Author Topic: Companion for TransAm from East to West  (Read 682 times)

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Offline passandr2021

Companion for TransAm from East to West
« on: January 13, 2022, 11:23:29 am »
Hi,

I am a new bikepacker looking for a companion to ride from east to west. 

I'll be on a recumbent trike.

Please let me know if you are interested or know of somebody who would be intetested.  I'd also be happy to learn more about groups already formed. 

Offline Ty0604

Re: Companion for TransAm from East to West
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2022, 02:49:08 pm »
Hi,

I am a new bikepacker looking for a companion to ride from east to west. 

I'll be on a recumbent trike.

Please let me know if you are interested or know of somebody who would be intetested.  I'd also be happy to learn more about groups already formed.

If you’re an ACA member you can post here… https://www.adventurecycling.org/adventure-cyclist/companions-wanted/

Good luck!
Instagram: tyjames0604

WI—>WA—>CO

Offline jsc

Re: Companion for TransAm from East to West
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2022, 03:53:05 pm »
2022 or 2023?  My brother and I are talking about a coast to coast ride in 2023.  We haven't selected a route yet, but here's an except from something I just posted in another part of the forum. My latest idea is an east to west ride starting on the TransAm then switching gears so to speak halfway across the country.

"I considered the Transamerica Trail in its entirety until I discovered that it crosses the Continental Divide at above 11,500'. It will be enough of a challenge to go the distance next year at age 70 without adding the insult of extreme elevation to the injury of thousands of miles of riding. I looked at the higher elevations along the other major east-west routes, and I think I've come up with a plan, which I pitched to my brother yesterday.

I'm proposing starting on the Transamerica Trail on the East Coast in early May (maybe a little earlier), and heading west to intersect the Great Rivers South route south of St. Louis, then cutting north to intersect the Lewis and Clark Trail west of St. Louis and following it to the Oregon Coast using the Blackfoot option on Map 6 of the Lewis and Clark to cut off the huge southern loop on Map 5).  As far as I can tell the highest point on my proposed route would be the 5610' Rogers Pass at the Continental Divide between Great Falls and Missoula, Montana."

Offline John Nelson

Re: Companion for TransAm from East to West
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2022, 08:51:14 pm »
You aren't at 11,500 feet very long. It's just up and down in a few hours. Yes, Hoosier Pass is not an easy climb, but I had more trouble with the Appalachians, where the roads are much steeper. The Ozarks aren't easy either.

Personally, I'd rather do an 11-mile climb averaging 3% (Hoosier Pass) than those 18% grades in the Appalachians. The 4-mile climb at Hayter's Gap, Virginia is a 4-mile hill averaging 6.5%.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Companion for TransAm from East to West
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2022, 08:25:03 am »
You aren't at 11,500 feet very long. It's just up and down in a few hours. Yes, Hoosier Pass is not an easy climb, but I had more trouble with the Appalachians, where the roads are much steeper. The Ozarks aren't easy either.

Personally, I'd rather do an 11-mile climb averaging 3% (Hoosier Pass) than those 18% grades in the Appalachians. The 4-mile climb at Hayter's Gap, Virginia is a 4-mile hill averaging 6.5%.
I agree 100%.  This was definitely my experience.  I went W-E so I was well road hardened by then and the eastern mountains were still far and away the most difficult.

Going E-W may be little a bit different, but the elevation wasn't nearly as much of a concern as you would think since starting at sea level and riding to higher elevations is gradual you have plenty of time to acclimate.

If I were to worry about making the trip easier it would be trying to avoid the portion in Virginia, Kentucky, and eastern Missouri.  I'd hate to miss those, but if you wanted to make the trip easier they are the place to do it.  The Eastern Express avoids them and gets you over the toughest part of the TA.

Of course the easiest coast to coast is the Southern Tier, but I'd only consider that in winter, or early spring (I don't like touring in the heat).  My choice was mid Feb thru mid Mar for San Diego to Pensacola and I thought the timing was great, but I like cool weather.  The scenery isn't up to the standards of the other routes IMO though.  After 1000 miles of brown sage brush it gets old.  I guess if you were to catch it when wild flowers were in bloom it might be different.

