Author Topic: The latest time to head out east to west on the TransAmerica trail  (Read 14658 times)

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Offline Soulboy#1

Re: The latest time to head out east to west on the TransAmerica trail
« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2017, 02:59:42 am »
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.  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.

Hey Russ. I was looking to average between 50-100 miles a day. So early to mid June might
Be ok you think?

Offline jamawani

Re: The latest time to head out east to west on the TransAmerica trail
« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2017, 06:12:59 am »
Early to mid June start from the east coast would be fine.
Expect some serious heat in Kansas - nothing like the U.K.
On such days - start before sunrise and stop by noon.
Safe travels!

Offline RussSeaton

Re: The latest time to head out east to west on the TransAmerica trail
« Reply #17 on: May 15, 2017, 03:01:13 pm »
Hey Russ. I was looking to average between 50-100 miles a day. So early to mid June might
Be ok you think?

50-100 miles.  Lets average that to 70 miles per day.  Riding East to West.  So you have 60 riding days on the 4,228 mile Transam trail.  You could easily leave mid, late June, early July and have fine weather all the way across the USA.  Except for heat in the middle.  And add in 10-15 off days too.  You would get to the west coast by mid September.

Offline RussSeaton

Re: The latest time to head out east to west on the TransAmerica trail
« Reply #18 on: May 15, 2017, 03:23:00 pm »
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!

You're from Wales.  The tallest mountain in Wales is Snowdon at 3,560 feet at the summit.  Denver Colorado, which is not in the Rocky mountains but is near the Rockies, is at 5,280 feet.  To get over the Rocky mountains, you climb UP from Denver to the passes.  The bottom of the valleys between the Rocky mountain passes are 2,000 feet or more higher than the very tip top peak of the tallest mountain in Wales.  There is no snow on your mountain all year long.  The mountains in Wales are comparable to the Appalachian mountains in the USA near the east coast.  They are short mountains.  Steep but short.  You might climb a couple miles to the top.  Not 7 miles of climbing like the Rockies.  The mountains in Wales and the Appalachian mountains do not have the same winter conditions, same year round weather extremes, that the taller Rocky and Sierra mountains out west.

You rode in the Alps.  Likely in summer.  July and August.  Not winter and not the iffy months of spring and fall where the weather can change instantly.  The Alps are similar to the Rockies.  Same height and same weather.  There are very few people who plan cycling vacations in the Alps in early May or late September due to the potential bad weather.  You would not want to plan a ride in the western US mountains at that time either.  You could have wonderful weather.  But you could also have a blizzard.

Offline kitchens

Re: The latest time to head out east to west on the TransAmerica trail
« Reply #19 on: May 16, 2017, 01:17:03 am »
If I wanted to reverse it, and do an England/Scotland/Ireland/Wales tour, when would that be best?

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: The latest time to head out east to west on the TransAmerica trail
« Reply #20 on: May 16, 2017, 10:18:01 am »
Denver Colorado, which is not in the Rocky mountains but is near the Rockies, is at 5,280 feet.  To get over the Rocky mountains, you climb UP from Denver to the passes.  The bottom of the valleys between the Rocky mountain passes are 2,000 feet or more higher than the very tip top peak of the tallest mountain in Wales.  There is no snow on your mountain all year long.  The mountains in Wales are comparable to the Appalachian mountains in the USA near the east coast.  They are short mountains.  Steep but short.  You might climb a couple miles to the top.  Not 7 miles of climbing like the Rockies.

Pardon me while I giggle a bit about the characterization of the Appalachian climbs.

OK, I'm better.  (Thanks for the laugh!)  I can think of two or three TransAm Appalachian climbs that are 5 or more miles, four others that are 10-15 miles without trying hard.  But I digress.

The big difference between the Rockies passes and the Appalachian gaps are (1) higher elevation, as Russ alluded to; and (2) easier grades (at least on the TransAm).  They kind of balance each other out.  It's harder to suck in air at 8,000 feet elevation, but you don't need to suck as much because it's only a 6% grade.

Offline RussSeaton

Re: The latest time to head out east to west on the TransAmerica trail
« Reply #21 on: May 16, 2017, 01:15:57 pm »
I can think of two or three TransAm Appalachian climbs that are 5 or more miles, four others that are 10-15 miles without trying hard.

Please name these 10-15 mile long climbs in the Appalachian mountains.  You said there are four of them.  Be specific, exact starting points and ending points.  The Rockies are twice as high but I don't recall ever riding more than about 7 miles to get over any pass there.  Chicago is 600 feet and Denver is 5300.  So you could claim its a 4700 feet climb, 1000 miles long between these two cities.  I suspect your 10-15 mile climbs in the Appalachians are similar.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: The latest time to head out east to west on the TransAmerica trail
« Reply #22 on: May 16, 2017, 02:07:51 pm »
1. Bakersville, NC to Carver's Gap.
2. Gatlinburg, TN to Newfound Gap.
3. Cherokee, NC to Newfound Gap.
4. Tellico Plains, TN to the top of Cherohala Skyway.

Offline John Nelson

Re: The latest time to head out east to west on the TransAmerica trail
« Reply #23 on: May 17, 2017, 10:07:11 am »
Generalizations are almost always faulty (that's a generalization, of course). Some climbs in the Rocky Mountains are quite long, but not steep. Riding from Gunnison, Colorado to the top of Cottonwood Pass is 49 miles of continuous uphill. Admittedly, a lot of it is a shallow uphill.

Offline jamawani

Re: The latest time to head out east to west on the TransAmerica trail
« Reply #24 on: May 17, 2017, 01:35:14 pm »
Highway 4 in the California Sierras has grades up to 28%.

Offline zzzz

Re: The latest time to head out east to west on the TransAmerica trail
« Reply #25 on: May 17, 2017, 04:41:59 pm »
Not the dreaded "my grades are steeper then your grades" fight!  ::)

I live on the east coast in the Appalachians. The 5 trips I've taken have all been in the mountain west and I've gone over more than 50 passes out there but that still means there are many I haven't gone over.

If the thin air at altitude affects you badly then I'm sure the climbs out west will be hard. I have yet to go up one of the big passes in the west that I didn't just settle in for the 1 or 2 hours of going uphill and have never been put in any real trouble by them. I have several local climbs here in eastern Pa that are in the 1 or 1.5 miles of length variety that just leave me cracked.

My humble opinion.

Pete

Offline jwrushman

Re: The latest time to head out east to west on the TransAmerica trail
« Reply #26 on: May 17, 2017, 05:44:28 pm »
"Highway 4 in the California Sierras has grades up to 28%."

Can this be bicycled?  By mere mortals?

I think the steepest climb I've had is at Smugglers Notch at Stowe VT and I think that was only 17%.  If I leaned forward, I lost traction with the rear wheel.  If I sat back, the front wheel lifted up.  I'll try it again this autumn when I'm back up there.

Offline John Nelson

Re: The latest time to head out east to west on the TransAmerica trail
« Reply #27 on: May 18, 2017, 04:00:58 pm »
I place little significance to percentage grades. When a road is reported to have "grades up to 28%", all that means is that some probably short (and maybe just ten feet) section of the road is 28%. It is not a good indication of the difficulty of riding that road. A road that is continuously 10% for several miles is going to be harder.

Offline Soulboy#1

Re: The latest time to head out east to west on the TransAmerica trail
« Reply #28 on: May 22, 2017, 04:24:16 am »
June the 4th it is! I'm coming...

Offline jamawani

Re: The latest time to head out east to west on the TransAmerica trail
« Reply #29 on: May 22, 2017, 10:21:33 am »
Congrats, SB!