Author Topic: TransAm: dep late March – route advise needed  (Read 1211 times)

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Offline Pieta_43

TransAm: dep late March – route advise needed
« on: January 11, 2020, 02:36:52 pm »
Dear cycling folks,

with an unexpected opportunity window opening I´m trying my luck to make a  dream come alive and ride from coast to coast. As so often with unexpected events timing is not perfectly fine, therefore I would kindly ask you for your advice which route through the US to take.

Initial plan waiting in the box was the legendary ACA TransAm route but due to my time window this won´t work out. Now I´ve come up with two other options but I´m not quite sure which one to ride.

Background: aged 30 with sportive background (incl. triathlon), did the ACA Pacific Coast route in 2018 in 30 days. Set-Up is a light weight cycle cross bike (alu frame) or an adjusted road bike with carbon frame.

Timeframe: Last week of March till first week of May (5 weeks)

Route Option 01: ACA Southern Tier; west to east

Route Option 02: LA to Yorktown (via Vegas, Zion NP, Rockie crossing at Chama NM (10,500ft) and Palo Flechado Pass trough Oklahoma into Arkansas, Tennessee finishing on the ACA TransAm at Yorktown; west to east

May I kindly ask for your device – which option should I take, or if you have a third option welcome – am happy for any feedback!

Thanks a lot,
Pieta

Offline jamawani

Re: TransAm: dep late March – route advise needed
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2020, 04:42:19 pm »
You can't have my device, but I'll offer my advice.

April can still be mid-winter in the Rockies.
Late April & early May is peak storm season in the Great Plains and Southeast.

Since the weather may be tricky and you time is limited, the shorter the route the better.
The Pacific Coast Route is 1800+ miles. The Souther Tier is 3000+ miles.
Using "Old Math" 1800/30 = 60 miles per day. 60 x 35 (5 weeks) = 2100 miles.
Even 80 miles per day x 35 = 2800.

80 miles a day is possible - esp. with limited weight - but you have zero leeway.
And you would need to shorten the Southern Tier by 200 miles.
Or up your daily mileage to 87.
Numbers suggest Option 2 is a no go.

Did I mention rain?
Most of Louisiana, Mississippi & Alabama get 4-6 inches in April.
You will notice a big change in east Texas. Expect downpours.

Because services are better and it is already mapped -
I suggest the Southern Tier rather than venturing out on your own.
Taking th old  ST route on busy US 60 east of Phoenix will save a chunk of miles.

Best of luck - it will be tight.


Offline John Nelson

Re: TransAm: dep late March – route advise needed
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2020, 09:57:48 pm »
I agree with jamawani. Take the Southern Tier and look for shortcuts.

Offline Pieta_43

Re: TransAm: dep late March – route advise needed
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2020, 10:12:44 am »
THANKS A LOT for your quick feedback and advise - making my decision easy!

Coming from business I don´t care about maths  ;D - no serios concerning timing I do not have a problem to use a rental if necessary, its about the ride not the finish. Can´t wait to hit the road again.

Ride safe and thanks for your advices,
Pieta

Offline TCS

Re: TransAm: dep late March – route advise needed
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2020, 10:55:57 am »
...or if you have a third option welcome – am happy for any feedback!

Parameters:
Coast to coast, North America.
5 weeks.
Late March to early May.

Okay.

Third option:  a cross country short route developed just for such a trip envelope.

A southern USA crossing beginning on Ocean Beach Pier and ending on Bob Hall Pier:  Coast to coast, ocean to ocean, saltwater to saltwater.

San Diego, CA to Kerrville, TX (Aventure Cycling's Southern Tier) - 1610 miles, then Kerrville, TX to Corpus Christi, TX - 323 miles.

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/29360687

1933 miles total.
5 weeks (35 days), 55 miles/day average.
"My name is Pither.  I am at present on a cycling tour of the North Cornwall area taking in Bude and..."

Offline John Nelson

Re: TransAm: dep late March – route advise needed
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2020, 11:09:35 am »
Good out-of-the-box thinking TCS.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: TransAm: dep late March – route advise needed
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2020, 11:53:25 am »
TCS has a very reasonable suggestion.

Now for an "out of the box?  what's a box?" suggestion:

Start east going west (for warmer temperatures at lower elevations).  You might even want to start a little further east, in New Orleans, and make a run up the Mississippi before turning west.

