Author Topic: Oregon to Missoula in August: Lewis & Clark or Transamerica ?  (Read 119 times)

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Offline DavidL

Hello,
I'd like to cycle from the Pacific-Coast of Oregon to Missoula in August this year.
I'll be traveling with tent and sleeping bag. My bicycle is a 28''-trekking-bike with 1.5''-tires so I can cycle on gravel but I'm better off on paved roads. I like to sleep in campsites whenever possible.

Would you recommend the Lewis & Clark or the Transamerica?

Thank you, David

Offline BikeliciousBabe

Re: Oregon to Missoula in August: Lewis & Clark or Transamerica ?
« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2018, 10:31:25 am »
I'd think L&C would be a bit more forgiving temperature wise, at least in OR. I once crossed OR roughly following the TA route starting in the second week of September. Nearly every day was crispy critter hot with not much shade.

Offline John Nettles

Re: Oregon to Missoula in August: Lewis & Clark or Transamerica ?
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2018, 11:12:12 am »
The TA is the more classic tour and has a very wide variety of topography, i.e. seascape in western Oregon, then lush forests, then arid scrub land in eastern Oregon followed by some more less lush forest in Idaho before reaching Kooskia, ID where the TA and L&C merge.  The TA is probably more rural and less traffic percentage wise than the L&C.

The L&C is probably more arid overall and has more traffic but does have some beautiful spots and pedistrian/cyclist only sections.  The L&C is probably a little flatter percentage wise than the TA and it is obviously much shorter.

I would suggest since this is your first tour, I would suggest the TA since it is THE classic tour.  As Babe mentioned, Oregon is not cool and comfy in August, at least east of the mountain range.  However, the TA is cooler.

To give an idea the following are the 30-average highs (rounded to nearest whole number) on August 15 for various spots along the TA route.  In Oregon: Astoria-69, Salem-83, Eugene-85, Sisters-82, John day-87, Halfway-87 (was 100+ in June when I rode it up that really long climb).  In Idaho, Cambridge-90, Grangeville-83.  For the L&C the temps are Portland-81, Hood River-86, The Dalles-88, Wallawala-85, and Lewiston ID tops out at 90 as you have a massive climb up onto the plateau (beautiful climb though).  These are averages so the actual temp could easily vary by 10* or more.

I would suggest you go to CrazyGuyonaBike.com and review some journals from both routes.  I would also suggest you look at Google Map's streetview along various points of the route so you can see the scenery.  Between that and the above, you can make a decision on what is best for you.

I forewarn you though, if you go on a tour, you may never stop!  Have a great ride, John
« Last Edit: April 16, 2018, 11:17:00 am by John Nettles »
Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!
John

Offline DavidL

Re: Oregon to Missoula in August: Lewis & Clark or Transamerica ?
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2018, 11:30:41 am »
Hello Baba & John,
would the Northern Tier be better temperature-wise in August? I could use the Great Parks North to get from Whitefish to Missoula.

thanks for your insight

Offline John Nettles

Re: Oregon to Missoula in August: Lewis & Clark or Transamerica ?
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2018, 11:46:26 am »
It's a mixed bag.  Some places are cooler but others like Omak reach 92* for the average high.  Honestly, I would ride which route you want and deal with the heat appropriately, i.e. start as early as you reasonably can, drink a ton of water, takes shade breaks when needed (when hot, it is not unusual for me to take 4-hour "lunch break" between Noon and 4pm if needed), do shorter miles, etc.  Do as much July training rides during the hot part of the day if possible.  Your body adapts but it may take a week or more.

The big plus of the NT is that WA-20 is very scenic and then you can also do Glacier National Park north of Missoula (stunning).  Again, look at CrazyGuy and some journals to get a feel for each route.

Best, John

Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!
John

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Oregon to Missoula in August: Lewis & Clark or Transamerica ?
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2018, 01:28:34 pm »
would the Northern Tier be better temperature-wise in August? I could use the Great Parks North to get from Whitefish to Missoula.

A paraphrase of this question might be, is it hotter in the oven on bake or broil?  There's 4.5 passes on Washington 20 in four days, and when we rode through it was over 95 in each river valley.  Awesome scenery, lots of climbing, but it strikes me as a tough way to start a tour.

Offline DavidL

Re: Oregon to Missoula in August: Lewis & Clark or Transamerica ?
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2018, 02:44:27 pm »
Awesome scenery, lots of climbing, but it strikes me as a tough way to start a tour.

You're probably right. I'll look at CrazyGuy

Thank you very much!