Author Topic: East to West 80 days?  (Read 15125 times)

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Offline Jambi

East to West 80 days?
« on: November 04, 2010, 09:23:08 pm »
Those who read my previous post will have noted that I have not actually been on an extended bike journey as such however this is my ultimate project for the summer. I have several bike trips planned before this but basically, I finish my second year of university mid may and will be able to get a 90 day visa which If I allow for little niggles gives me about 80 days to get from New York to somwhere on the East Coast. The shortest route looked to be going down the Atlantic Coast, joining the Trans Am and finishing up on the Western Express. If 90 days wont be enough i will have the 20th of May free until the 10th of September (Which is about 103 days with allowances for flights and such) it just means I will have to get a visa sorted out. Is this notion absolute madness? I averaged it at about 40 miles a day, every day but Im not really sure about how much punishment the human body can take. Im pretty sturdy and I know each persons stamina is different, but assuming the appropriate training is implimented could this be possible? (I know this basically the same question as before phrased differently but in essence I am proposing something much different)

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: East to West 80 days?
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2010, 10:36:57 pm »
Pardon me if I'm a bit confused -- what is your question?

As for the 40 miles per day, I think that's quite reasonable as a goal.  With a few weeks to get in shape, I'd think you could average 40 miles per day in almost any terrain.  (Road biking only -- off-road could be more difficult!)

If you're asking how to get to the start of the TransAm, I'd suggest flying into Washington, DC.  A hundred miles or so on the Atlantic Coast route would get you close to Yorktown, and you'd be off.  Take your pick of TA, Western Express, or Lewis and Clark.  Any of those could be completed within 90 days, if you're young and/or in decent shape.

Offline John Nelson

Re: East to West 80 days?
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2010, 11:04:15 pm »
We don't really know you all that well, so we might have a hard time determining what you are capable of. But many people, including those 40 years older than you, are capable of 80 miles a day, day after day after day. Are you one of them? I certainly don't know. But your chances of success will be much greater if you put in a ton of training miles, have a saddle and bicycle that is really comfortable for you, and give up smoking.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2010, 11:06:26 pm by John Nelson »

Offline Jambi

Re: East to West 80 days?
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2010, 05:53:19 am »
Sorry about this, I know that I am unable to contribute to this site in terms of discussion and debates over routes and equipment. I'm just finding it pretty daunting planning such a huge trip abroad, i have never done anything like this before or know anyone that has, so I'm basically relying entirely on advice from this forum to plan a route, equipment, mileage per day etc. Just thought I would let you know that I really appreciate you guys helping me out and all the advice you have given me.

Offline geegee

Re: East to West 80 days?
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2010, 02:07:56 pm »
I think you are fretting too much about completing a set route when the value of the experience lies in the journey itself. Often getting to the end point is really anti-climactic, and the high points come in the most unexpected moments. While some people might stress the physical training part, I really think that an epic ride is much more of a mental thing. The road never really ends, you just decide when to stop. So my advice is prepare as best that you can, but learn to take it one day at a time after you start off, relax, enjoy, and get something out of it.

Offline fiddler4060

Re: East to West 80 days?
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2010, 08:43:26 pm »
geeg... thank you. That was priceless. I'm planning my first tour (Atlantic Coast) for early next summer and I'm going to post your comment on my wall.

Offline popeyespal

Re: East to West 80 days?
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2010, 12:08:39 pm »
I think you are fretting too much about completing a set route when the value of the experience lies in the journey itself. Often getting to the end point is really anti-climactic, and the high points come in the most unexpected moments. While some people might stress the physical training part, I really think that an epic ride is much more of a mental thing. The road never really ends, you just decide when to stop. So my advice is prepare as best that you can, but learn to take it one day at a time after you start off, relax, enjoy, and get something out of it.

Terrific thing to keep in mind. We all get caught up in the "optimum" at times. Train the best you can. Take off in the direction you choose. Stop when you're finished.

I am in the planning and training stages of a 2011 trip myself and as a rough guideline I am planning on an average of 60 miles per day. The interesting days may be considerably less. Who know's? But I figure that's a reasonable mileage goal. BTW, I am 50 years old and about 25lbs overweight. I have never done a tour before. In reading the journals of other travelers I can't say what's best. Some cover barely 30 miles a day while others are try to do centuries on regular basis. Like everyone has stated, it's very much up to you. But yes, 80 days is more than enough time to get from New York to the West Coast. 

