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TransAmerica trail, or what?

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TransAmerica trail, or what?

Old 08-18-17, 09:13 AM
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gauvins
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TransAmerica trail, or what?

Starting to think about a trans-continental tour of North America. The default route could be ACA's TransAmerica, which is referred to as a classic.

I am unfamiliar with the US network of great cycling routes, but noticed that this classic doesn't use the Katy Trail, and doesn't seem to ride the Blue Ridge parkway either.

Can this classic be improved? The idea isn't to do it as fast as possible, but rather to ride where riding is best, to stop here and there to visit cities or national parks, and to take the weather into consideration. Maybe using historic routes. Possibilities are practically endless.

Suggestions?
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Old 08-18-17, 09:35 AM
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you can of course veer off their researched route, that they make maps of.

are you going to offer the information you gain in riding this route you create for your needs, back to them ,

Or is this just a 'you guys should'.. topic started here, and not talking to the ACA staff ?

Oregon DOT, publishes a map of recommended bike routes, State wide, as well as one of the very popular coast route..

you can contact each state's departments of transportation and get a paper map from each of them to research your routing .





...
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Old 08-18-17, 10:07 AM
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If you haven't already, check blogs on Crazy Guy on a Bike. Lots of cross-country tours documenting many paths across the US. One that I am currently reading that is an "adjusted" Trans-Am tour is "Portland to Portland". They left Portland OR headed for Portland ME, and adjusted mid-tour to include the Katy. They are in New York state right now. Bottom line, you can't go wrong adjusting a Trans Am tour to include the Katy Trail (and, now, Rock Island spur).
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Old 08-18-17, 11:03 AM
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Seems to me the Blue ridge would be easy enough to include. I'm thinking finish in Wash DC instead of the regular finish. ?? I know very little about it though.
What about the old highways along I-66 from the end of Skyline to Wash DC Finish in DC

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Old 08-18-17, 01:16 PM
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It's better to build your own route if you can. Only you know what you want to see, how many miles you want to ride in a day, how much traffic you are willing to tolerate, what time of year you're riding, etc.


I'm sure ACA makes good routes, but they can't be all things to all people. So could the TAT be better? Better for you, definitely. Better for all people? Hard to say.
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Old 08-18-17, 01:56 PM
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ACA offers more than simply the TransAm. There is the Northern Tier (which I did many years ago) and Lewis & Clark routes. (At least one options of the latter overlap with a portion of the TransAm.) There is also the Great Parks North route which can be used to connect the Northern Tier with the TransAm. You could take the Pacific Coast route north from Seattle (a convenient transportation destination) and join the Northern Tier near/in Mt. Vernon, WA.


Play around with ACA's interactive map for even more permutations:


https://www.adventurecycling.org/rou...e-network-map/


And, of course, if you start out on one of their routes you don't have to follow it the entre way. Back in June I did a two-week trip in MT and ID. Some of it used ACA routes. Some did not.
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Old 08-18-17, 02:23 PM
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You could also consider the Eastern Express and Western Express as possible modifications.
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Old 08-19-17, 05:06 AM
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The Trans America does follow the Blue Ridge parkway for a short distance. I don't recall how far it was on the BRP, but if memory serves it was between Vesuvius and the northern terminus of the BRP, maybe 25 miles or so.

Just me, but I really don't see why you would go out of your way to ride the Katy trail in the middle of a coast to coast ride. I can see someone riding it to do a short tour with no cars or trucks, but I wouldn't go out of my way to do it when on the TA.

Obviously your preferences are likely to be different than ours, so your choices may be different.

I do kind of regret that we didn't go out of our way to see Glacier NP.

My recommendation is to either mostly stay with the TA or to do a hybrid trip of something like the Lewis and Clark Trail and the TA (the TA/LC would be my most likely variation). If you do the standard TA, I'd consider minor variations on the fly as you go.

We did leave the official TA route for a little while in a few places. In our case it was in places where the TA went out of it's way for reasons that we didn't think made sense. In another case it was to meet up with some friends we met earlier on the tour. It is easy enough to deviate for a while on the fly.
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Old 08-19-17, 08:42 AM
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I agree. I think southern Missouri would be more interesting than the Katy. But should be easy enough to find roads for a detour if you so chose. St. Louis does have some worthwhile things to see.
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Old 08-19-17, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
Just me, but I really don't see why you would go out of your way to ride the Katy trail in the middle of a coast to coast ride. I can see someone riding it to do a short tour with no cars or trucks, but I wouldn't go out of my way to do it when on the TA.
Probably in reaction to the North American vs European bike culture. In Europe (and in Quebec, where the European influence is the greatest) bike touring is mostly done on bikepaths. In North America, touring is often done on highway's shoulders. Our preference is certainly towards bike paths, and since the Katy appears to be the longest US bike path, I'd try to ride it.

But I am way too early in the process to have formed an opinion.

I'll take this opportunity to thank forum's members for their input. Very interesting as is often the case.
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Old 08-19-17, 09:11 PM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
The Trans America does follow the Blue Ridge parkway for a short distance. I don't recall how far it was on the BRP, but if memory serves it was between Vesuvius and the northern terminus of the BRP, maybe 25 miles or so.
Correct. It also follows about 40 miles of the recently completed Virginia Capital Trail in eastern Virginia. It's a MUP that parallels VA 5 so you do not ride on the highway but you do cross it a few times.
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Old 08-20-17, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Squeezebox View Post
I agree. I think southern Missouri would be more interesting than the Katy. But should be easy enough to find roads for a detour if you so chose. St. Louis does have some worthwhile things to see.
Southern Missouri is very hilly especially if you get into the Ozark Mountains. I rode it on a supported tour in 1996 and wouldn't like the idea of climbing some of those monsters with full panniers!

I find the Katy Trail interesting enough that I've done it end-to-end the last 7 years. It certainly is much safer than riding on roads.
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