When you get to Tempe, ask yourself if you really want to ride another 400 miles through southwestern deserts.  If not, try something different: take the Grand Canyon Connector up to St. George, UT.  You can either make flight connections out of there, or catch a shuttle to Las Vegas from there.  The elevations may be a bit sketchy weather-wise, but you'll have a chance to see canyons and rock formations unlike anything you've seen on the Pacific coast or riding the Southern Tier.

If you do that and you're still hung up on a coast to coast ride, take a week sometime later, preferably near a holiday, to ride the last week from San Diego to Tempe.

Offline Pieta_43

Re: TransAm: dep late March – route advise needed
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2020, 01:19:15 pm »
Dear all,

many thanks for your valuable inputs and hints!

Based on your feedback I’m now considering starting in San Diego and finishing in New Orleans spicing up the route with the Texas Hill Country Loop which should fit perfectly in terms of timing and weather;

once again thanks for your quick and helpful feedbacks,
pieta

Offline microsonno

Re: TransAm: dep late March – route advise needed
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2020, 11:40:04 am »
Hi Pieta and everyone, sorry for my english, I'm writing from Italy

I'm planning a coast to coast trip (coronavirus allowing, of course) for next may/june (see express topic), and reading above I've a question for you all

I'm 60 years old and I'm planning to cycle 100/110 miles per day (3150 miles in 30/32 days). It can be a too ambitious target in your opinion?

Some datas to understand: road bicycle steel frame: 12 kgs. Baggage: 8 kgs maximum. No tent and sleeping bag, only motels and B&B

In my background I have Paris-Brest-Paris 1999, London-Edinburgh-London 2001, Sicilia No Stop 2004, Mille Miglia Italia 2008 (Thousand miles in 118 hours). After 2008 some self-arranged bicycle trips in British Columbia (2010), Scotland (2012), Italian Alps (2014) North Cape (2017). Each time about 110 miles per day, during a 7 - 14 days trip.
Actually I'm training myself  about four time weekly (average 280 miles per week)
What do you think about?

Offline John Nelson

Re: TransAm: dep late March – route advise needed
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2020, 12:08:22 pm »
microsonno, it would have been better to start a new thread for this new discussion. Maybe the administrator of this forum will separate them.

Since you didn't mention a route, and since you posted in a TransAm thread, I'll tentatively assume that you're planning to do the TransAm.

I'm 60 years old and I'm planning to cycle 100/110 miles per day (3150 miles in 30/32 days). It can be a too ambitious target in your opinion?

As a physical goal, it's not too ambitious. But it is too ambitious if you want to have any fun.

Some datas to understand: road bicycle steel frame: 12 kgs. Baggage: 8 kgs maximum. No tent and sleeping bag, only motels and B&B

Well, your plan for long days makes this part of the plan more feasible. The longer days will help you reach motels that may be far apart. Assuming you're talking about year 2020 and not 2021, your problem will be Yellowstone. You may have a hard time booking a place to stay there. Do it today. And it will be expensive. If you can't get a reservation in Grand Teton or Yellowstone, with a long day riding, you can get all the way through in the same day (although you'll miss most of a very spectacular place). You'll probably also have to do an 125-mile day between Rawlins and Lander in Wyoming. And you'll have to get creative in eastern and central Oregon.

It's all doable. I wouldn't do it this way, but it's doable. There are many journals over at crazyguyonabike of people who have done the TransAm without a tent. They will be a lot of help with logistics.

Offline microsonno

Re: TransAm: dep late March – route advise needed
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2020, 12:55:24 pm »
thank you for the reply and sorry for abusing this thread, I've another one for my trip, but I tried to speak about the posts above. Sorry

About me, My route is from Asbury Park NJ, through Lancaster, Gettisburgh, Denver (Mount Evans), Fallon, Sacramento and San Francisco, mostly on Us36, I70 Frontage roads (and similar) and Us50. I have two maximum daily-stretch of 145 miles in Utah and Nevada, with a "border inn" or a village (Eureka) in the middle. Maximum 80 miles "no services".
Now in Italy I can cycle 145 miles in a day but I don't know if I can cycle 100, 145, 90, 110, 100, 120, ecc...

