Before we begin, what’s your stance on tan lines?
I’m writing this for anyone thinking about doing a trip like this.
For the last 1250 miles, I’ve mapped my days through a GPS and pieced it together based on people I’d stay with, viable camping locations, terrain, and weather.
It’s been an experience that was stressful at times, but I’m glad I did it. It gave me time to adapt to the trip, enjoy my surroundings, and realize future goals.
For the remainder of the trip, I’ll be using maps through Adventure Cycling. They have a wide range of routes throughout our country, and it takes a lot of the thinking out of it. It’s not always fun having to plan out sleeping spots for the next three nights.
It’s not actually a bike “trail.” I know it sounds confusing, but you’re riding on roads.
There are twelve maps for the TransAmerica route. I’m taking these four from Berea, KY to Pueblo, CO before I hop on a different route they have.
They’ve spent decades making the best route possible. Not only that, but they’ve marked out camping locations, grocery stores, bike shops, etc.
It will be nice to go out in the morning and not have to worry about the little details. It’s also nice to know when there’s food and water ahead because I’ve been in some hairy situations.
Think of it like the Appalachian Trail of biking … only it’s not a trail.
Each of those images covers 30-40 miles of the ~400 miles on each map. You can see that I circled a camping spot above.
You stay on the black line.
There’s an elevation profile, regional information, and additional information for each of the map sections on the back.
I haven’t started it yet, but it’s been great being able to sit down and plan out the next day without using the computer. It’s much less stressful.
I’d suggest using these maps if you’re ever interested in a bike trip. They have dozens of routes, some that are much shorter than this.
From where I sit right now, I have around 3600 miles remaining. That should take between 60-75 days (including spending a few days in Colorado, San Francisco, and LA).
Off we go.