Author Topic: TransAm done - What next?  (Read 3891 times)

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Offline staehpj1

Re: TransAm done - What next?
« Reply #15 on: February 24, 2021, 12:08:55 pm »
...his favorite was the Southern Tier.  I liked the food and the people, but found the scenery mostly underwhelming...I rode it San Diego to Pensacola in mid Feb to mid Mar...It was a long grind with brown nothingness day after day way too much of the time for me.

To be fair, the Southern Tier crosses the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts - and you rode it in late winter!  At other times, a Southern Tier rider could catch the North American bird migration - and the Monarch butterfly migration! - fall color, the deserts in bloom, Texas exploding in wildflowers, even the azaleas & wisteria of the South.   :)
True, but when I have planned trips in the desert other than in winter I have always been hit with an unseasonable heat wave.  I did see some beautiful wildflowers on the Sierra Cascades with a June 4th start, but we also dealt with heat in excess of 110F. 

I hate hot weather on tour and seem to always get it.  The guy I rode the ST with noted that when I complained that it was hot on the last day of the ST that he thought the weather was miserable the entire time and that was the first nice day.  Then he said that be fair it was the first day the entire trip that he heard me complain about the weather at all.

Offline jamawani

Re: TransAm done - What next?
« Reply #16 on: February 24, 2021, 03:46:14 pm »
Quote
I hate hot weather on tour and seem to always get it. 

Me, too.
On my ST ride I must have had fries cooked in old grease in Brackettville, Texas.
Out on the road again, heading to Del Rio in the heat - major stomach churn.
I pulled off into the ditch - in the heat - never threw up but was pea green.

My ideal riding weather is 68F and sunny. (20C for those Europeans)
Willing to bet folks from Iceland bake a little when its 95F (35C) with 95% humidity.

Pic - Scenery on the Southern Tier

Offline staehpj1

Re: TransAm done - What next?
« Reply #17 on: February 24, 2021, 04:39:18 pm »
Pic - Scenery on the Southern Tier

Yeah, day after day after day after day. There were places with different scenery, but there was at least 1000 miles just like that.  The dunes in the Imperial Valley were nice and when it suddenly was green at Del Rio that was nice.  The Gulf gave another change, but that brown nothing seemed to go on forever.

Offline BikePacker

Re: TransAm done - What next?
« Reply #18 on: February 24, 2021, 07:19:28 pm »
If motor vehicle-free trails/paths appeal, one can ride the majority of the distance from Washington, D.C. to Lincoln, Nebraska on trails.
TCS - I am most interested in your Trail diagram ... do you have a link to whatever 'this' is? Thx.

Offline TCS

Re: TransAm done - What next?
« Reply #19 on: February 24, 2021, 07:49:19 pm »
The 'path' map:  there's an outfit called railstotrails.org.  Among other things, they're promoting "The Great American Rail Trail", stretching from coast to coast.

Okay, that's pretty cool but, and it's a big but, 1) it's only ~50% complete and some of the rest is a pipe dream and likely to remain so, 2) it's not a trail but a series of more or less linked individual trails under different auspices with different use rules and different surfaces, and 3) it inefficiently wiggles around, apparently just to use existing paths.

Still and all, one really can ride most of the way from Washington DC to Lincoln, Nebraska, right now in 2021, on motor vehicle-free trails/paths.

Uh, AFAIK, you're on your own making the short roadway connections between some of the trails.  Somebody please correct me if there's a map or compendium or GPX file of the links.

https://www.railstotrails.org/greatamericanrailtrail/route/
"My name is Pither.  I am at present on a cycling tour of the North Cornwall area taking in Bude and..."

Offline TCS

Re: TransAm done - What next?
« Reply #20 on: February 24, 2021, 07:58:20 pm »
There were places with different scenery, but there was at least 1000 miles just like that.

Did you go through Marfa (present routing) or the old way through Fort Davis?
"My name is Pither.  I am at present on a cycling tour of the North Cornwall area taking in Bude and..."

Offline zzzz

Re: TransAm done - What next?
« Reply #21 on: February 27, 2021, 08:08:05 pm »
Hi:

You left the Sierra Cascades route out of those you’re considering. If you aren’t familiar with it, you should look into it.

I loved it. You got a slew of the best known national parks along the way (Mt Rainer and Hood, Crater Lake, Lassen, Yosemite, Kings Canyon, and Giant Sequoia) plus a whole bunch of lesser known stuff that’s also a treat to ride by or thru (Mt. St. Helens blow down, Columbia River Gorge, etc.).

