Author Topic: The latest time to head out east to west on the TransAmerica trail  (Read 14609 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Soulboy#1

Hi All

Unfortunately I've had to postpone my trip due to family matters.
I was due to fly out to the US from London yesterday and now this might
have to be postponed and even cancelled. As life is a bit all over the place
presently and dates unsure, my question to you folk is this. As early May seems
to be the best time to start  the trail, when would you all say the cut off point is
when the weather or conditions change for the worse? Any advice is appreciated.

Thanks in advance

David

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: The latest time to head out east to west on the TransAmerica trail
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2017, 09:05:50 am »
It's a matter of guessing the weather months in advance, of course.  If I had to guess, figure on getting across Idaho by the end of September, and back it up by how long you think it'll take you to get there.  Otherwise, you might want to reverse the direction of your trip and go from west to east and plan on getting to Pueblo, CO by the end of September.  If that's still too early, how about the Southern Tier?

Either way, the plains are going to be hot in July and August.

Offline Nyimbo

Re: The latest time to head out east to west on the TransAmerica trail
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2017, 07:37:48 pm »
Sorry about the family matters.  Hope all turns out well for you. 

Last year I had the same plan E-W early May departure.  I got sick and couldn't go.  I lost my plane ticket because I didn't buy travel insurance.  Anyway I left a month later and started on Oregon coast and traveled W-E.  since I didn't know how the health would hold up I told everyone I was hoping on riding across Oregon trying to avoid embarrassment if I couldn't continue.  When I finished Oregon and was doing fine I told folks I was riding to Yellowstone.  When I got to Yellowstone healthy I decided I could finally admit my cross country plans and rode until my time ran out.  Because of the lost month I stopped 1/2 way and am getting ready to head out Early May and finish this summer. I bought travel insurance this time. 

Pat's weather schedule sounds about right to me.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2017, 11:01:40 pm by Nyimbo »

Offline Soulboy#1

Re: The latest time to head out east to west on the TransAmerica trail
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2017, 05:18:41 pm »
It's a matter of guessing the weather months in advance, of course.  If I had to guess, figure on getting across Idaho by the end of September, and back it up by how long you think it'll take you to get there.  Otherwise, you might want to reverse the direction of your trip and go from west to east and plan on getting to Pueblo, CO by the end of September.  If that's still too early, how about the Southern Tier?

Either way, the plains are going to be hot in July and August.

Hi Pat

Thanks for the reply mate. Please you would have to explain a little further re Idaho etc as im a complete newbie to touring especially in the US as i live in London. I wanted to go early may as that seems the best time according to every forum ive read. So temp wise im just bringing appropriate clothes to cover all extremes hopefully. If i leave mid May would this still be ok east to west?

Dave

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: The latest time to head out east to west on the TransAmerica trail
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2017, 08:23:23 pm »
Mid May is prime time to head west on the TransAm.  The gaps in the Appalachians in the east are already clear, and the Rocky passes will be clear by the time you get there.  Missouri and Kansas may be hot, or maybe not.  You may have a few chilly nights in Virginia and Kentucky, and will probably have a few chilly nights in the Rockies; that's part of the adventure.

I put that bit in about Idaho not knowing when you were going to start; if you started in, say, August, you might have had a good chance of snow in the Rockies' passes.  Unless you're averaging 25-30 miles per day, that should not be a concern.

Offline RussSeaton

Re: The latest time to head out east to west on the TransAmerica trail
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2017, 10:15:58 pm »
If I had to guess, figure on getting across Idaho by the end of September,

Please you would have to explain a little further re Idaho etc as im a complete newbie to touring especially in the US as i live in London.

Being in London, you do not know what mountains are.  Maybe you have visited the Alps in the summer.  Idaho has the Bitterroot mountains.  100 km east are the Rocky Mountains.  200 km west are the Sierra Cascades.  Its very easy to have snow in these mountains in late September.  Usually early September is fine.  Usually.  Imagine suggesting to someone from the very far north of Scotland, on the North Sea, about going on a bike tour in late September.  I'd guess that person would beat your head with a hammer for saying something so stupid.  Riding around the Rockies and Bitterroot mountains in late September is about the same thing.

Offline staehpj1

Re: The latest time to head out east to west on the TransAmerica trail
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2017, 07:34:13 am »
It's a matter of guessing the weather months in advance, of course.  If I had to guess, figure on getting across Idaho by the end of September, and back it up by how long you think it'll take you to get there.  Otherwise, you might want to reverse the direction of your trip and go from west to east and plan on getting to Pueblo, CO by the end of September.  If that's still too early, how about the Southern Tier?

Either way, the plains are going to be hot in July and August.
Pat said about what I would say, so I'll just second that.

Mid May is prime time to head west on the TransAm.  The gaps in the Appalachians in the east are already clear, and the Rocky passes will be clear by the time you get there.  Missouri and Kansas may be hot, or maybe not.  You may have a few chilly nights in Virginia and Kentucky, and will probably have a few chilly nights in the Rockies; that's part of the adventure.

