Author Topic: Transamerica advice please....  (Read 4139 times)

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Offline Boris

Transamerica advice please....
« on: February 02, 2009, 07:45:32 am »
Hi learned friends
I'm sure my question has been covered before so apologies in advance....
I'm planning to fulfil a lifetime ambition and ride across the US next year with three friends - starting late May. We will stay in motels/B&B and carry emergency sleepsack and food/water supplies. We are all experienced cyclists. Our prioirty is the overall experience and to enjoy the people we meet on the way. We hope to achieve around 75 mpd. Which route of Southern, Northern and Bicentennial offers the best mix of weather, cycling experience, accomodation, facilities, scenery, people and 'fun'?? And which way is best? East/west or west/east? Thanks!

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Transamerica advice please....
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2009, 12:18:14 pm »
I could not answer that question because too much depends on the person(s) doing the trip. I have never cycled the Transam route, but I have read quite a few journals written by those who have. Judging from what they said and from the photographs I have seen, I would say the TA route would be your best choice. Then again, the pacific coast route is really great. The atlantic coast is ok, but the pacific coast has it beat by a long shot, in my opinion. The southern tier I have done a number of times in its entirety, and also half way a few times or so. The ST is good if you want to see western states. I say that because I am from the east, which to me is old hat. It also gives you a major change in terrain, but so also does the northern tier. As for meeting people, I guess that kind of depends on you and who you meet. Just about any long cycling tour anywhere can be pretty good. It does not necessarily have to be along a specially mapped route. You could also try just wandering, meandering with no particular point to reach at any time. Just go wherever you feel like going day after day. That was how I started bicycle touring. No point A or point B. Just start when you want and stop when you want. However, some places are better for cycling than others.

Offline valygrl

Re: Transamerica advice please....
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2009, 01:38:49 pm »
The Southern Tier is getting too hot at that time of year, if you decide to use that route, start in the west to get through the deserts before they get really way too hot. 

If you choose the northern tier, make sure you are not in Glacier National Park (MT) before mid June, and check with the park service closer to your departure date to make sure Logan Pass will be open when you get there.

I guess my gut says with that start date and pace, either start in the east on either the NT or the TA, or start in the West and take the Western Express (which is what I would do, because I value the kind of remote, austere, and amazing scenery that you get on that route.)  I'm not sure the WE is very amenable to non-camping trips, though.  I'm sure you could make any of the routes work with a western start, but it might be just a teeny bit early for the mountains.  You'll probably see snow in Yellowstone, but they usually open the roads by the end of May.

That's my $0.02, enjoy your trip!

Offline RussSeaton

Re: Transamerica advice please....
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2009, 05:04:07 pm »
As already mentioned, look at the routes and see if a non camping route is possible.  Some of the more remote western routes may not offer motels within a days ride (75-100 miles) every day.