I didn't think it would happen this year, but...
After dreaming of this since 1976, this may be the year I do the Transamerica route! I thought it might be after retirement before I finally did this, but my daughter has the Summer off between college and grad school and is excited about doing the trip. She has a friend who is also excited about this trip.
We are all experienced campers and generally in good shape but none of us have done a long tour. I have a lot more road miles under my belt, but my daughter and her friend have youth on their side and they are athletic and active even though they haven't been on a bike much lately. They will have a little while to get some time in the saddle before we would start
We plan to go east to west, possibly leaving early June. We are thinking of allowing 12 weeks and hoping to do it in a little less.
I am really unsure what to expect for camping costs. Food I can estimate pretty well, but how much do we need to allow for campsites on this route? I figure that traveling in a group of three helps keep the cost of campsites down, ditto for the cost of a room once in a while. Any one have recent info on this?
I am open to suggestions on what we should read, either web pages, books, or whatever. I know about Adventure Cycling Association and have read a lot of web pages, but if there are resources you found particularly helpful please pass them on.
I rode the TransAm from its start in VA to about 100 miles into Colorado. (I had to end it for personal reasons, which really sucked.) I hope to do the entire thing some day.
Campsites range around $12 to $20. Past VA, you'll find some city parks in Missouri, Kansas, and KY, and in some other states. You can stay there for free, and these places often have a swimming pool and showers and picnicing gazebos. The managers see touring cyclists often, so you won't be a surprise, and they're generally welcoming. Just be careful where you pitch your tents. These parks can get very active and noisy in the summer: baseball games, tennis courts lit up bright until midnight, etc. If you're a light sleeper like me, you'll want to camp as far away from that stuff as possible.
As you apparently know, the TransAm Maps from Adventure Cycling will help you find campsites, motels, etc. Some hostels and bunkhouses along the route are great and cheap. In Damascus, VA, for example, the Mt. Rodgers Outfitters bunkhouse is only $10. And it's a cool little town.
The motels in VA can be expensive ($50 or so) for a cheap but clean room. Things get cheaper in Kansas and MO.
Good luck on your trip! I'm dying to go again, maybe in 2008 if I get the balls AGAIN to quit my job in order to do the trip.
David in Florida