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Safety Concerns doing the TransAm Trail Alone?

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Safety Concerns doing the TransAm Trail Alone?

Old 02-15-09, 08:50 PM
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Safety Concerns doing the TransAm Trail Alone?

Hey all,

I'm graduating this summer, and would very much like to celebrate by riding the TransAm trail from Virginia to my home in Colorado. But I have some concerns. My general fitness level is good, but I have no experience with long-distance cycling. Nor do I have any good friends who are interested/able to come with me. I know this means I'll get off to a very slow start, and I have no desire to hold back people in a group, or a partner with a much better fitness level. To be honest, biking alone also sounds meditative and nice. It's great to go at your own schedule, stop when you want, and be left alone with your thoughts.

But I'm a little concerned with doing the trail on my own as I'm not great with directions, and some of the accounts I've read seem to suggest that the trail may not be that well-marked. Do enough people know about the trail, I'd be able to ask directions easily? Would having a cell phone with GPS suffice? I'm also a fairly small woman in my mid-twenties, and was planning to camp the majority of time (Camped tons of times before and am very comfortable with it, just not necessarily alone, in a campground I'm not familiar with.) Assuming I have the requisite fitness level, take safety precautions, research and bring all the necessary equipment, am I still insane to try this alone?

And if so, what options would be feasible for someone in my position? Would it be common say, to go with a group, and agree where to meet for the night, but then be free to go at my own pace during the day? Should I just cross my fingers I find another beginner to ride with, and then cross my fingers we go at one another's pace?

I've mentioned this in one other forum and was strongly dissuaded from doing it for reasons of fitness. I'd ask that you please just help me figure out how to do it safely. I fully expect it to be grueling and painful in the beginning. That's one of the things that actually attracts me to it. In any sport where you're underprepared, the challenge and the rapid improvement curve are intoxicating.

But I'm not stupid. I just need a realistic assessment of the risks, and then the ability to take safeguards and make my own decisions.

Thanks so much!
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Old 02-15-09, 08:53 PM
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Just do It.
Have Fun.
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Old 02-16-09, 12:52 AM
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^^ What he said.

You'll probably meet people along the way. Some of them will be riding bikes. Maybe they'll want to ride with you, even. You'll find out.

There was a post on here a couple months ago that linked to a long story from the '40s or early '50s about two 18-ish-year-old girls who decided to take a bike trip from Buffalo to... I don't remember where they were intending to go, but they ended up riding to New Orleans and back. I think one had a 2-speed, and the other had a 3-speed. Or maybe it was 1-speed and 2-speed. I just tried to search for it but couldn't find it.

As far as your fitness goes, I'd say, if you're in good health, and relatively fit, you probably want to start out the early legs of your trip trying not to over-do it. Between now and then, you have plenty of time to take rides to get yourself in a bit better shape, too. If you ride your bike even just a few miles every day or so, and do 20-30 miler once a week, and maybe fit in a few 50+ mile weekend rides, you should be fine. You don't have to "train", really; you just have to get comfortable riding, and get your bike in shape.

My 2-1/2 cents.

Last edited by mcgreivey; 02-16-09 at 01:00 AM.
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Old 02-16-09, 06:31 AM
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might want to post in touring...
and its not as big and scary a world our there as the nightly news makes out.

have a little faith in your common homosapien.
So long. Been nice knowing you BF.... to all the friends I've made here and in real life... its been great. But this place needs an enema.
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