Author Topic: TransAmerica Trail Bike Tour, The Dreaded Middle Third  (Read 327 times)

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Offline Smudgy

TransAmerica Trail Bike Tour, The Dreaded Middle Third
« on: March 22, 2020, 11:41:04 pm »
In 2019, I rode a section of the TransAmerica Bike Trail from Pueblo, Colorado to Carbondale, Illinois. I made a video. A biker I met called it the dreaded middle third. He said it is because that is where most people quit. Kansas is too long, too hot, too windy and too boring. Maybe so, but I love the open spaces and small western towns on the high plains. In contrast the roads in the Missouri Ozarks are hilly and twisty. 3 or 4 days of hill after hill with 8-12% grades, most less than 2 miles. If not the hills, the scenery will take your breath away. Check it out.

https://youtu.be/FRBzWdUTBAw


Offline aggie

Re: TransAmerica Trail Bike Tour, The Dreaded Middle Third
« Reply #1 on: March 23, 2020, 02:53:54 pm »
Another nice video.  Thanks for sharing.

Offline rwinot25

Re: TransAmerica Trail Bike Tour, The Dreaded Middle Third
« Reply #2 on: March 23, 2020, 04:20:44 pm »
Nice video, thanks for the memories. I was about 10 days ahead of you on my own cross country journey last summer.

Online hikerjer

Re: TransAmerica Trail Bike Tour, The Dreaded Middle Third
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2020, 09:48:14 pm »
"Anyone can love the mountains. It takes heart to love the prairie. "  - Willa Cather

Offline driftlessregion

Re: TransAmerica Trail Bike Tour, The Dreaded Middle Third
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2020, 11:04:09 am »
I enjoyed the video but after sharing it with my touring friends the consensus is never Kansas.

Offline Smudgy

Re: TransAmerica Trail Bike Tour, The Dreaded Middle Third
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2020, 12:28:22 pm »
I enjoyed the video but after sharing it with my touring friends the consensus is never Kansas.

Never Kansas? Whaaat? You don't know what you're missing, or maybe you do. Driving a car or taking a bus across Kansas is truly torture, riding across on a bike is totally different. It's way harder! I agree with hikerjer and Willa Cather and I did fall in love with the prairie. I didn't always see it that way. So, I also agree that there are many more scenic places to ride. One question though, how does one get across the USA without going through Kansas or one of the other plains state? ??? 

Offline jwrushman

Re: TransAmerica Trail Bike Tour, The Dreaded Middle Third
« Reply #6 on: March 25, 2020, 01:33:52 pm »
Have you ridden the Northern Tier across Montana?  How does it compare to Kansas?  I enjoyed it.
« Last Edit: March 25, 2020, 03:32:07 pm by jwrushman »

Online jamawani

Re: TransAmerica Trail Bike Tour, The Dreaded Middle Third
« Reply #7 on: March 25, 2020, 03:05:17 pm »
Nebraska & Iowa are just so much better for crossing the Great Plains.

Pic - Nebraska Sandhills

Offline Smudgy

Re: TransAmerica Trail Bike Tour, The Dreaded Middle Third
« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2020, 11:39:55 pm »
Have you ridden the Northern Tier across Montana?  How does it compare to Kansas?  I enjoyed it.
I rode the Lewis and Clark in 2004. one of my favorite sections was from Williston, ND to Havre, Mt, then southwest to Great Falls. It felt like the movie Lonesome Dove following the Milk River valley. The scenery is very similar to Kansas. I especially like all of the small western towns along the plains, they're hard working ranching towns.

Offline Smudgy

Re: TransAmerica Trail Bike Tour, The Dreaded Middle Third
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2020, 11:46:16 pm »
Nebraska & Iowa are just so much better for crossing the Great Plains.

Pic - Nebraska Sandhills

I crossed Nebraska twice, I love the Sandhills. BTW, Iowa is not flat. Constant rolling hills.

Offline TCS

Re: TransAmerica Trail Bike Tour, The Dreaded Middle Third
« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2020, 11:07:26 pm »
'The prairie only whispers.  You must listen carefully and not miss the message.' - Val Peters
"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: TransAmerica Trail Bike Tour, The Dreaded Middle Third
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2020, 03:49:11 pm »
You pass right through the middle of most of the towns in Kansas on the TransAm. For many of the towns in Montana on the Northern Tier, they are to your left or right, so you don’t see much of them unless you make a point to go off route a bit. I liked Kansas better.

Offline BikeliciousBabe

Re: TransAmerica Trail Bike Tour, The Dreaded Middle Third
« Reply #12 on: Today at 10:30:41 am »
You pass right through the middle of most of the towns in Kansas on the TransAm. For many of the towns in Montana on the Northern Tier, they are to your left or right, so you don’t see much of them unless you make a point to go off route a bit. I liked Kansas better.

True. U.S. 2 appears to have been rerouted so that it no longer takes trough traffic into the center of some towns. Harlem, Malta and Glasgow come to mind. Harlem is off to the left. The latter two are reached by making a right and crossing under the railroad.