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Biking across the US

Old 03-19-09, 09:22 AM
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Biking across the US

I'm in the very beginning stages of planning a ride across the country (US). I've looked around a bit, but was wondering if there are any set rules of which routes to ride when, and which direction. I live in Southern California so I can start here and head East, or fly out and ride home. I am a teacher so the summer would work perfect, but is it insane to try to ride through the South and Southwest during this time? Would a northern route be better? Are there prevailing winds that would make west to east or east to west better? Thanks for any suggestions...
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Old 03-19-09, 09:38 AM
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It all depends on what areas you want to pass through. Have you checked out the Adventure Cycling routes?

The Southern Tier is an obvious choice, although you can always head northeast for a bit and join the Transamerica trail in, say Kansas or Colorado. You could head to Washington state and take the northern route.

What areas are most interesting to you? Chicago? Texas? The American heartland? You can make the trip longer and combine routes.
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Old 03-19-09, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by jellis
I'm in the very beginning stages of planning a ride across the country (US). I've looked around a bit, but was wondering if there are any set rules of which routes to ride when, and which direction. I live in Southern California so I can start here and head East, or fly out and ride home. I am a teacher so the summer would work perfect, but is it insane to try to ride through the South and Southwest during this time? Would a northern route be better? Are there prevailing winds that would make west to east or east to west better? Thanks for any suggestions...
The AC routes are nice (see https://www.adventurecycling.org ). These include the Northern Tier, the Southern Tier, and the Trans America. There are also options to mix and match with the Western Express and the Lewis and Clark. I would suggest that you start with one of those modify as needed.

I would rule out the Southern Tier in Summer and do either the NT or the TA. I can personally recommend the TA, but have not done the NT.

Direction of travel is optional. Wind direction should not be the deciding factor, but on the TA it slightly favors E-W. Personally I like to get air travel out of the way up front.

Weather is probably best with a fairly early start in the east at least for the TA. That way you miss the humid heat in the SE and get to the Rockies when things have thawed well. The only drawback that I see with that is that the Appalachians are the hardest part of the trip and I was glad to do them when I had several thousand miles of everyday riding under my belt.

I would personally recommend the TA. Maybe you can use the train to get to or from Oregon. also consider the Western Express and the eastern half of the TA. Be careful when you do the Western Express as it can get pretty hot.

Also feel free to improvise all or part of the route. My preference is to use an Adventure Cycling Route and maybe improvise in sections where it makes sense to you.

I will plug our journal as it has some useful info and was written from the perspective of three first time coast to coast tourists. https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/staehling2007 Also read some of the many other journals there on the Crazy Guy site.
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Old 03-19-09, 02:17 PM
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Thanks for the advice
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