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Planning my Trans America tour

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Planning my Trans America tour

Old 05-03-05, 06:37 AM
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Planning my Trans America tour

I'm starting to get down to the nitty gritty of planning my Transam tour, and after reading just about every word on the net finally seem to have decided on a route - Adventure Cycling western express and then join up with the Transam.

I however have some questions I am hoping someone may be able to help me with

1. I would like to prebook a couple days cheap accommodation in SF when I arrive (to do a bit of sightseeing and get over jetlag before I start cyling). Can someone recommend an area ideally somewhere easy to get to from the airport with a bike box, and then also easy to get to the ferry terminal to start the ride? I assume I could take the box and assemble the bike there as I won't feel like doing it at the airport after a 15 hour flight that arrives an hour before I leave???
2. From people's journals I have read that it can get very cold along the route in the mountains. Is this only at night, or during the day as well? I have a very warm sleeping bag, but do I also need extra warm clothes for cycling in?

Thanks
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Old 05-03-05, 08:16 AM
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Dreamy -

SFO Airport - the KX Express bus to SF doesn't permit luggage - so you have to take a much more expensive shuttle service. You can also take the bike aboard BART during non-rush hour times - I'm not sure if you would have time to get box plus luggage aboard unless someone were helping you. The SFO station is the end of the line so you would start with an empty car - but you would have to consider how to get off in the city when the car was full. Tricky. Check out the San Fran Hostels - Golden Gate Council - the big one downtown is tougher for cyclists - i.e. storage, risk - - I'd recommend the one just across Golden Gate Bridge.

https://www.bart.gov/index.asp

I've lived in the Rocky Mountain region for 15 years and have many thousands of miles experience touring here. When you ask about weather - the most crucial question is WHEN?? Most easterners in the U.S. and almost all people from outside the country are shocked to encounter winter-like conditions in early June when they think it should be summer. Generally, highs at lower elevations (2000m - 6500ft) should be in the 60s (15C) by June 1. Lows at night will approach freezing. The rule-of-thumb is to subtract 3 degrees for every 1000 ft increase in elevation. So the higher passes in Colorado may only be in the high 40s (8C) even at midday in early June - plus you have wind to deal with. The last big snowstorms usually come in late May, but you can have smaller ones through June. I've seen it snow on the 4th of July in Jackson, Wyoming. Here are climate averages - click on the state - then the town. Plus afternoon thunderstorms are common in summer. Getting wet when it is cool and windy is a recipe for hypothermia.

https://www.wrcc.dri.edu/climsum.html

You should DEFINITELY have cold-weather clothing that you can mail back once you are past the Rockies. Ear band, fleece and a rain shell, light gloves, and one pair of wool blend socks. (They do have a few sheep in Australia, right mate?) Head, hands, and feet are crucial to keep warm.

Have a good trip - J
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Old 05-03-05, 08:23 AM
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Yeah, it really depends on when you're going to be in the Rockies. My roomate and I did the Western Express from the Kansas border to the Utah border in August of last year, and even in August there was one morning when we were both *really* happy to have some cold weather gear with us.

I'm going to do the entire Western Express from San Francisco to Pueblo (and then TAT on to Yorktown this summer.) I'm planning on taking enough clothes to keep me warm over the first half. (I'm leaving in a bit less than three weeks...) This year I'll be hitting the Rockies in June, and expect that I might encounter a few more cooler days.

I suggest layering. Arm warmers and Leg warmers are the absolute best invention ever created for cyclists...well, possibly aside from the Brooks saddle and the deraileur...and brakes. Seriously, though, if you're like me and get going in the morning, you're going to want to layer it on thick and then start peeling off clothes as the day warms up.
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Old 05-03-05, 09:33 AM
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The airport isn't too far from the city, but it's not "in" the city, either. What you do depends on your budget. Personally, I would spend a couple extra bucks on the first day, because as you know, that long flight leaves you pretty worn out - it will be hard enough trying to negotiate the city on your bike on the wrong side of the road without adding jetlag.

I would suggest looking for a hotel near the airport (south san francisco area), and booking the first night's stay there. Many motels/hotels have free airport pickup, usually in a minivan that will accommodate your bike box - just talk to the hotel first. Then you can get some rest and assemble your bike at your leisure, then ride into the city and find someplace to call home for a couple days of sightseeing.

The city itself is small but hilly (!) and the traffic is horrendous.

Sorry I can't offer a place to stay there, I'm in the east bay area now and probably won't be around after mid-may - but if you need more info about the area please feel free to PM me.

Maybe I'll see some of you out on the road, I'm thinking about doing W.E. to the rockies then heading north, maybe in the late-June/early-July timeframe, and I wouldn't mind some rolling company.

Anna
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Old 05-04-05, 01:21 AM
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Thanks for the replies

Yes, I think to keep things simple I will book the first night somewhere very close to the airport, and then start spreading my wings the next day...

I actually lived a year in SF when a small kid, and one of the only things I remember was all the hills (and the painted ladies), so they must be significant!

I will be happy to catch up with anyone doing the western express (and then transam) the same time as me - I will be arriving on 12 June and setting out a couple of days after....
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Old 05-04-05, 11:43 AM
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This is one of the greatest ideas in cycling.... but I have to admit I haven't checked into it yet. Just discovered it a few days ago: Warm Showers List

Might be someone in the SF area who can help.

I'll be adding my name after I get back from this summer's tour

-- Mark
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