on a very busy, high speed US 36 in northern Kansas.

Here is one suggestion -
https://ridewithgps.com/routes/40039048

You head east from Walden via Cameron Pass thru Fort Collins to Sterling.
At Sterling you switch to US 138 to Julesburg then to US 30 into Ogallala.
Hwy 61 north takes you into the heart of the Sandhills.
Then Hwy 92 east is simply gorgeous - but remote.
From Arthur to Arnold there isn't much, but you can camp in little town parks.
Plus there is a bar or cafe in each of the county seats.

I have you continuing east to Broken Bow and Columbus.
(The county roads via Calloway are a bit longer but much quieter and more scenic.)
If you plan to return to the Eastern Express, you will need to work your way south.
I would cross Nebraska entirely - then head south on the Lewis & Clark Route to reconnect.

Best - Jama
There are a number of choices.

Offline HikeBikeCook

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Re: What is Your Favorite Cross Country Route and Why?
« Reply #16 on: July 02, 2022, 10:41:56 am »
Thoughts on the Eastern Express. I had planned as cross-country ride this summer and put together a group through ACA Companions Wanted. I wound up not finishing even though I had mapped out the entire route with RWGPS and had created a consolidated set of maps with services more like the ACA maps then the current Eastern Express maps.

The group did not stick together mostly because of differences in pace and travel styles but I am still in contact with the remaining riders and assisting with detour routing etc. There is one common theme - loneliness. Once you clear the GAP going West you just do not see other riders like on the Traditional TransAm. After the first few weeks of any long-distance trek (hiking or biking) the physical challenges tend to fall in line and the mental challenges begin. Riding the long, lonely roads of the central US without other riders around can wear you down worse than a headwind.

I would not ride the Eastern Express alone, and I would not put together a group to ride with without having ridden with them extensively beforehand. If I was going to ride the TransAM again I would start solo and follow the traditional route and hopefully fall in with a group of riders traveling at my pace.
Surly Disc Trucker, Lightspeed Classic, Scott Scale, Klein Mantra Comp. First touring bike Peugeot U08 - 1966

Offline lkowalski

Re: What is Your Favorite Cross Country Route and Why?
« Reply #17 on: July 03, 2022, 04:39:24 pm »
Thanks so much for these suggestions.  Yes we want to return to the Eastern Express to ride the Katy Trail across Missouri.  Any thoughts about a nice route South to the Katy Trail?
We are also looking to modify the Eastern Express route across Indiana to include the "Covered Bridges" route I have read folks posting about.  Trying to get some links to that area as well.
Ultimately we need to make our way to Pittsburgh, which was the original reason we modified the traditional TransAm route to begin with.

Offline Johnny10000

Re: What is Your Favorite Cross Country Route and Why?
« Reply #18 on: July 23, 2022, 11:15:36 am »
Lkowalski, let us know how the Eastern Express portion of your trip is going for you.  I am considering doing the Eastern Express from DC and using the Midwest Connector from the Katy Trail to Eureka, KS and joining up with the TA the rest of the way.

I’d love to hear if it has adequate things for bicyclists (food, camping availability, etc.) and if it’s as “lonely” as some have described.   Are there more and more people riding the EE?   Would love to hear about your experiences.

Thanks,
John

Offline zzzz

Re: What is Your Favorite Cross Country Route and Why?
« Reply #19 on: July 24, 2022, 07:34:52 pm »
I will to comment about loneliness on tour. This is extraordinarily per the individual. I am not antisocial but I always tour alone and I have never felt lonely on tour. Since I generally tour in September I see many fewer riders than most even on mapped ACA routes. When I rode from Banff to Fairbanks I saw 2 riders over 21 days.

When I’m on tour I’m in my happy place, soaking in the scenery, thinking about what the rest of the day holds, what I’ve seen so far, big climbs coming up….anything and everything. It is a mind cleanse!

And when I stop for breakfast, lunch, or dinner I’ve had some of the most interesting conversations with the local folks. How I understand my fellow Americans (and Canadians!) has undergone a sea change over my 6 long tours. I may still hold views completely different from them but I see their humanity fully. You mostly do not have these conversations when riding with other people.

I just wanted to encourage anyone who’s concerned about being lonely, you may find you love being alone!
« Last Edit: July 24, 2022, 07:57:09 pm by zzzz »

Offline lkowalski

Re: What is Your Favorite Cross Country Route and Why?
« Reply #20 on: July 24, 2022, 10:53:58 pm »
Yes we will definitely keep you posted.  We are doing the trip in sections year by year since we can only take 3 weeks off work at a time.
This year, we resume in Dillon, MT and will veer off the traditional TransAm route in Walden, CO, ending in Fort Collins.  Next year we're planning to modify the Eastern Express route from Fort Collins to Platte City, KS. 
I am traveling with my partner Stephanie, but we often ride at different paces.  I enjoy the peace and quiet of cycling alone, but knowing she's not far behind is comforting. I agree with the comment about the "mind cleanse."  Well said.
Lynn

Offline DonKahn1

Re: What is Your Favorite Cross Country Route and Why?
« Reply #21 on: July 25, 2022, 09:54:36 am »
I am also planning on the Eastern Express next year traveling eastward.  For convenience sake I am starting in D.C. so thought the Eastern Express would work out well, and then plan on joining the normal TransAm west of Ft. Collins and continuing westward.  I am also interested in peoples impressions who have ridden the Eastern Express

Offline DonKahn1

Re: What is Your Favorite Cross Country Route and Why?
« Reply #22 on: July 25, 2022, 09:56:07 am »
Actually I meant to say that I will be traveling westward on the Eastern Express!