The story of how I saved money, quit my job, sold my possessions,
and set off to endlessly travel by bike around the world.
My 3 Books
I write, self publish and sell
books about touring
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Places I have been
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India and Neighbors
May 2010 to present
/ Canada / USA
May 2008 to April 2010
Sept 2007 to May 2008
Sept 2006 to Sept 2007
SE Asia / China
Nov 2004 to Sept 2006
June 2003 to June 2004
AZ, Mexico, and
March 2002 to April 2003
How I started
The 5 years before I left
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Equipment Pages Index
How Much to Bring and Weight
Advice About Advice
A Note to Perspective Sponsors and Gear Suppliers
more about Sponsorship)
HERE for Touring Bikes and Commuting Bicycles
Custom Touring Bicycles and Bike Upgrade Buyers Guide
Bicycle Touring Frames
Steel Repair Myth.
and Aluminum Derailleur Hanger Repair.
Bicycle Touring Wheels
Phil Wood: The Best Bicycle Hubs
Panniers / Bike Bags
Cargo Trailers Vs Panniers
Tires for Bike Tours..
Bicycle Touring Saddles.
Women's Specific Bike Touring Saddles
Brooks Leather Touring Bicycle Saddle Care and Conditioning
Touring Handlebars, Bar Ends, Adjustable Stems, and Padded Grips.
Sealed Cartridge Headsets
How to prevent flat tires
Bike Route Trails and Maps
Buying Camping Equipment
Tent and Ground
Pots and Pans
Solar Power for Camp
Bike Touring Shorts
Bicycle touring lights
Pictures of Equipment Failures
all 3 book)
Adventure Cycling USA Transamerica Route Bicycle Touring Route Maps
Bike Coast to Coast Across America - States: Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois,
Kentucky and Virginia
A CLASSIC TRANS AM ROUTE AS OLD AS BIKECENTENNIAL
Grand parks along the TransAm include Yellowstone and Grand
Teton National Parks, among the best in the United States. One additional treat:
because this route has been ridden by cyclists for years, many of the cafes,
restaurants, and overnight accommodations along the route have kept journals
consisting of entries written by cross-country riders from previous years,
providing you with a cyclist's history of the route. Plan on around three months
(give or take) for the crossing. Some traverse the route quicker, but this
leaves less time for sightseeing. This route can be ridden from May through
September. Note that snow can occur at any time in the Rocky Mountains, and the
highest pass on the route is over 11,500 feet. Although the prevailing weather
patterns are from west to east, local wind patterns are more dependent on the
passing pressure systems and local terrain, so you can expect your fair share of
tailwinds and headwinds regardless of which direction you ride the route.
Astoria, Oregon, with the hills of a miniature San Francisco,
is the official beginning-of-the-road. The view from atop the Astoria Column is
well worth the uphill pedal. Stretches of beaches, outstanding state parks,
steep ascents and descents, and great seafood abound during your first days of
riding before you turn inland to the Willamette River Valley. Eugene is the
largest city along the route, with about 140,000 residents. Other sizable cities
along the way are Missoula, Montana; Pueblo, Colorado; and Carbondale, Illinois.
The lush, green western side of the Cascade Mountains is a startling contrast to
the dry terrain you'll be riding into after McKenzie Pass. The road over
McKenzie Pass literally cuts through an ancient lava field and offers
spectacular views of the Three Sisters and other snow-capped volcanic peaks of
the Cascades. Central and eastern Oregon are made up of dry, mountainous terrain.
It's a good idea to carry extra water. The National Historic Oregon Trail
Interpretive Center outside of Baker City is a must-see, and after completing
your trip crossing the country, you'll have no trouble relating to the
experiences of the early pioneers.
Idaho offers a wonderful ride along the Salmon River, and some
interesting Native American historic sites to visit. The route then follows the
winding, scenic Lochsa River for the longest ascent of the trip (around 70
miles). You'll climb up and over Lolo Pass, enter Montana and soon reach the
spur into Missoula. Missoula, a college town, provides one of the highlights of
the route: the Adventure Cycling headquarters with its "cyclist's lounge"
and other amenities, along with whatever services you may require in town.
