Author Topic: Eastern Express  (Read 782 times)

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Offline jsc

Eastern Express
« on: March 06, 2024, 12:09:36 pm »
My brother and I rode the Eastern Express self-contained last summer as it was laid out on the website before ACA got hold of it and truncated the eastern section to DC and ran it up to Indianapolis.  I turned 70 a week into the ride. We started in early May headed west from DC on the C&O Canal towpath headed for Seaside, Oregon. I'm not ashamed to say I didn't mind missing out on 40,000' of climbing by not taking the traditional TA route.We took the Eastern Express to Walden, Colorado, then the TA to Missoula, and the Lewis and Clark to the coast. Overall the weather was great. Very few rainy days. We didn't run into real heat until Missoula, then again at Lewiston, ID most of the way to Portland.  Only a half dozen real headwind days all the way to the Pacific Ocean, the worst being the demonic, chaotic, gale force wind from Walla Walla, WA to Umatilla, OR. Nothing the day before or the day after. I recommend the route with the timing and direction we took. If you have nothing better to do you can check out our trip blog at We have something more limited planned for this year, Pensacola, FL to Davenport, IA starting in about a month, then Davenport to Winnipeg, Manitoba next summer. See you out there.

Offline canalligators

Re: Eastern Express
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2024, 11:48:33 pm »
I took the traditional TA, and I hated the climbing in Virginia, part of Kentucky and Missouri.  If I were doing it again, I'd look long and hard at the Eastern Express.  Thanks for your input.

Offline Johnny10000

Re: Eastern Express
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2024, 10:12:17 pm »
John and Ed,

It was a pleasure following your journey on Cycle Blaze.   We met and spoke the night you tent camped at the Montour Trail in suburban Pittsburgh.

I realize the EE misses 40,000 feet of climbing as well as potentially getting chased by dogs.   The EE sounds like an easier journey for sure.  I’ve always wanted to ask, especially those that have completed it, at any times did you find it lonely out there, especially the section between Indy and meeting up with the TransAm in Colorado?  Obviously you were traveling as a pair, but I mean other riders?

The EE is such a new route and I wonder how many people are using it and if you ever actually bump into other riders in this section.  To me that’s what makes the TA potentially so much fun, the chance to see other riders and creating friendships and riding companions.

Just curious about that angle of the EE…the mental game.  I’ve certainly considered taking it though!

Take care,

Offline DonKahn1

Re: Eastern Express
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2024, 05:03:22 pm »
I did the EE last year also going from east to west.  Started in DC around May 2.  I did not encounter very many cross country cyclists on the route between DC and Ft. Collins.  I think maybe 5 cyclsists in all, and three of those were on the Katy Trail.  I liked the route, and didn't mind the lack of other long distance riders, since I have done a few solo tours before.  I espescially enjoyed riding the C & O, Gap, and Katy trails, and all three of these trails had some really nice cycling ammenities.  I diverted from the EE in Ft Collins, instead riding up to Laramie, and then west over the Snowy Mts (very scenic route!).  Ironically, the minute I hit the TransAm just sout of Saratoga, I instantly saw a group of 3 riders heading eastward on the TransAm.  I saw several riders every day after this on the TransAm route

Offline Johnny10000

Re: Eastern Express
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2024, 03:10:36 pm »
What a nice detour to Laramie!   I wish Laramie was on the TA.   Fun college town, ample restaurants, bike repair, grocery, motels, etc.

But I understand why it isn’t and was avoided as part of the TA (or they thought it was just too far to divert).

US 287 is likely the main culprit.  It’s a 4 lane highway between Ft. Collins and Laramie, with high speed traffic, occasionally resulting in some grizzly, head-on car collisions a few times every year.  My guess is when they formed the TA route they just figured it’s better for everyone to go on the much quieter Walden to Saratoga section. 

I also wonder if organizers wanted to avoid the climb of the Snowy Range which could see snow in June.  It’s a beautiful pass and riders would enjoy it so it’s a shame the TA misses both is this and Laramie but I can see why.

Your reply confirms the one concern I had about the EE.  I don’t mind a few days to myself but a few weeks?  I might start talking to myself! ;)


Offline DonKahn1

Re: Eastern Express
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2024, 04:38:20 pm »
Agreed, that 287 is a pretty busy road from Ft. Collins to Lamarie, but there is a good shoulder the whole way from what I recall.  Gioing over the Snowy Mts was the Scenic highlight of my cross country ride.  I forgot the exact date I went over the Snowy Mts, but the road had only been open a week, with big snow banks at the top and some of the lakes were still frozen.  Road was snow free, so in general riding was great, with lots of places to camp on along this route