Offline Jambi

Re: East to West 80 days?
« Reply #7 on: November 06, 2010, 12:14:23 pm »
It's comforting to know that i wont need to get a visa, and that other people with little experience are embarking on longer trips.

Offline livewombat

Re: East to West 80 days?
« Reply #8 on: November 06, 2010, 05:50:26 pm »
We're in our 60's and did a 15-day tour of Wisconsin last summer, averaging about 67 miles a day.  The worst day was 78 miles into a very strong headwind.  It's worth remembering that the prevailing winds in North America are from West to East.  If there is no compelling reason to start in the east and ride west, why not do it the "easy" way?

Offline John Nelson

Re: East to West 80 days?
« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2010, 07:01:36 pm »
It's worth remembering that the prevailing winds in North America are from West to East.
There is no evidence to support this urban myth. East to West is just fine.

Offline livewombat

Re: East to West 80 days?
« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2010, 08:25:12 pm »
It's worth remembering that the prevailing winds in North America are from West to East.
There is no evidence to support this urban myth. East to West is just fine.

While it's true that surface winds vary a lot more than the jet stream, you can look at the "wind rose" patterns for midwestern towns and see that few days have east winds, and most days have west winds.  Coastal and mountain regions will have other factors affecting wind direction, but the vast center of North America has a lot more winds from the west than the east.  I wouldn't say that you can't ride east to west.  I've done it across Wisconsin, and (on a smaller scale) every morning on my way to work.  But for someone who is worried about being able to complete a ride, why not go the easy way?
« Last Edit: August 01, 2011, 02:43:13 pm by Fred Hiltz »

Offline Jambi

Re: East to West 80 days?
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2010, 10:09:16 pm »
Quote
If there is no compelling reason to start in the east and ride west, why not do it the "easy" way?

The idea of heading futher into mysterious lands seems to be the most compelling reason. If I start in the west I will be riding home (In a sense) heading east, if there is a general consensus that west to east is easier then I might give that a whirl

Offline irc

Re: East to West 80 days?
« Reply #12 on: November 07, 2010, 07:49:29 am »
Quote
If there is no compelling reason to start in the east and ride west, why not do it the "easy" way?

The idea of heading futher into mysterious lands seems to be the most compelling reason. If I start in the west I will be riding home (In a sense) heading east, if there is a general consensus that west to east is easier then I might give that a whirl

I rode Vancouver to Boston and got more headwinds than tailwinds. Either way you'll get both. On the other hand I only had two wet days.

As for 90 days? Not a problem. I did 4500 miles in 80 days. Something like a 60 miles per day average not counting rest days.  Start slow and take rest days in the first two weeks. My first week was something like 2x35 miles flat days, a hard 70 mile day, rest day, 40 miles, 45 miles rest day. 

Just make sure your bike is comfortable to ride all day. At a 10mph average (which I find a realistic figure for loaded touring in hilly areas) you'll be on the bike 6 hours a day.  Unless you day a lot of riding that is a big step up from say commuting and a long ride on a Sunday.

Offline staehpj1

Re: East to West 80 days?
« Reply #13 on: November 07, 2010, 11:19:51 am »
We're in our 60's and did a 15-day tour of Wisconsin last summer, averaging about 67 miles a day.  The worst day was 78 miles into a very strong headwind.  It's worth remembering that the prevailing winds in North America are from West to East.  If there is no compelling reason to start in the east and ride west, why not do it the "easy" way?
Depending on the route it can go either way.  On the Trans America it winds are likely to favor W-E because on the plains the summer winds tend to come out of the SE and the general direction of the TA there is into those winds if going W-E.  That may be a less pronounced effect on the NT.  I posted a wind map here before that show this fairly clearly.  See the following thread if interested:
http://www.adventurecycling.org/forums/index.php?topic=7442.0

In any case it is enough of a mixed bag that I wouldn't make prevailing winds the deciding factor.

FredHiltz

  • Guest
Re: East to West 80 days?
« Reply #14 on: November 07, 2010, 12:28:01 pm »
+1. Go for the scenery, friends to visit, and--in the hot months--the cooler average temps on the Northern Tier.

Fred