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
Photo Use Info
Subscribe to Newsletter
Continue My Travels
Places I have been
(How can I
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
Sign up for my RoadNews Newsletter
Written on the road as I travel around the world on my bicycle
Support this Web Site and Continue My Travels.
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's Western Express Bike Route Maps -
Bicycle Touring Around America - States: California, Nevada, Utah
and Colorado. Connects to the Transamerica Biking Trail
ALL ABOARD FOR SCENERY AND ADVENTURE
From the metropolis of San Francisco, the Western Express
Route passes through lush agricultural valleys and climbs over the Sierra
Nevada. In Nevada it uses "The Loneliest Road in America," a term coined some
years ago by a Life magazine writer. The route then winds among the magnificent
monuments and parks of southern Utah. It crosses the spine of the Rocky
Mountains over numerous passes to end in Pueblo, Colorado, the gateway to the
This route can be ridden from mid-May through October,
depending on weather. Carson Pass crosses over the Sierra Nevada at an elevation
of 8,573 feet. Snow can also fall at any time in the Rocky Mountains, and the
highest pass is over 11,000 feet. Local conditions and mountain ranges affect
winds, so it is difficult to predict any major wind patterns. Dust and
sandstorms will occasionally occur in the deserts of Nevada and Utah. Sections 2
and 3 of this route (Nevada and Utah) are considered difficult due not only to
steep terrain but also due to lack of water, temperature extremes (as high as
100 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer) and long mileages without services.
After the food and fun of San Francisco by the Bay, a relaxing
ferry ride eliminates a hard day of urban cycling and deposits the cyclist in
Vallejo. The route parallels an interstate and winds through suburbs to
Fairfield and then passes through rolling, verdant agricultural areas before
turning east. Urban riding conditions prevail along the section from Davis
through Sacramento, Folsom, and Placerville. Separate bike paths, which start in
Davis and extend through Sacramento to Folsom, provide welcome relief from busy
surface streets. Wineries abound east of Placerville and the route begins to
climb the Sierra Nevada foothills to the 8,573 foot Carson Pass. It then
descends into the historic mining region around Carson City, Nevada.
People watchers will enjoy a casino visit in Carson City,
assuming you don't plan to finance your trip there. Here the route joins U.S.
Highway 50 into Fallon, where the challenging part of the route really begins. A
dozen climbs await the rider on "The Loneliest Road in America" as it traverses
the roller-coaster basin and range country paralleling the route of the famous
Pony Express. Nevadans are noted for their self-reliance, hospitality (as long
as you are not a federal employee), and whimsical sense of humor as evidenced by
such unique attractions as the "shoe tree" and the "Post Impressionist " (fence
post) art between Baker and Lehman Cave in Great Basin National Park.
East of Cedar City, Utah, the route passes through some of the
nation's most isolated communities and several of its most spectacular scenic
wonders. Take some time to explore Cedar Breaks, Escalante, and Natural Bridges
National Monuments; Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef National Parks; and Glen
Canyon National Recreation Area. To even the most experienced of travelers,
these natural sculptures, spires, buttes and canyons are no less than humbling.
The Utah portion of the route could be a worthy destination in itself. After
passing through the bean-growing capital of the nation in southwestern Colorado,
the route swings north and then east through the small tourist communities of
the Rockies where one can always find an espresso and a ski hill, however
modest. The route traverses forested mountains to Salida and from there into the
narrow valley of the Arkansas River to Cotopaxi. Here the route leaves busy U.S.
Highway 50 and winds through quiet wooded foothills until reaching Pueblo.
The route lets you warm up for 150 miles before the first
major climb over Carson Pass at 8,573 feet. Nevada offers almost unlimited sight
lines across wide valleys before ascending and descending a pass into the next
valley. The terrain through central Utah becomes steeper, with grades varying
from 6 percent to 14 percent. In Colorado the route follows several river
valleys, though for the most part you'll be either climbing or descending.
While California is almost urban in availability of services,
Nevada and Utah present special problems in obtaining water and food on a daily
basis. Carrying a water filter is strongly advised for water access at
miscellaneous reservoirs, creeks, and lakes at primitive campsites. In most
cases, there are no homes or ranches between services. Call ahead to verify any
services. Nevada and Utah are extremely dry, and few trees are available for
shade. In Colorado, services are more easily found, though higher altitude
services -- from campground water to grocery stores -- can close early depending
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