Are there any other folks out there who are not exactly thrilled with some of the endpoints on Adventure Cycling's cross-country routes? Yorktown, Virginia is great - full of history and stuff - but it ain't on the Atlantic. Same goes for Anacortes, Washington. By comparison, the TransAm gives you a couple of days riding along the Pacific in Oregon while the Northern Tier gives you a couple of days on the Atlantic in Maine. The Western Express, likewise, justs dumps you on San Fran Bay - and if you are starting east you get into the Sierras awfully fast.
I've done 6 cross-country trips and really prefer to have a few days on both coasts. At the start, it sets my mood and sense of adventure. At the end, it underscores my sense of completion. On the Trans Am route it would be difficult to connect directly from Yorktown thru Norfolk metro area and all, but if you headed east from Lake Anna you could miss all the congestion of Richmond, take the ferries to Tangier Island and Crisfield, and end up at Assateague National Seashore. On the Northern Tier, you could head out to the San Juan Islands (still not the Pacific Coast) or you could head south on Whidbey Island, cross over to Port Townsend, and head all the way out to Neah Bay. Shi Shi Beach is just beautiful and the Makah Museum is world-class. And on the Western Express, you can cut over to Napa Valley from Winters, then follow the Russian River to the coast, and ride down to Golden Gate Bridge.
Is there anyone else who would prefer more ocean?