Author Topic: seeking best route from west coast to east coast this summer  (Read 754 times)

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Offline swimmer12

I am seeking advice on the best route from anywhere on the west coast to anywhere on the east coast with the least amount of car traffic. I will be leaving this summer. Any book suggestions on this topic?

Offline John Nettles

Re: seeking best route from west coast to east coast this summer
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2020, 01:12:06 pm »
Swimmer,
First, welcome to the ACA forums.

To answer your question, you need to provide a bit more info, i.e. do you mean least amount of traffic as in the peak number, average number (peak could be high but the average is lower), or what.  Are you camping, hoteling, eating out, cooking, etc. What miles do you plan to do per day?  What is your time frame, start and end dates?

Once you provide that, we can provide you with a much better answer. 

Tailwinds, John



Offline staehpj1

Re: seeking best route from west coast to east coast this summer
« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2020, 06:37:47 am »
I find it hard to answer that.  I have ridden the Southern Tier and the Trans America and driven portions of other possible routes.  The parts of my tours that I'd call "best" generally all involved putting up with a good bit of traffic.  Avoiding traffic would mean avoiding a lot of great places including many highlights of the trip.  Would you want to avoid places like Yellowstone, Glacier, or Yosemite National Parks if passing anywhere near them?

If riding across the country without encountering traffic was the primary goal I think that might most easily be accomplished paralleling the Southern Tier Route, not sure though.  If you managed to pick such a route it would most likely be exceedingly boring, since the ST already pretty much is scenery wise.  Also I wouldn't want to ride it in the Summer (I started on the west coast in mid February, which i found to be a good time).  I remember there being a lot of empty roads, but there were times when the only choice was the shoulder of the interstate for a while.

The middle of the country might be an option.  Crossing the plains with very little traffic should be easy.  I have crossed Kansas a couple times and it was okay, but Nebraska looks interesting.

Where there might be a problem is that regardless of where you choose to cross the mountains there are a limited number of roads and they generally have some traffic.  In the East you might be able to use the GAP and C&O Tow Path.

Personally I'd rather put up with some traffic.  If I wasn't traffic tolerant I'd go backpacking or dirt/off road touring.

Offline John Nelson

Re: seeking best route from west coast to east coast this summer
« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2020, 10:29:48 am »
The TransAm route is the best.

Offline staehpj1

Re: seeking best route from west coast to east coast this summer
« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2020, 10:43:39 am »
The TransAm route is the best.
It is my favorite too.  A great sampling of what the US has to offer.  The tradition of Bikecentennial.  The rite of passage aspect of it.  Comraderie of meeting other riders doing the same route.  It really has a lot to offer.

I just am not sure how to answer when the question is about the least car traffic.   Personally I don't consider traffic to be that important of a factor so it makes it hard for me to answer the question when that is prioritized.  Do you think the TA is particularly good in that respect compared to other routes?

Offline John Nettles

Re: seeking best route from west coast to east coast this summer
« Reply #5 on: May 19, 2020, 10:51:18 am »
Do you think the TA is particularly good in that respect compared to other routes?


I think the TA is better than most when it comes to traffic but not the best.  Probably the Lewis & Clark (L&C) then the TA east of St. Louis would be lower traffic. As you know, each route has segments that are busy and others that have hardly any traffic, i.e. I literally laid down in the middle of the highway on the ST in Arizona in one place, but that could be done in dozens of places on most routes.

I guess another option would be to do the L&C then connect with the non-ACA Eastern TransAm Express but the route does use some higher traffic roads in Indiana.  East of Washington, DC (lots of traffic in the city) you could use the Potomac and then cross over on the ferry to hit the coast.  You would have to probably reverse the route to get back to DC to get transportation or find a rental car place further north along the shore perhaps.

Tailwinds, John


Offline jamawani

Re: seeking best route from west coast to east coast this summer
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2020, 04:41:41 pm »
These are the guys I generally ignore.
First post - nothing in the profile.
No info offered in the post, either.
Kinda like a "drive-by" posting.

Offline John Nelson

Re: seeking best route from west coast to east coast this summer
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2020, 08:02:13 pm »
There’s no standard way to measure “least amount of traffic.” Furthermore, anytime you have two criteria, each will suffer because of the other. “Best route” or “Least amount of car traffic”. Pick one. You can’t have both. But if you pick “least amount of car traffic,” I guarantee that you’ll hate that route. So don’t pick that.

Offline Nyimbo

Re: seeking best route from west coast to east coast this summer
« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2020, 02:39:10 am »
These are the guys I generally ignore.
First post - nothing in the profile.
No info offered in the post, either.
Kinda like a "drive-by" posting.
When I read this I realized I had never looked at my profile.  So, I updated mine with age and location.  I don't have a web site or anything else to add.  I did try about 10 times to add a profile picture.  All were fail, but no instructions. Chose a stock pic but its not mine.  Sorry I guess I'm just adding to the off topic but it made me realize why so few of us have a pic, it was not possible to figure out how to add a profile pic correctly.

Offline canalligators

Re: seeking best route from west coast to east coast this summer
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2020, 04:54:42 pm »
These are the guys I generally ignore.
First post - nothing in the profile.
No info offered in the post, either.
Kinda like a "drive-by" posting.
A beginner often doesn't know what they don't know, or not even what questions to ask.  I give them some slack, even guide them down the learning path.

Offline dogdad

Re: seeking best route from west coast to east coast this summer
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2020, 09:07:34 am »
So did you go? I know I am late on this but I found the TA is great much of the way. I like history so in SE Colorado and western Kansas I took US highway 50 from Pueblo, CO to Newton, KS. Towns regularly, wide shoulders, lots of history. This is the old Santa Fe Trail. In Missouri, the TA is along very narrow, twisting roads with little to no shoulder and lots of traffic. I dropped south to US 60 and took it across the state. Nice wide shoulders, towns frequently. At Sikeston, MO I went north to Cape Giradeau and crossed the Mississippi. It is very unsafe to try to cross east of Sikeston at Cairo, IL. From Cape Giradeau I traveled east and rejoined the TA near Elizabethtown, IL. Could have rejoined sooner but didn't feel like it.

Offline jamawani

Re: seeking best route from west coast to east coast this summer
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2020, 11:25:23 am »
These are the guys I generally ignore.
First post - nothing in the profile.
No info offered in the post, either.
Kinda like a "drive-by" posting.
A beginner often doesn't know what they don't know, or not even what questions to ask.  I give them some slack, even guide them down the learning path.

Well, the OP still stands at one - count it - one post.
As a lifelong teacher, I have found that simply giving the person the info is of little effect.
It is quickly ignored, forgotten, or lost.

The internet has both helped and harmed.
Any person with basic familiarity with the internet would know where to start looking.
Also, just a little casual research online would give someone the outlines of how to ask.

I am reminded of the famous question asked of librarians.
"I need to read a book."