Some help needed
Need a little help.
After reading advice about the tourer unfriendliness of permanentjaun's modified RAAM route thread, I decided to do the AC routes coz I guess its going to be nice for riding and chances of meeting other tourers are higher. Partially coz I still need someone to ride with, preferably... May28th starting.
Its that first tour worry thing you know.
So, I want to go from LA to Cedar City, Utah, and then follow the rest of the Western Express and TransAmerica for the rest of the way.
So, heres comes the begging...
1) Help with route from LA to Cedar City. Any suggestions?
2) Will a 3 season tent work for the Rockies at that time?
When does a 4 season tent start coming in handy?
I'm cycling for a year and might need to do some winter tenting.
I'm considering the Kelty Crestone 1 as recommended by AC.
Any feedback/suggestions on what other tents?
How about a sleeping bag, recommendations?
3) Anyone wants to ride from LA to Cedar City/The rest of way? Been asking for a bunch now and wondering if there is anyone out there with similar schedule/journey.
Thanks a bunch in advance
I've been reading up other threads to help me with question (2), but really, I really need help with (1).
1) AC Pacific Coast Map:
Originally Posted by tzuoworldtour07
From LA, you follow the coast south to San Diego.
2) AC Southern Tier Map:
Cut inland through the desert to Wickenburg, AZ
3) AC Grand Canyon Connector Map:
Will take you north all the way up to Cedar City, where you can hook up with the Western Express.
--Well established routes. (Maybe not the fastest way...but saner than taking the freeway.)
--Lots of varied terrain--ocean/mountains/desert (lots of it).
--You might meet up with a few other bike tourists.
--Biking through the Grand Canyon and Zion will be a glorious experience.
--Since it's the beginning of summer, the roads might be crowded in the touristy areas.
--No matter what route you choose going west to east, you can't avoid the desert. It's going to be HOT-HOT-HOT!!! in early June. The beach and mountains should be perfect, though
Well...to avoid the desert, you can just take the coast north to San Francisco, then follow the Western Express from there. Headwinds won't be pretty, but much better than frying in the desert.
The Sierra snowpack is at a record low this year, so you should be fine by June. Not sure about the Rockies, though.
Last edited by rnagaoka; 04-09-07 at 10:50 AM.
San Diego? San Francisco?
Why not start from Los Angeles or Ventura?
a) You can head out of Sunland via Big Tujunga Rd and up the Angeles Forest Road
(But that road is murderously steep and nearly impossible with panniers.)
b) Or you can head up from San Fernando to Santa Clarita
c) Or you can ride/take the Surfliner to Ventura and then follow the Santa Clara Valley east
With b or c there are a number of great bike trails that follow the river around Santa Clarita
Then you top out at Soledad Pass just south of Palmdale.
Follow the Sierra Highway (Old Calif 14) along the RR tracks all the way to Mojave
Stay on Calif 14 a few miles north of Mojave
Turn right (east) on Calif City Blvd
In Calif City take Randsburg Road to US 395
a) You can head up thru either the Owens Valley via Bishop
b) Or thru Death Valley via Beatty, NV
Death Valley is getting very hot by late May/early June.
If you do decide to go via Death Valley - ride at sunrise and evening.
The Owens Valley has the snow-capped Sierras this time of year.
But US 385 is mostly 4-lane and busy.
One variation is to head up CA 178 towards Death Valley and cut back on CA 190 and CA 136.
A little longer, but much more peaceful.
Then thru Tonopah, NV -
East on US 6 to Warm Springs -
East on NV 375 to Hiko Junction -
North on US 93 (mostly east) to Caliente and Panaca
East on NV 319 to Utah border
East on UT 56 to Cedar City
The Nevada section is VERY remote.
See journal for photos:
I agree that SD or SF is not the most direct route (or the least crowded), but there is something to be said about following established AC routes. For myself, passing through a big city once in a while actually breaks up the monotony of a long tour.
Originally Posted by jamawani
Remember, T. mentioned that this is his first tour. Once he gets into the rhythm and has a few weeks under his belt, he'll be more confident taking "roads less traveled".
Also, by following the AC routes, he'll have a greater chance of meeting other bicyclists for camaraderie and support.
In any case, going through the Mohave, Death Valley or Arizona desert in June is not going to be easy, even for the experienced cyclist. If he has more of a survival/challenge mindset, then great...but it's not my idea of fun.
I wouldn't worry about the distinctions between 3 season and 4 season, for what you're doing. 4 season = can withstand extremely high winds, lots of snow piling up and mountaineering conditions. 3 season = camping in the snow, moderate winds, etc. You'll be fine in a 3-season for most winter camping.
Thanks much for the tips on route and advice with all that details.
The clarification on the 3 season vs 4 season tent was exactly what I needed. Thanks mycoatl
And thanks jamawani and rngaoka for the helpful hints. Was exactly what I needed.
I figured anyone wanting to do a significant portion of the Western Express would be aware that there are big, empty stretches and some tough climbing. Between the Sierras/Cascades and the Rockies there are empty stretches on all the ACA routes. I agree that it is easier to run into folks on the ACA routes. I think the route from Ventura thru Palmdale up the Owens Valley will be a good starter route. There aren't any big climbs - plus there are services every 25 or 30 miles. Montgomery Pass on the Nevada border is very gradual. Also, this route is at higher elevation so the temps haven't gotten too hot yet by the end of May / early June.
Originally Posted by rnagaoka