I put that bit in about Idaho not knowing when you were going to start; if you started in, say, August, you might have had a good chance of snow in the Rockies' passes.  Unless you're averaging 25-30 miles per day, that should not be a concern.
Not sure I'd call it prime time, but yeah certainly OK.  Since I hate hot weather, I might be inclined to use a bit earlier start date if starting in the East, but if mid-may was when I had the time I would go then.

Unless told otherwise, when folks ask this kind of question I assume 50-70 mile average, so I am thinking of that range when I comment.  If you are doing especially long or short mileage you may need to adjust the dates accordingly.

Offline Soulboy#1

Re: The latest time to head out east to west on the TransAmerica trail
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2017, 05:42:05 pm »
Hello all. Sadly my mother passed away today, hence my delay
for my journey. Does anyone think starting out E to W on the
TransAmerican to late? Would or would you leave it till 2018 and
a may start?

Offline Nyimbo

Re: The latest time to head out east to west on the TransAmerica trail
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2017, 05:55:33 pm »
Soulboy,sorry i dont have advice re your question. Your post brought a tear to my eyes. My prayers are with you on this day.

Perhaps each year on Mothers day you will be able to remember her life joyfully.
Nyimbo

Offline RussSeaton

Re: The latest time to head out east to west on the TransAmerica trail
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2017, 06:00:59 pm »
Does anyone think starting out E to W on the
TransAmerican to late?

The Transamerica trail is 4,228 miles long.  If you figure a 60 mile per day average, you get 70 days.  If you average 50 miles per day, you get 84 days.  Riding days.  Add a few no ride days for fun.  So if you left the east coast on July 1, you would get to the west coast at the end of September.  Riding the 50 mile a day pace.  You would cross the Rockies in early September and Sierra Cascades in late September.  95%+ you would be fine and happy and no problems in the mountains.  Maybe you would have a setback on one day.  Maybe.  You can leave the east coast in early July and be fine riding to the west coast.  I consider 50-60 miles per day to be easy days.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2017, 02:50:57 pm by RussSeaton »

Offline jamawani

Re: The latest time to head out east to west on the TransAmerica trail
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2017, 06:11:20 pm »
So sorry to hear about your loss, SB.

I began my fist X-USA trip on Sept 1 from Astoria - west-to-east.
Mostly lovely weather until the very end - but days got really short.
A later start lends itself to a west-to-east trip.
As above, I wouldn't do east-to-west much after July 1.
Even than, you will have brutal, hot, muggy weather for 2000 miles.
A west-to-east trip starting in July or August can be ideal.
The hottest summer weeks will be in the mountains of the West -
And by the time you hit Kansas and further east, it will have cooled down a bit.

Wishing you well - J

Pic - Tetons in September




Offline Soulboy#1

Re: The latest time to head out east to west on the TransAmerica trail
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2017, 02:37:18 am »
So sorry to hear about your loss, SB.

I began my fist X-USA trip on Sept 1 from Astoria - west-to-east.
Mostly lovely weather until the very end - but days got really short.
A later start lends itself to a west-to-east trip.
As above, I wouldn't do east-to-west much after July 1.
Even than, you will have brutal, hot, muggy weather for 2000 miles.
A west-to-east trip starting in July or August can be ideal.
The hottest summer weeks will be in the mountains of the West -
And by the time you hit Kansas and further east, it will have cooled down a bit.

Wishing you well - J

Pic - Tetons in September


Thanks for the reply. Would an early- mid June start is to west be ok?




Offline Soulboy#1

Re: The latest time to head out east to west on the TransAmerica trail
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2017, 02:41:20 am »
Nymbo

Thank you for your kind words.

David

Offline Soulboy#1

Re: The latest time to head out east to west on the TransAmerica trail
« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2017, 02:52:43 am »
If I had to guess, figure on getting across Idaho by the end of September,

Please you would have to explain a little further re Idaho etc as im a complete newbie to touring especially in the US as i live in London.

Being in London, you do not know what mountains are.  Maybe you have visited the Alps in the summer.  Idaho has the Bitterroot mountains.  100 km east are the Rocky Mountains.  200 km west are the Sierra Cascades.  Its very easy to have snow in these mountains in late September.  Usually early September is fine.  Usually.  Imagine suggesting to someone from the very far north of Scotland, on the North Sea, about going on a bike tour in late September.  I'd guess that person would beat your head with a hammer for saying something so stupid.  Riding around the Rockies and Bitterroot mountains in late September is about the same thing.


Russ

Haha, we are a bit devoid of big mountains near London (thankfully) but I'm
Originally a Welshman so know a lot about mountains! I've also
done a lot of the big climbs on the Tour de France (ventoux, alp d'huez etc).
but never had the pleasure as yet of being assisted by a granny ring and
3 panniers!


Offline Soulboy#1

Re: The latest time to head out east to west on the TransAmerica trail
« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2017, 02:55:44 am »
Thank you Pat