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  1. #1
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    Need help planning a route (Ventura to the TransAm)

    So I've been in contact with Tzuo Hann Law of Long Way Home fame. He said he'd have to dig out the maps and he might not be able to until March. I plan to leave in May so I'd like to have more time than that to familiarize myself with the route (especially considering I'll need to purchase a flight out to Cali if I decide to do W-E and flights get expensive the longer you wait).

    I tried plugging the towns he went through into Google Earth and connecting the dots (even looking for landmarks), but it feels like an exercise in futility.

    His route is ideal length for me. He did it in 38 days and I'm budgeting 10 weeks. This gives me time to rest a little bit, explore a little bit, stop and smell the roses, etc.

    So if anyone (or through group effort) can help craft a similar biking suitable route from Ventura to the TransAmerica, it'd be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Speedo's Avatar
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    As an organizing principle for your route, you could do worse than to follow Nat's routing advice.

    (edit) I was being a bit facetious, but looking at what Tzuo did in detail, it looks like he was on Nat's route for a while. (/edit)

    Speedo
    Last edited by Speedo; 02-05-08 at 02:59 AM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cutwolf View Post
    So if anyone (or through group effort) can help craft a similar biking suitable route from Ventura to the TransAmerica, it'd be appreciated.
    I am not trying to discourage you from trying to find an alternate route, but if that fails, just hop on a train, bus, or whatever and start in Florence OR for the TA route.

    I can't really help with the alternate route, but I will say that 10 weeks is probably enough to do a regular TA starting in Florence and still see the sights a bit if you push fairly hard. It would be nice to have an extra week available just in case though. Also you need to allow for whatever travel you have on each end.

    We did the TA in almost exactly 10 weeks and we started off slow since two of us didn't have time to train before leaving. One wasn't a cyclist and the other hadn't ridden in a good while. They had a handful of rides to get ready and the longest was only 31 miles. None of us trained with a loaded bike. We didn't take many days off but did take light or half days sometimes. We found time to go rafting, go to a movie, we stopped at some tourist attractions, and did side hikes in Yellowstone. If you start off in better shape you will have a bit of a jump on us. Some folks do it in 8 weeks, but 10 is kind of normal, and 12 isn't that unusual either though.

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    From your other thread, you are beginner tourist, and starting in July, right? And you aren't a very serious cyclist? Why not give yourself a break and ride an ENJOYABLE route, and don't worry so much about the time/distance. If you don't make it, just catch a bus or something.

    I would suggest the Northern Tier, Lewis & Clark or Transam for that time of year. What do you want to be in the desert southwest in the middle of summer for?

    I agree w/staehpj1, 10 weeks is a good amount of time for a solid rider to cross the states, averaging about 60 miles/day and one day off a week.

    If it was me, I would blow off the whole coast to coast thing and ride the great parks. that way you are in the mountains almost the whole time, and don't have to do any of that annoying flat riding, and spend 3 weeks looking at corn. But that's just me. Or L&C to Great Parks , hang a north and go to Jasper, hang a west and circle back across BC to Washington, ride the Pac. Coast back to Portland. yeah, that.
    ...

  5. #5
    Senior Member Speedo's Avatar
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    I have to agree with valygrl and staehpj1 about finding a better route. I found Tzou's journal inspiring, but he had a lot of desert days in the beginning. Those were tough days even in May. The TransAm might be a little easier on you.

    Speedo

  6. #6
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
    If it was me, I would blow off the whole coast to coast thing and ride the great parks. that way you are in the mountains almost the whole time, and don't have to do any of that annoying flat riding, and spend 3 weeks looking at corn.
    Valygrl we didn't spend three weeks looking at corn. There were soybeans and milo too! Seriously eastern Colorado through Kansas was mind numbingly boring. I thought we were all going to cry when we said goodbye to the Rockies. When asked how the ride across Kansas was a guy in a Pueblo bike shop summed it up by saying, "It's painful to DRIVE across Kansas". The people in eastern Colorado and Kansas were awesome though.

    Don't get me wrong I am glad to have done the TA and will go cross country again, but we were sick of the terrain in eastern Colorado before we were out of sight of the mountains. Since the trip is really as much about the people we met as anything else that was OK.

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    The TransAm may be easier, but time is a huge consideration for me. Not that I don't have enough time, but I need to be back home by August 10th or so and I don't want to have to rush it.

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    Yeah, for me, the people in lots of other places were just as awesome as the people in the praries... and I spend probably 60-70% of my waking day riding alone, not interacting with people, so I personally prefer having interesting terrain & scenery.

    I see the attraction of XC'ing... heck, I did it! But.. I'm not going to again, unless there's a compelling reason.
    ...

