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TransAm alternatives (Seeking input on route)

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TransAm alternatives (Seeking input on route)

Old 06-17-22, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
Seems like a fair consideration that West to East gives enough time for released erythropoietin to facilitate additional red blood cells and make for less huffing and puffing at altitude on the relatively gentle climbs. Keeping the total weight down also helps. It is doubtful the East approach has enough elevation on the plains to prepare the body for elevation whereas starting in Astoria, one gradually goes higher and higher.
Yeah, it was nice going W-E. If you hit it as early as is reasonable weather wise and when McKenzie pass is first open there is a good chance of missing too much smoke and having decent weather until the heat and humidity in the east. With my luck there is usually hot weather regardless or whether it is supposed to be or not. The headlines seem to be "Record Heat Wave" wherever I go on tour.

I know what not to do. Don't fly into Denver and go over Trail Ridge the next day. The climb is easy. Puking down the backside isn't much fun.
I've done something almost like that. Not fun at all.
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Old 06-17-22, 01:17 PM
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Sometimes it seems pretty random when you feel the altitude and when you don't.

Going west, I had more trouble with Togwotee than I did at Hoosier Pass, despite Hoosier being some 2,000' higher. Approaching Hoosier, I had a rest day in Canon City (if you can call it a rest day with a half a day of whitewater rafting), overnighted the next night at Guffey (8,500' or so), and then cruised into Breckenridge with no more trouble that that kind of climbing incurs. Before Togwotee I had a real rest day in Dubois, leaving about 3,000 feet of steady climb to the pass. One might think a week or so over 5,000 feet, including 3 nights over 8,000', would have made Togwotee a comparative walk into the park, but 'twasn't so.
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Old 06-17-22, 03:23 PM
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While riding a couple of Colorado passes last summer, I saw folks (assuming day riders, since they didn't have dunnage) with little personal bottles of oxygen. Hmph. I'd never seen such a thing - but then it's been several years since I rode the high passes. Checking the internet (and if you see it on the internet, it must be true), the jury still seems to be out on the efficacy of retail supplemental O2.

Anyway, if anyone is put off by climbing and all these breathless tales of trans-American cycletouring, they might try the 'flat' route with a maximum elevation of ~8500 feet on Sherman Summit just east of Laramie, Wyoming:

On this route, the Pacific/Atlantic Continental Divide is crossed at South Pass, Wyoming @ ~7400 feet.
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Old 06-18-22, 04:39 PM
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Originally Posted by mev View Post
Yes, although several things also come from practical experience:
- Altitude definitely varies by person
For some it can even vary by trip. Just because youíve done rides at altitude before doesnít necessarily mean that youíll react the same way in the future as seen below

- There seems to be a fairly sharp effect at what point it cuts in for individuals. For example, taking out of town guests to Frisco (elevation ~9000ft) rarely had much effect. There is a surprisingly large difference in effect between Frisco (9,000ft), Cameron Pass (10,300ft), Hoosier Pass (11,500ft) and Trail Ridge (12,200ft). The worst scenario seems to be flying into DIA and then immediately going to altitude - did that once with a friend flying from LAX and within 12 hours we went up Longs Peak. He was in good health and had hiked up Whitney but still needed time to adjust. Next trip after he visited we did Longs Peak but spent a few days around Frisco first.
If you are just going to Frisco to walk around, what you say is true. But if you are going to Frisco as a start to a loaded tour or any other aerobic activity, where you are putting in more effort than just walking, the lower altitude at Frisco is still going to have an impact.

- So assuming going up Cameron Pass all in a day from Fort Collins - particularly if you hadn't adjusted to Front Range altitude by cycling via Eastern Colorado would be a stupid assumption but I don't see you need to make that assumption - particularly given distances involved.
Iím pointing out that the rise from Pueblo to Hoosier is a gentler climb over all. Similar altitude rise over a longer distance equals an easier climb over all.
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