Beautiful panoramas and mountain passes await you in Montana.
The views in Yellowstone National Park and of the Grand Tetons
in Wyoming are incomparable. It's worth an
extra day or two off the bike to experience as much as you can of these two
phenomenal national parks. Towns such as Dubois and Lander remind you that
you're in the West, with their historic architecture and western-style cooking.
Lamont is an oasis in the windy, desolate Great Divide Basin, and local
restaurants serve up a
mean bowl of chili.
The scenery quickly changes from dry, high desert to alpine as
you reach Kremmling, Colorado. Touristy Breckenridge is another great place for
a layover day. You begin a long climb to crest the Continental Divide at Hoosier
Pass, 11,542 feet, up amongst snow-covered peaks. As the route leaves the
Rockies, Royal Gorge Park offers a fun layover day. Choose from hanging out at
the Arkansas River bridge, taking a helicopter ride over or a raft trip
through the gorge. Pueblo offers bike shops and great places to eat; it also
serves as the halfway point of the TransAm Trail (time to celebrate!). It's a
good place to stock up -- this is the largest city you'll pass through until
Things start to dry out as you get into the eastern part of
Colorado and cross into western Kansas. Carrying extra water is smart planning here
-- this is hot, barren country. Right around Haswell, Colorado, you'll see your
last hazy glimpse of the Rocky Mountains. Overnights at city parks in Kansas are
usually accompanied by cool dips in the city swimming pools. You might have to
do some early morning and early evening riding to escape the midday heat. Don't
miss the pies at Cookie's in Golden City, Missouri! The flat-as-a-pool-table
terrain of the Great Plains will change quickly into the roller-coaster riding
of Missouri. You'll find Missouri offers Civil War history, terrific canoeing
(at Eminence) and an excellent swimming hole (Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park).
The route crosses the Mississippi River at Chester, Illinois,
and heads into Carbondale, another fun college town. A ferry takes you across
the Ohio River into Kentucky, where you'll enjoy the evening fireflies at your
campsites. Kentucky offers rolling white-fenced farms and woodlands until
reaching Berea, the gateway to the Appalachian Mountains. A loop south of the
route will take you to see Mammoth Caves National Park, the longest cave system
in the world. Past Berea, you'll spend some time ascending and descending the
mountains of the Appalachians, and riding part of the Blue Ridge Parkway in
Virginia. The mountains turn to rolling hills and then flatten out through lush
plantations and farmlands. The last stretch of the route is rich in the history
of the American Revolution, with Colonial Williamsburg as the highlight.
Yorktown, situated on the Chesapeake Bay, is the route's end.
Some stretches of the western portion of the route follow
large river valleys and can be generally flat, but expect some climbing almost
every day between Astoria, Oregon and Pueblo, Colorado. The passes throughout
the Rocky Mountains are generally long but not terribly steep. The descents from
these passes are, of course, a blast. Most of Kansas is boringly flat.
Missouri through the Ozarks and eastern Kentucky through the Appalachians offers
short, steep climbs. The Virginia portion of the route, surprisingly, has more
total elevation gain than any other state.
Camping choices will vary across the country between small
private campgrounds, city parks, state and national parks, national forests and
the occasional backyard. The northern Oregon coast is a heavily traveled
tourist route and is flush with camping and service opportunities. From Oregon
eastward through Kansas, you'll find services limited mainly to the towns along
the route. Carrying extra water in the West is a good plan. Camping options
improve once you're in the Rockies, but you should still expect some long
stretches between accommodations and services. Options will increase near
tourist areas such as Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Kansas is
legendary for its hospitality. Camping in city parks is the norm through Kansas
and Missouri. Food, water and overnight accommodations are abundant from
Missouri to Virginia.
Tips & Advice
Tools and Spares
Pots and Pans
Preventing Flat Tires
Bike Touring Shorts
Have Learned On The Road
Injustice of Poverty
Much MORE Gear Here!
Cycle Touring Racks
Tents and ground