  9. #9
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Valygrl, I can see that.

    Yes we met nice people everywhere else too, not just in Kansas and I sure wouldn't pick Kansas to tour in other than as part of an XC.

    Also it was probably easier for me because I wasn't alone on the TA. I had two great travel companions.

  10. #10
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    yeah i agree with everyone. i should have smelled the roses.

    i had nothing on my mind but to pack up quick and get the required distance just about everyday... tho fireworks july 4th made it worthwhile.

    and, i tried to redo the route on google maps, but arggg... i can't remember where i went... so i'll have to search for john's directions when i get back.

    whats the hurry for directions? you know it exists right?!?

  11. #11
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    memopry is a weird thing

    and yes,,, nat's route exclusively from silver lake to barstow then to amboy, to needles, to oatman, over blackmountains to kingman then on route 66 again to seligman. hit I40 and get on it for a bit to get to williams. (its allowed)

    from needles to oatman i took the only route out of town and then followed signs to oatman...

    williams to grand canyon, thats only one route.

    grand canyon to cortez there is also 1 route through navajo nation. just leave grandcanyon heading east and get on highway to 4 corners through tuba city, kayenta etc.

    then follow signs to cortez then to dolores to catch the western express to pueblo there is 1 route.

    so i just need to get you ventura to palmdale now...
    lemme snoop on gmaps again

    what a stupid post by me.

  12. #12
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    Thanks!

    The reason I'm trying to get directions asap is because of plane ticket prices. The sooner I can book my flight, the cheaper the flight will be. The sooner I can look at the route myself and familiarize myself with it, the sooner I'll know whether I'm starting in the W or the E.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by tzuohann View Post
    memopry is a weird thing

    and yes,,, nat's route exclusively from silver lake to barstow then to amboy, to needles, to oatman, over blackmountains to kingman then on route 66 again to seligman. hit I40 and get on it for a bit to get to williams. (its allowed)

    from needles to oatman i took the only route out of town and then followed signs to oatman...

    williams to grand canyon, thats only one route.

    grand canyon to cortez there is also 1 route through navajo nation. just leave grandcanyon heading east and get on highway to 4 corners through tuba city, kayenta etc.

    then follow signs to cortez then to dolores to catch the western express to pueblo there is 1 route.

    so i just need to get you ventura to palmdale now...
    lemme snoop on gmaps again

    what a stupid post by me.
    Did you take Bouquet Canyon Road ---> Elizabeth Lake Road to get to Palmdale from Santa Clarita?

  14. #14
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    http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UT...93c2044cca0b44

    Looks good? Anyone want to check my work?

  15. #15
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    you got it just about good. from santa paula, take s mountain road then to guberson then to piru, stay off that busy road as much as you can. its also a nice ride on sweet roads through ochards.

    from santa clarita to palmdale, just go through the angeles natl forest. i don't remember the road but you can ask about in santa clarita. from the forest to palmdale you ride right over the san andreas fault.

    its quite a climb and you don't have much in between so remember to take lots of water. the hikers saved me there. that was day 2.

    you can see there are few roads out of palmdale and they are all about the same. get off that main road out of palmdale if you want less traffic.

    also very little from palmdale to silverlakes. VERY LITTLE take loads of water. a gallon is not enough unless you want to ask from folks on bikes/trucks. just take 2 gallons.

    remember to stop by and say hello to pat at that grocery in silverlake for me. he's the guy who runs it.

    then you are on nat's route and have it right just about all the way to the western express.

    google about, there are state DOT sites on how busy the roads are index. i didn't use them, but i know they are important.

    also, very little from barstow to needles on nats road. i would ride at dawn and late into night. i nearly ran out of water but lucky found that bridge and chiilled there till late before going agian out of amboy. VERY few cars and trucks on that road and if you time it right and have a good moon on those days, its sheer delight being in the desert. say hi to larry at amboy if you catch him there and he's not drunk or smoked up. have a light on that tail naturally.

    either up till kingman where the weather gets a bit milder quickly carry water like no ones business.

    also remember you are climbing just about all the way from ventura sea level to 8000ft at the grandcanyon. make sure your knees don't wobble and use that granny.

  16. #16
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    oh and i saw your other thread about how i got my stuff from durham to the performance bike in ventura.
    i fedexed it. packed it according to ACA website guidelines.

    as for packing, make sure the edges are within the limits. thats where they measure the box. a bit of a buldge in the middle they don't care too much.

    at performance, ask for bill burke, he'll help you out and maybe let you ship it to his house.
    and if you do meet bill, say hi to him and to ida for me too.

    you don't have exp so don't cycle out of LA, just go to ventura and start. traffic is simply too bad there.

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