I'm from the UK and am planning to cycle the Trans Am Trail from around mid August to mid October this year. Does anybody have some advice on which direction would be better?
It'd be good to follow the sun as much as possible. In terms of weather being a problem, are there any storm/hurricane-prone areas to be aware of? Or passes where snow may close the roads?
Also, is the route still popular at that time of year? Most people I read about seem to do it a bit earlier in the summer. It'd be nice to still see plenty of people along the way.
And, from past experience, where do you think are the best bits? I love mountains and climbing, so looking at the map it looks like Montana, Oregon, Wyoming, etc would be up my street. I'm not sure whether I'd prefer to do that at the start, or have it to look forward to.
I'm sure either direction would be great. Just want to do my research before I take the plunge and buy my plane tickets...
Any general tips about the route, much appreciated!
If you go westbound, you definitely could get some snow at elevation in Montana, Wyoming, etc. Additionally, it will be cold in parts. For instance, Yellowstone's average low in mid-September is 31 High is 70. Dillon, CO is 31 & 65 respectively. Expect up to a 10 degree variance, especially for the high, i.e. riding in 55 degrees.. Days will be shorter. East of the Rockies would still be quite warm and 90s in Kansas is not unexpected.
I personally would go eastbound as the weather would be much more pleasant the entire route. Still cool at times but definitely not as cold overall.
John pretty well nailed it re expected temps. You trade nicer temps for sun in your eyes in the mornings, and in the eyes of motorist. Until you get to the Mississippi, I think your chances for favorable winds are higher heading east. This is always controversial. East of the Mississippi, winds become more fickled, in my experience.
Temps can exceed 100F in August, with high humidity in the East. Hydration and the use of sun screen become major issues. Any dehydration will sap pedaling energy.
People often mention saving the west, the best, for last. Either way, you'll have a blast.
Hi Jerry / Martha (?),
Cheers for the advice. Good point about the sun in the morning. I'll pack my shades.
Yeah, I've heard info either way on the wind subject, so I'm not taking too much notice of that. But good to know.
All the best,
Thanks for the advice. I did initially think to travel westbound. But your information has started to sway me.
I forgot to mention you can go over to CrazyGuyonABike.com and review this same question. It has been asked/answered a million times. Yours is later than most do it so add key words like October to your search.
Thanks for the pointer, John. I've never checked the forums there, but they did indeed have a lot of talk on my question. And I think it's confirmed my decision to travel eastbound. Sounds like the best plan, weather-wise.