I'm writing to the motels to be sure they'll be existing and open. No chance of booking now, may be the day before my arrival

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: TransAm: dep late March – route advise needed
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2020, 05:13:28 pm »
microsonno, it appears you are not taking the Trans-America bike route.  That's OK, although it might be better to call it a cross-country USA route or something similar to avoid confusion.

You can usually make arrangements in the east a day or two ahead of time and get away with it.  Exceptions would be a large festival, rally, holiday, or university graduation.  If you can't find something in your first choice, you can usually go another 20 miles or so and get to the next town.

Once you get past Denver, expect things to change.  Towns will be 50 miles or more apart.  In general, there's going to be fewer lodging choices in each town.  Weekdays you may be able to get a room where you want it; weekends you'll want to reserve rooms further in advance.  I'd suggest planning at least a week out for weekends.  As John noted, the popular national parks (such as Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, and Glacier) are sold out already for this summer; however, there are cancellations.  Keep calling or e-mailing and there's a chance you can pick up a room when and where you want it.

Offline zzzz

Re: TransAm: dep late March – route advise needed
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2020, 06:23:47 pm »
Considering what you’ve done in the past, you can obviously handle the mileage you’re proposing. What you’re describing is similar to how I tour, travel lite, full days on the bike, a 1000k a week, and sleep it off in a hotel. And I will disagree w John N a bit as I feel like I have lots of fun on my trips, it’s that part of the fun is the physical challenge.

Your route however might not be so fun. You mention I-70, are you planning on being on the shoulder from idaho springs (near Mt Evans) to Salina, Utah? That’s 420 miles next to a pretty consistent parade of heavy trucks.  And that part of 50 from Delta, Utah to the Nevada border is extraordinary desolate,and not in a good way. I would ask you to take a look at the ACA Western Express route and, if nothing else, head south at Green River, Utah to Hanksville and join the WE there. It will take you thru much of the best of southern Utah which is quite spectacular and will wind back up to 50 to cross Nevada.

In your past trips I see nothing in the desert. It cannot be overemphasized how much water you lose in these conditions. Pack a couple of 2 liter water bags, they don’t weigh anything when empty and there will be days when you need more then 2 or even 3 water bottles will hold. Also, I would recommend you carry an emergency bivy. A 100, or even 140 mile day is doable, but you could be dealing w a big head wind and that can put you in a bad place.

Offline microsonno

Re: TransAm: dep late March – route advise needed
« Reply #13 on: March 02, 2020, 11:14:26 am »
ZZZZZ, Thank you very much for your precious suggests, i need some days to study all the matters, please come back here in some days for looking my reply.
Anyaway from Idaho Springs in Colorado I've only few miles on I70 (near Chacra I seem and before Palisade may be) cause there are frontage roads, or recration trails or "old Us 6". The only long stretch on I70 is from Green River for 45 miles on.
Anyway I go to verify your suggestions, thank you again

Offline staehpj1

Re: TransAm: dep late March – route advise needed
« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2020, 07:41:43 pm »
...or if you have a third option welcome – am happy for any feedback!

Parameters:
Coast to coast, North America.
5 weeks.
Late March to early May.

Okay.

Third option:  a cross country short route developed just for such a trip envelope.

A southern USA crossing beginning on Ocean Beach Pier and ending on Bob Hall Pier:  Coast to coast, ocean to ocean, saltwater to saltwater.

San Diego, CA to Kerrville, TX (Aventure Cycling's Southern Tier) - 1610 miles, then Kerrville, TX to Corpus Christi, TX - 323 miles.

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/29360687

1933 miles total.
5 weeks (35 days), 55 miles/day average.
Basically you can stop at whatever distance you choose on a w-e Southern Tier once you reach the gulf and call it coast to coast if you consider the gulf the coast.  I stopped in Pensacola and consider it coast to coast with an asterisk.  You could choose from a wide range of distances depending on your end point.

I found the ST to be just okay, something to do in winter when there aren't many other choices in the US, a poor substitute for the Trans America in my estimation.  The scenery was pretty boring.  The food and the people were interesting, but it was day, after day, after day of empty brown nothing as far as the scenery imo.

I did find that it was pretty easy to knock out long mileage on this route.  Also I found that I preferred to knock off mileage by taking shorter routes than the ACA recommended.  If doing it again I might consider picking up US 90 at Van Horn TX (where it starts) and staying with it most of the way eastward.