Anyone done the Trans Am - West to East?

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Anyone done the Trans Am - West to East?

Postby Rabbit » 26 Jul 2014, 5:55pm

Anyone done the American Adventure Cycling Trans Am route from West to East - starting at Astoria and ending at Yorktown? I'm sure plenty have and I'd be interested to hear what you thought of it - especially how long it took and any hints on gear etc.

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Re: Anyone done the Trans Am - West to East?

Postby jamesgilbert » 26 Jul 2014, 7:27pm

I'm thinking about doing it myself one day....

There are lots (232 to be exact) of Trans-Am journals on Crazy Guy on a Bike, here are the west-to-east ones: ... ory_id=111

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Re: Anyone done the Trans Am - West to East?

Postby lisap » 26 Jul 2014, 7:50pm

No I've only done the Southern Tier West to East but lots of people do the Northern Tier in that direction so it will be doable, it's just most people go East to West.

Agree with JamesGilbert look at Crazy Guy, it's a valuable resource.

The ACA maps are excellent, good luck with your trip.

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Re: Anyone done the Trans Am - West to East?

Postby GoLiteGuru » 27 Jul 2014, 12:30pm

Also did Southern Tier W>E using ACA maps. Recommended if you can get them. Really substantial/can't go wrong guides.

I learned the importance of a bit of planning/help/tour material cycling San Francisco - San Diego. I was totally unprepared, thinking I'd just use Route 1, HW101 etc and bimble my way using common-sense or gas station map checks. Shocker! Quality moment being told to "get off the freeway" by HW patrol speeding past at 100mph (chasing a genuine criminal). The HW (can cycle) automatically turned into a Freeway (can't cycle) leaving me scratching my head.
In the end I got lucky via super hospitable US locals (this and nice big roads ["shoulders"} make US so good to cycle tour) to save the day. Chap in Monterrey (prof at local uni) saw me eating breakfast sat by a tree and got chatting. Next thing I know I'm having waffles with his wife and kids, whilst he's photocopying relevant pages of a "Bicycling the pacific coast". mile-by-mile (actually, tenth of a mile.) instructions taking in the best parts/scenery. Was fun to follow and can't imagine the different experience I would have had without it. Pointed me to all the "hiker-biker" campsites (~$5 a night for cyclists) etc.

As for gear - same goes. Again, I tried to fudge it going from Australian summer to autumn in NZ, with same sleeping bag/camp gear. Never forget being woken up when the cold came straight up through my thermarest one night. It wasn't good enough (R value) and made for a terrible uncomfortable night. You can always make do - from then I'd look for insulation (e.g. piles of dead leaves) or shelter I could sneak into, until I had time/a place to upgrade my gear. Makes for the experience, learning on the road, but I was in Western world, where mistakes can easily be rectified.
Last edited by GoLiteGuru on 27 Jul 2014, 5:26pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Anyone done the Trans Am - West to East?

Postby irc » 27 Jul 2014, 4:15pm

I've done large parts of during a Vancouver to Boston tour. How long? Divide 4200 miles by your daily mileage. Over the length of a USA coast to coast I've averaged around 55 miles per day including rest days. 60mpd for the riding days. Some are faster others slower. So if I was doing the transam I'd allow 76 days plus and extra 3 days or so as a margin for error and sourcing bike packing stuff at the end. Call it 80 days.

It's worth remembering that 90 days is the limit for the USA under the visa waiver scheme. Any longer and you need to apply for a visa and go to the embassy in London for interview.

A west to east tour is best done later. Some of the passes are not clear until June.

In 2014, this means the Highway will open to motor vehicles no earlier than Monday, June 16. Prior to then, cyclists and pedestrians may use the Highway following normal rules of the road, and at their own risk. ... oject.aspx

So starting any time from early June to mid July. I started in Vancouver in July 1st and finished in Boston on 19th Sept. Good weather all the way across. The days were noticeably shorter by then. Only a couple of wet days and a few thunderstorms here and there. A couple o frosty morning in the mountains.

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Re: Anyone done the Trans Am - West to East?

Postby Martin P » 29 Jul 2014, 3:13pm

Yep, I cycled west to east Florence Oregon to Yorktown Virginia in 2002. Happy to answer any questions. Wind good, never far from civilisation! I didn't bother with taking a cooking stove. 50% camped / cheap hostels etc. rate the trip probably the best all round cycling experience I've had ( I've been on many rides in different parts of the world).

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