Author Topic: Fastest route from Missouri to San Francisco with least elevation change  (Read 3655 times)

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Offline JulieScan

My friend is attempting to cycle cross country in 40 days (Philly to San Fran) as part of a fundraiser (to raise money for lung cancer research). He will have SAG wagon support. We have the the route to Missouri mostly figured out but from there, we have questions.

He will either take the Route 66 trail all the way from Missouri to Barstow, California and then north to San Fran
OR
Take the Route 66 Trail to the Transamerica Trail to the Western Express Trail to Cedar City, Utah. From Cedar City, he would break away from the Western Express Trail and go as direct as possible to San Fran.

As time is very short, we are looking for the fastest, most direct route with the least amount of elevation change (with a heavy emphasis on that last point!). We are leaning toward the route 66 trail all the way to Barstow and then north to San Fran. Can anyone provide feedback or advice? Thanks so much in advance!

Offline John Nettles

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Re: Fastest route from Missouri to San Francisco with least elevation change
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2017, 01:12:45 pm »
You don't say if you need to keep solely to an ACA route but I would guess not nor do you say how you are doing services (Food & Lodging).

Anyway, if I were attempting to do what he is doing, I would take the TransAm to near Ordway, CO then take CO-10 to Walsenburg.  Then US-160 to AZ-98 in Arizona.  Then US-89 in Page, AZ, to Kanab.  Then US-89A to AZ-389 St. George, UT.  Then up to Enterprise, UT and rejoin the Western Express to the end.

Remember that by the time he reaches Colorado, he should be strong enough to do any climb, especially unloaded.  However, he may (like me) have lung issues so elevation does factor in.  You should understand that having a day or two that has a big climb but with much less mileage does not add any days.  In other words, typically, taking a 200 mile route with a couple of big climbs is quicker than taking a 300 flatter route.  If he has lung issues, he can angle down toward US-64 from Walsenburg then take it through northern New Mexico. over to where it intersects with the above mentioned US-160.  This is lower but not nearly as scenic and has more traffic.

If you have extra days available, the ride from Mexican Hat, UT, to Kayenta, AZ, is wonderful through Monument Valley and so is the western Express through Utah.

Best, John

Offline JulieScan

Re: Fastest route from Missouri to San Francisco with least elevation change
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2017, 01:30:34 pm »
Thanks John. I appreciate the time you took to respond. The initial thinking was to stay with the ACA routes since they have so much detail and provide thoroughly mapped out roads and trails. (This is the first time my friend has ever attempted a trip like this. He is absolutely preparing appropriately though). Also, he will stay in hotels or at friends' houses where possible and in the SAG wagon if need be. Thanks again for your response.

Offline John Nettles

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Re: Fastest route from Missouri to San Francisco with least elevation change
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2017, 02:08:30 pm »
I understand about the maps.  However, points Kansas and west are pretty easy to research.  Plus with the sag vehical, this frees him up a LOT since the sag can carry food, water, etc.  Look up the "average annual daily vehical" count maps in the various states and/or look at the various states' bike maps (not all have them though).  Also, you should allow a couple of days  for rest/buffer days in case his body requires a rest or the weather truly sucks.  Nothing spoils a trip like having to maintain a deadline.


Best, John

Offline JulieScan

Re: Fastest route from Missouri to San Francisco with least elevation change
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2017, 02:13:43 pm »
Great info! Really helpful.Thanks so much John.

indyfabz

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Re: Fastest route from Missouri to San Francisco with least elevation change
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2017, 02:51:49 pm »
Philly representin' again! Good luck.
BTW...What's your route out of town and across PA, assuming you are crossing PA?
« Last Edit: February 02, 2017, 03:22:33 pm by indyfabz »

Offline John Nelson

Re: Fastest route from Missouri to San Francisco with least elevation change
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2017, 03:38:36 pm »
Taking Route 66 to Barstow will cut out the Colorado Rockies, but add considerable distance. I think it would be faster to do the hills.

Offline JulieScan

Re: Fastest route from Missouri to San Francisco with least elevation change
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2017, 04:50:49 pm »
Thanks John. Appreciate the advice.

Offline JulieScan

Re: Fastest route from Missouri to San Francisco with least elevation change
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2017, 04:54:52 pm »
Philly representin' again! Good luck.
BTW...What's your route out of town and across PA, assuming you are crossing PA?
Thanks! Taking ACA's soon to be finished Philly to to Chicago route across PA and all the way to Indy where we will hop off and continue west.

indyfabz

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Re: Fastest route from Missouri to San Francisco with least elevation change
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2017, 01:13:57 pm »
Philly representin' again! Good luck.
BTW...What's your route out of town and across PA, assuming you are crossing PA?
Thanks! Taking ACA's soon to be finished Philly to to Chicago route across PA

Is that the route that uses some or all of PA Bike Route V and/or their Atlantic Coast route? If so, send me a PM if you want some detailed information, especially if your friend will be camping. I am familiar with a good portion or Route V (Hickory Run/White Haven area and between Rupert/Bloomsburg and Emlenton) and know the Atlantic Coast section between Philly and Delaware Water Gap like the back of my hand.