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Old 03-12-05, 09:28 PM   #1
David in PA
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Hello,

In spring of 2003, I rode a small part of the TransAm: all of Virginia and about 70 miles into Kentucky. And now I'm very close to committing to doing the entire trail beginning in mid May.

I don't want to plan everything in advance. At the same time, I would like to know the things I should definitely avoid as well as things that I should not miss, including those off-route.

For example, any motels, campgrounds, areas, etc. that I should avoid? Interesting towns, places, and activity options that I should not miss? Great/cheap places to spend the night, including camp, motels, hostels, etc.? Great eateries? Places to meet other touring cyclists? Anything and everything. . ..

Thanks!
Wolfy
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Old 03-12-05, 09:34 PM   #2
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Don't miss America while you look at your maps and the short section of road ahead, and plan everything down to the last detail.
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Old 03-12-05, 10:39 PM   #3
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don't miss: grand canyon, rocky mountains, arches, bryce, zion, moab, monument
valley, death valley, las vegas, painted desert, big bend, meteor crater, highway 50,
yellowstone, glacier....

skip: kansas, barstow, new jersey.
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Old 03-12-05, 10:50 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BostonFixed
Don't miss America while you look at your maps and the short section of road ahead, and plan everything down to the last detail.
I would like to disagree a little bit with this point of view. Regardless of whether you follow the AC maps to the letter or go off route every other day, you are going to see several thousand miles of America. I read many Transam journals before I did the ride myself and I was worried that nothing would be a suprise or the ride would not have as much meaning. Well there was nothing to worry about, the trip was beyond great and those journals or maps could not have hurt that trip. Your trip will be your own and it will be great. With an open mind, a smile and a friendly hello, anything is possible, Good luck.
www.loa2004.crazyguyonabike.com
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Old 03-13-05, 07:44 AM   #5
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Hmm...

Take each day as it comes and be open to the unexpected. My fondest memories of my TransAm ride have little to do with the expected "highlights"...the Rockies, Blue Ridge Parkway, etc. These were perfectly nice and helped to put the entire route in context but I found them to be just a bit too obvious for my taste.

Chatting with a farmer in Kentucky, spending the night in a firestation with the crew, meeting the Cookie Lady (get well soon!!), dodging thunderstorms in the midwest, dodging rattlesnakes in Idaho...or was it Wyoming? These are the experiences that made my crossing so wonderful.

As for specifics, I pretty much stuck to the TransAm route and didn't feel restricted at all. Kansas was a pleasant surprise. Yes, it was hot and windy but the hospitality was unmatched.

Have you visited the Crazy Guy On A Bike site? Numerous TransAm journals have been posted.

Crazy Guy On A bike
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Old 03-13-05, 09:30 AM   #6
David in PA
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Originally Posted by Lucky13
Chatting with a farmer in Kentucky, spending the night in a firestation with the crew, meeting the Cookie Lady (get well soon!!), dodging thunderstorms in the midwest, dodging rattlesnakes in Idaho...or was it Wyoming? These are the experiences that made my crossing so wonderful.
Lucky13,

Thanks. Your excellent response reminded me of my backpacking days. The mountains and forests were fantastic, of course, but those odd, interesting, wonderful, or one-of-a-kind experiences that I had with strangers, a young deer in the forest, or an out of the way place are what I remember the most. Thank you for reminding me.

Wolfy
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Old 03-13-05, 04:05 PM   #7
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Make it a point to stop at the Aspen Meadows Bicycle Hostel. It's just west of DuBois, WY, where the TransAm and Great Divide trails cross. The hospitality can't be beat. Have fun.

Rich
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Old 03-13-05, 04:38 PM   #8
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Don't cross the Missippi river. The one and only time I had anything thrown at me was on a bridge over the river.
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Old 03-13-05, 06:18 PM   #9
David in PA
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Originally Posted by drcrash
Make it a point to stop at the Aspen Meadows Bicycle Hostel. It's just west of DuBois, WY, where the TransAm and Great Divide trails cross. The hospitality can't be beat. Have fun.

Rich
Thanks. That's exactly the type of info I'm looking for.

And knowing what to avoid completely would also be great. Here's two of mine in the east:

Jamstown Campgrounds about 24 miles from Yorktown, the beginning of the TransAm. Overpriced. Shabby. Poorly kept.

Also, on an Adventure Cycling route but not the TransAm: the Mainstay Inn in Phoenixville. A filthy, disgusting, overpriced dump. Adventure Cycling should remove it from their maps.

Wolfy
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Old 03-14-05, 12:11 PM   #10
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During my first transam (i will do another one day) I spent three days with a kentucky family helping them out on their chicken farm, they let me stay in a guest house and fed me, it was awesome. Look for that kind of stuff. Stop in small towns and chat with the locals as much as you can afford to take time. I agree, if you can, skip Kansas, I rode three days straight with something a 20 to 25 mph headwind!
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