Lots of climbing but if you 2 are okay with going uphill I highly recommend it.

Offline staehpj1

Re: TransAm done - What next?
« Reply #22 on: February 28, 2021, 06:57:52 am »
Hi:

You left the Sierra Cascades route out of those you’re considering. If you aren’t familiar with it, you should look into it.

I loved it. You got a slew of the best known national parks along the way (Mt Rainer and Hood, Crater Lake, Lassen, Yosemite, Kings Canyon, and Giant Sequoia) plus a whole bunch of lesser known stuff that’s also a treat to ride by or thru (Mt. St. Helens blow down, Columbia River Gorge, etc.).

Lots of climbing but if you 2 are okay with going uphill I highly recommend it.
I rode the southern portion of it.  The scenery can be stunning.  I will say that I found the climbing to be exceedingly difficult compared to other routes I have ridden.  Also the desert areas can be insanely hot.  We went starting in San Diego on June 4th and the year we went we hit an early heat wave.  It was at least 110F way too much of the time to suit me.  Interestingly enough we had over 100 F and ice in our water within a 24 hour period.

If you do the route be prepared to climb.  Be prepared for heat and cold.  Also be prepared for long distances between services at times.

It is one of the few routes where I find it worth carrying a water filter.  In the hot weather we encountered the cold mountain streams provided a cold drink without waiting for drops or tablets to work.

Offline zzzz

Re: TransAm done - What next?
« Reply #23 on: February 28, 2021, 08:27:55 am »
What staehp1 says is true or can be true. There is lots of climbing, some of which can be pretty steep. The weather is the weather, some years will be better then others. It is easier and less remote then the GDMBR, which I rode the northern third of, that the OP said they started their conversation with.

I started my ride in Bellingham Wa at the beginning of September and rode the 25 miles up to the official start at the Canadian border. My weather was pretty good. There was a couple of mid day temps that got pretty warm but it never got super hot. The most likely foil on a fall route is wild fire. Even that is a hit or miss situation. There was a huge fire in California the year I did it that for 3-4 days from north of Tahoe until I was south of Yosemite I would hit pockets of smoke for 30-60 minutes then I wouldn’t see any again for hours.

Pete
« Last Edit: February 28, 2021, 09:24:36 am by zzzz »

Offline staehpj1

Re: TransAm done - What next?
« Reply #24 on: February 28, 2021, 09:34:00 am »
The most likely foil on a fall route is wild fire. Even that is a hit or miss situation. There was a huge fire in California the year I did it that for 3-4 days from north of Tahoe until I was south of Yosemite I would hit pockets of smoke for 30-60 minutes then I wouldn’t see any again for hours.
We didn't have any trouble with forest fires on that trip (June), but they can be a real problem even without a lot of highly visible smoke.  Breathing smoke at the just or almost visible level day in and day out can be miserable and can be a trip killer for me especially with heat and elevation added.  I have ended a backpacking trip and a bike tour for just that reason.  The bike tour ended with me suffering with HAPE (high altitude pulmonary edema).  The HAPE episode was at an elevation that I'd flown to before to start a trip (Denver) without issue, but between the smoke and the heat and maybe that I too quickly rode to higher elevation I got very sick and neither taking a couple days off nor riding to lower elevation available nearby was enough.  I called my doc at home and he said it was prudent to fly home.  I was concerned about getting on a plane, but he thought that given my symptoms it was the best choice.

Forest fire smoke can sometimes be a real issue in the Sierras even when they are hundreds of miles away and forest fires seem to be a bigger problem every year these days.

Offline zzzz

Re: TransAm done - What next?
« Reply #25 on: February 28, 2021, 11:13:38 am »
While staehpj1's concerns are all valid, I would still recommend OP considers this route.

To some extent we are all at the mercy of things beyond our control. You don't want to do anything flat out stupid like ride the ST in the middle of summer or ride up to alaska in the winter but for everything else, it's a roll of the dice.

Very early on on my first tour I was riding west on 50 in Nevada with the biggest tailwind I might have ever had and I passed a couple going the other way. I considered waving hello but I was pretty sure they would have just given me the finger.

If our icelandic friends want to do a route where they will see some of the most breathtaking scenery in the US day after day the SC route is great. Just make sure you get to the start in excellent shape. It is not a route you want to ride yourself into fitness on.

Offline staehpj1

Re: TransAm done - What next?
« Reply #26 on: February 28, 2021, 12:04:33 pm »
While staehpj1's concerns are all valid, I would still recommend OP considers this route.
I do too, just take the factors I mentioned into account in your decision.