Author Topic: should I start my route in portland or san fransisco???  (Read 3481 times)

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Offline warnecto

should I start my route in portland or san fransisco???
« on: March 20, 2009, 11:29:11 am »
Hi. I'm planning to ride from either Portland or San Fransisco to Denver in June.  I don't really know much about either route - part of the "transamerica" route or part of the "western express" route.  My question is - which route should I pick?  I would prefer to stay away from too much traffic, want to camp for free as much as possible...that seems to suggest the Portland route (?), but maybe the weather would be better along the southern route.  Which route is harder in terms of mountain???  Anyone with experience about these routes, please share your thoughts!  Thanks -- Todd

Offline wanderingwheel

Re: should I start my route in portland or san fransisco???
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2009, 12:31:23 pm »
If you're planning on following either the Transamerica route or the Western Express, leaving from San Francsico will be significantly shorter.  Personally, I would prefer the TransAm route if I had the time because it would be different than my usual rides in California and the Great Basin, and because the weather would be milder.  I don't think there's much difference in the availability of free camping on either route.  The Western Express will have more services and traffic until you reach Fallon, NV, but will then have less than the TransAm.  I have done both of these rides, and I'm struggling a little to pick one route over the other as having more mountains.  The TransAm certainly has more climbing in total, but it is longer.  On average, the Western Express is probably a little more strenuous.

Sean

Offline warnecto

Re: should I start my route in portland or san fransisco???
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2009, 02:54:38 pm »
thanks - very helpful information

Offline Westinghouse

Re: should I start my route in portland or san fransisco???
« Reply #3 on: March 21, 2009, 01:56:25 am »
I have not cycled the TA or the WE. I have done a bit of reading and journal perusing for those routes. In my unexperienced but educated opinion I think a Portland departure might be the better choice. That might not be the case. They say the Columbia River route is really nice. The WE was described in one journal as a kind of hardship tour. One said a long stretch was without water, or had some little wellspring somewhere that was ok if you filtered or boiled the water. One suggested arranging to have gallons of water pre-set in place and hidden before tackling the WE. The western ending  segments of the WE seemed to be  a great deal nicer than what came before it. Because I have never cycled these routes, I would not tell you which one to take. The only part of the WE that seemed very appealing was the part from the western boundary of California to the coast; that was my impression from reading journals and looking at photos.