Offline jsc

Re: Companion for TransAm from East to West
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2022, 01:52:57 pm »
Thanks for your comments. I don't doubt a bit that the steeps in the Appalachians and Ozarks can be worse that the climbs in the Rockies.  I've seen 18% grades in Ohio (that was the only time since I first started riding over 35 years ago that I had to stop half way up a hill to look for the lung I coughed up),  but my issue isn't steepness but altitude.  I'll be 70 when I make my transcontinental ride in 2023. I've kept a meticulous log of all my riding for the past 15 years, and I see evidence in the stats of the very slow but inexorable decline in physical capability that comes with age.  I still ski (it's been 3 years due to the pandemic) but riding up a lift to 11,000' or 12,000' and skiing down is quite different from chugging up to that altitude on a loaded bike. I may well be able to do it without a problem, but I won't know for sure without actually taking it on. I'd rather not take the chance only to discover I don't have the lungs for it anymore, and have to reroute at that point or cheat a ride over the top in the bed of a pickup. I'm looking for ways to improve my chances of successfully completing my ride, and avoiding extreme elevation is one of my considerations.

I appreciate your suggestion of the Eastern Express.  I've heard of it but knew nothing about it until I started investigating after your posts. I've been concentrating on routes available from ACA, and it's not in their inventory yet, though I read it will be soon. I will be looking into it.

Offline HikeBikeCook

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Re: Companion for TransAm from East to West
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2022, 03:14:42 pm »
You might want to look at the TransAM Eastern Express as an alternative to the traditional eastern half. https://www.easternexpressroute.com/
Surly Disc Trucker, Lightspeed Classic, Scott Scale, Klein Mantra Comp. First touring bike Peugeot U08 - 1966

Offline Ty0604

Re: Companion for TransAm from East to West
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2022, 04:49:29 pm »
You aren't at 11,500 feet very long. It's just up and down in a few hours. Yes, Hoosier Pass is not an easy climb, but I had more trouble with the Appalachians, where the roads are much steeper. The Ozarks aren't easy either.

Personally, I'd rather do an 11-mile climb averaging 3% (Hoosier Pass) than those 18% grades in the Appalachians. The 4-mile climb at Hayter's Gap, Virginia is a 4-mile hill averaging 6.5%.

Also agree… I found the hills of the Adirondacks in Upstate New York and the Green Mountains in Vermont much tougher than the passes in the Cascades/Rockies. Would rather ride a long gradual grade than a short steep one.
Instagram: tyjames0604

WI—>WA—>CO

Offline John Nelson

Re: Companion for TransAm from East to West
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2022, 05:00:28 pm »
You might want to look at the TransAM Eastern Express as an alternative to the traditional eastern half. https://www.easternexpressroute.com/

Note that the Eastern Express goes over 10,249-foot Cameron Pass. Not quite as high as 11,542-foot Hoosier Pass, but still up there. You can get across the Rockies with less elevation in Wyoming.

Offline HikeBikeCook

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  • Posts: 466
  • Touring for over 50 years and still learning
Re: Companion for TransAm from East to West
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2022, 05:05:26 pm »
I find that the grade is often a bigger challenge than the altitude :)  The worst grades are in the east on the traditional TransAM.

Altitude Alert: The 4,400+ feet of climbing today
is very gradual, and will take you to about 9,200’
by the end of this day’s ride. However, if you have
been pedaling all the way from Washington, DC,
your body should have no problem in handling the
effects of altitude, except for shortness of breath.
Surly Disc Trucker, Lightspeed Classic, Scott Scale, Klein Mantra Comp. First touring bike Peugeot U08 - 1966

Offline staehpj1

Re: Companion for TransAm from East to West
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2022, 05:48:12 pm »
The thing is that you get to the elevations fairly gradually on a bike on the TA when starting at sea level.  Lots of time to acclimate gradually.  It is nothing like flying to or even driving to elevation.

One thing you might consider is starting out with the notion of riding the TA route and then detouring somewhere midway if you want/need to.  I haven't perused the maps with that in mind, but maybe you could set one or a few decision points and decide whether to detour there when you arrive.  You should have a good idea how things are going soon after Pueblo.  You won't need to get to the highest elevations to see how you are acclimating to changes in elevation.

In any case I hope you come up with a solution that works for you.


Offline John Nelson

Re: Companion for TransAm from East to West
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2022, 07:03:49 pm »
It will be enough of a challenge to go the distance next year at age 70 without adding the insult of extreme elevation to the injury of thousands of miles of riding.

Just FYI, but many of the people offering you comments here are older than you are.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Companion for TransAm from East to West
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2022, 07:56:44 pm »
It will be enough of a challenge to go the distance next year at age 70 without adding the insult of extreme elevation to the injury of thousands of miles of riding.

Just FYI, but many of the people offering you comments here are older than you are.
Yeah, in general we aren't spring chickens.  I am 70 myself.