Author Topic: Trans Am Route Using Trails Where Possible  (Read 559 times)

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Offline chrismarsden

Trans Am Route Using Trails Where Possible
« on: December 17, 2018, 05:55:42 am »
Hello Lads and Lasses

I rode west to east trans-American last summer 2018, using a combination of the Lewis and Clark route and the Northern Tier.  It was good.  But, I have to say that there were numerous places where the traffic was difficult and dangerous.  For some parts I came across bike trails which were wonderful.

So, I've been thinking:  While I accept that it would be impossible to use bike trails (usually old railway lines) completely, has anybody ever worked out a trans-America route that uses bike trails as much as possible ?  Just a thought.  It would minimize riding on roads and competing with traffic (some of which can be very dangerous).

Any suggestions ?

Thanks

Chris

Offline John Nettles

Re: Trans Am Route Using Trails Where Possible
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2018, 08:02:22 am »
Unfortunately, it is impossible to go coast to coast usely rail trails exclusively.

The closest you probably will find is the Eastern Express TransAm Route, a non-ACA route that uses lots of rail trails and/or low-traffic roads.  It goes from Washington, DC to Walden, CO where it connects with the ACA TransAm Route. 

https://www.easternexpressroute.com/

It should be noted that you in places, especially out west, you just don't have very many paved roads period, so as the population increases, more and more traffic uses the same amount of roads.

Also, you "could" ride across the country using low-traffic roads but a decent amount of them would be gravel.  Not trying to sound snarky, just stating that everyone makes choices.  In my part of the country, gravel riding has taken off big time.  I personally don't mind gravel and don't mind if I need to ride some but don't go looking for it.

If you are open to gravel, you could check out the OTHER TransAm route, https://www.transamtrail.com/  This is a motorcycle route so it MUCH more difficult than rail trails but might be interesting to consider if you are into gravel.

Tailwinds, John

Offline Malk

Re: Trans Am Route Using Trails Where Possible
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2019, 02:05:00 pm »
For what it's worth, and you are probably already aware, The 'Katy Trail' will get you a good couple of hundred miles from St Louis tof Kansas City. A great ride with good scenery and a welcome break from the traffic.

Offline UncaBuddha

Re: Trans Am Route Using Trails Where Possible
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2019, 11:56:25 am »
Yeah, the TAT is a dirt bike (motorcycle) trail from the Atlantic to the Pacific. There is considerable blacktop but it is mostly dirt and very quiet. The Swallows (Sarah and her hubby) rode it on mountainbikes as a tour (you can read their report on bikepacking.com). It would be a grand epic ride!

Offline jsieber

Re: Trans Am Route Using Trails Where Possible
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2019, 12:18:19 pm »
Yeah, the TAT is a dirt bike (motorcycle) trail from the Atlantic to the Pacific. There is considerable blacktop but it is mostly dirt and very quiet. The Swallows (Sarah and her hubby) rode it on mountainbikes as a tour (you can read their report on bikepacking.com). It would be a grand epic ride!

Adventure Cyclist magazine also published a story about their ride on the TAT that can be found here: https://www.adventurecycling.org/sites/default/assets/resources/20170301_TAT_Swallow.pdf

Offline Malk

Re: Trans Am Route Using Trails Where Possible
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2019, 03:10:49 pm »
Just read the Swallows blog about their TAT trip. Looks like a great ride.