Author Topic: April too early? (Westbound TA)  (Read 7697 times)

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Offline Sectrix

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April too early? (Westbound TA)
« on: January 25, 2009, 02:57:16 pm »
I was thinking of leaving early April. I have nothing requiring me to leave at this time - it's just an estimate. Only reason I'd like to leave earlier than May is because I don't plan on traveling all that quickly. I'd like to take five months or so, rather than the standard three months. My question is whether or not portions of the trail will be completely impassable. I'm sure I'll see snow and cold at the higher altitudes, but I don't know to what extent. Also, are there any other cyclical weather patterns to plan around? I know on the PCT for example, you more or less have to adhere to a certain schedule to align with weather windows. Too early or too late and you'll have streams too flooded to cross, mountain passes closed due to snow, etc. Is there anything like this on the TA?

Online John Nettles

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Re: April too early? (Westbound TA)
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2009, 06:55:10 pm »
There are definitely parts of the TransAm trail that close early/open late due to snow.  While you said you were going to take 5 months, you didn't say when you would be in the Rockies.  Hoosier Pass, Yellowstone/Tetons area, and a few other areas can definitely close due to weather.  Heck ,I got lightly snowed on July 4th in Yellowstone when I rode back in '83.  Perhaps if you post more info as to your anticipated schedule, others can give you a better answer.

Another consideration is that if you hit western Missouri to eastern Colorado in late April thru early June, you have a good chance of severe weather so keep an eye on that too. 

Offline Sectrix

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Re: April too early? (Westbound TA)
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2009, 12:24:17 am »
Thanks for the answer TulsaJohn. I wish I could provide a more accurate schedule, but I really have no plan to adhere to one. As long as I leave around April, and get to Astoria before money or weather run out - I'll be happy. If things are going too slow, I'll do higher mileage days. If I've got time, I'll stop and smell the flowers.

I figure the only things I must really schedule around are weather expectations.

Your post was exactly what I was looking for. I should avoid western Missouri until early June because severe weather is more likely at that time. And also the Rockies - generally when is the weather most severe? Since I'm moving west, I'll probably hit the Rockies in July or August.

I realize these are very broad generalizations. Severe weather can come at any time - observation and discretion are key to preventing accidents. But surely there are general guidelines?

Online John Nettles

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Re: April too early? (Westbound TA)
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2009, 11:09:13 am »
I should avoid western Missouri until early June because severe weather is more likely at that time. And also the Rockies - generally when is the weather most severe? Since I'm moving west, I'll probably hit the Rockies in July or August.

To clarify, the severe weather in the middle of the country is most likely between mid-late April thru early June so if you can you may want to avoid being here at that time.  That said, it is also a beautiful time of year to ride as the temps are cooler (Kansas in June/July is often 95-100 degrees) so just keep an eye on the weather.

If you are in the Rockies in July or August, you should be fine.  I personally would probably avoid hitting Pueblo before mid-June.

Hope this help, John

Offline DaveB

Re: April too early? (Westbound TA)
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2009, 01:48:49 pm »
Don't ignore the weather in the East that time of year either.  The TransAm goes through western VA and the higher elevations in Kentucky and parts of Southern IL.  All of these areas can be cold, rainy, snowy or all three in April. 

I've ridden many TOSRV's in southern Ohio in early to mid May and temperatures in the 40's with a steady rain have been frequent conditions.   The TransAm goes through areas that are higher and more likely to have bad Spring weather.

Offline Sectrix

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Re: April too early? (Westbound TA)
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2009, 10:09:20 pm »
I see. Thank you, your posts are extremely useful.

Offline staehpj1

Re: April too early? (Westbound TA)
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2009, 05:17:37 pm »
You could probably get by, but I'd be inclined to wait until late April.

Offline valygrl

Re: April too early? (Westbound TA)
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2009, 07:09:18 pm »
And just to add a perspective from more western parts of your trip, Oregon weather should be fine until mid-October.  Get past Yellowstone by mid-September.

Offline Gus Riley

Re: April too early? (Westbound TA)
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2009, 06:26:56 pm »
I was thinking of leaving early April. I have nothing requiring me to leave at this time - it's just an estimate. Only reason I'd like to leave earlier than May is because I don't plan on traveling all that quickly. I'd like to take five months or so, rather than the standard three months. My question is whether or not portions of the trail will be completely impassable. I'm sure I'll see snow and cold at the higher altitudes, but I don't know to what extent. Also, are there any other cyclical weather patterns to plan around? I know on the PCT for example, you more or less have to adhere to a certain schedule to align with weather windows. Too early or too late and you'll have streams too flooded to cross, mountain passes closed due to snow, etc. Is there anything like this on the TA?

Sectrix,
   Here is an online journal address of a couple who left in March 2008.  Maybe their experiences will be of some help. 
http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/bike2008

Offline JimF

Re: April too early? (Westbound TA)
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2009, 09:39:28 am »
Don't ignore the weather in the East that time of year either.  The TransAm goes through western VA and the higher elevations in Kentucky and parts of Southern IL.  All of these areas can be cold, rainy, snowy or all three in April. 

An important piece of gear is a NOAA-tuned weather radio. The dedicated units can be programmed for local geographic areas as you pass through. Good journey.

Offline bikeparts

Re: April too early? (Westbound TA)
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2009, 03:28:59 pm »
Did the TA in 2004 , had a drenching in Kentuckey,but that was about it.We started on 2 May, E to W.McKennse Pass, Hover Pass was all right,but watch out for the Razor Backs, need GOOD Brakes. Good Luck and B Safe......................