Author Topic: X-Country Route w/ the Easiest Grades  (Read 7118 times)

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Offline djvelour

X-Country Route w/ the Easiest Grades
« on: January 29, 2010, 08:13:02 pm »
Hi,

I have to preface this message with the ubiquitous apology, begging forgiveness if this subject has been covered ad naseum in the past.  This is my first post to this site, I have done some searching to try to find the answer myself but after a bit I figured this forum would likely provide the most reliable answer.

I am a paraplegic injured approximately 3 years ago.  I have some use of my legs and now walk with a single cane but not great distances nor with any dexterity.  My goal is and has been since the day of my injury to cycle across the country.  I realize at this point I will likely have to use a recumbent hand cycle or perhaps use a recumbent bike that allows me the option of either hand or foot power.

Prior to my accident I was a trail runner (and recreational cyclist) and had great endurance (I day hiked Mt. Whitney twice), but I have always been sleight of upper body.  So regardless of the final form of my mode of transportation, traversing steep grades will likely prove difficult whether it be via hand or foot power.  I believe I can train hard enough that in a few years from now I will be able to slowly power up long gentle or perhaps even moderate grades, however it may be that even a relatively short steep grade still proves to be an impossible barrier.  With that in mind, can anyone recommend a cross-country route that avoids any steep or even moderate grades in favor of longer mellower ones, hopefully also a route that is safe and is as disabled friendly as possible.  I realize that might be a hard question to answer especially when factoring in my disability and desire to generally stay as close as possible to services, however all input suggestions or experiences is greatly appreciated in this regard. 

As an aside I live in Southern California.  I don't mind starting anywhere in the west coast, but I definitely want to start in the west and head east.

Thanks in advance
-DJ Velour



Offline aggie

Re: X-Country Route w/ the Easiest Grades
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2010, 02:00:31 am »
A modified Southern Tier route may be an option.  In many areas if you follow the interstate you will have the most moderate grades to climb.  I can't remember the grade coming out of San Diego so you may want to check it out before you ride it. 

You may also want to take a look at some topo maps of the states the route goes through.  This may help you route yourself around and steep inclines.

Offline tonythomson

Re: X-Country Route w/ the Easiest Grades
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2010, 07:06:29 am »
Hi yes the Southern tier might be you best route - will need modifying - might I suggest missing out the Black Range - go south - Leaving San Diego not too bad as well graded -  Also could go north of the ST in Texas taking the 190 to Louisiana - this would miss the Hill Country.
Use Google maps to get directions by walking to help map out the more unsure parts say around Temple (if you follow 190.

Good luck whatever you decide
Tony
Just starting to record my trips  www.tonystravels.com

Offline staehpj1

Re: X-Country Route w/ the Easiest Grades
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2010, 10:29:00 am »
Probably the Southern Tier or some variation of it.

Offline geegee

Re: X-Country Route w/ the Easiest Grades
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2010, 11:15:48 am »
I haven't done the Southern Tier route yet (maybe sometime real soon like in April) but here just to suggest in something completely different, albeit not entirely in within the USA. A Pacific to Atlantic route that involves the least climbing would probably start in Prince Rupert BC (you can get there via Alaska Ferries from Bellingham WA) then travel on the Yellowhead Highway to Jasper and Edmonton, Alberta. From there do a diagonal route through the Prairies and connect with the Northern Tier route to upstate NY, across on NY 5 to Albany, then down the Hudson Valley to New York City.

I'm not sure if the remoteness of rain forested northern British Columbia is relative to that of the desert areas of the southwest, but it will be cooler if you intend to travel in the summer, have more water, and tailwinds will be more consistent blowing you eastward through the Rockies. The highest pass/elevation on this entire route is a mere 3,780 feet (1,152 metres) and is surprisingly not in the Rockies but heading into the prairies in Obed, Alberta.

indyfabz

  • Guest
Re: X-Country Route w/ the Easiest Grades
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2010, 01:57:54 pm »
What sort of grades would you consider moderate and steep. (e.g., 5% and 8%).

Offline rvklassen

Re: X-Country Route w/ the Easiest Grades
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2010, 10:33:28 am »
A Pacific to Atlantic route that involves the least climbing would probably start in Prince Rupert BC (you can get there via Alaska Ferries from Bellingham WA) then travel on the Yellowhead Highway to Jasper and Edmonton, Alberta. From there do a diagonal route through the Prairies and connect with the Northern Tier route to upstate NY, across on NY 5 to Albany, then down the Hudson Valley to New York City.
If you do choose a route through Upstate NY I can help you route through the portion south of Lake Ontario. 

Offline rabbitoh

Re: X-Country Route w/ the Easiest Grades
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2010, 11:35:58 pm »
This may not specifically answer your post, but there is an inspiring journal on the CGOAB website, which give you some ideas of what is possible.

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/5525

Good Cycling
Dennis