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TransAm Tidbits

Monday March 6, 2023 (TransAm 2023)

With a certain amount of luck, I will be starting the TransAm Bicycle Route on May 5th. Needless to say, I’m very excited. It’s been four years since I rode across the country and this second tour is way over due. In 2019 I rode the Southern Tier route. This time I’m going to follow the classic TransAm route. This route was established in 1976 for the “Bicentennial.” Below are some pertinent facts. I’m planning to ride east to west. I’ll be blogging the adventure here, just like I did for the Southern Tier.

Mileage (Route Order)

State Miles(1) Total Miles
Virginia 577 577
Kentucky 506 1,083
Illinois 134 1,217
Missouri 304 1,521
Kansas 531 2,052
Colorado 431 2,483
Wyoming 462 2,945
Montana 335 3,280
Idaho 347 3,627
Oregon 482 4,109

(1) Another “Virginia Surprise.” This is the state that presents the longest crossing of all the states on the itinerary.

Mileage (Average)

State Mileage (Average/Day)(2)
Kansas 59
Wyoming 58
Idaho 58
Kentucky 56
Montana 56
Oregon 54
Missouri 51
Virginia 48
Colorado 48
Illinois 34

(2) Elapsed time to cross, 78 days total (not counting rest days).

Elevation (Total)

Elevation Elevation (Total) (3)
Virginia 26,500
Oregon 20,100
Kentucky 17,200
Colorado 16,500
Missouri 14,600
Wyoming 14,300
Montana 12,000
Idaho 8,400
Kansas 8,200
Illinois 5,900

(3) The total elevation is equivalent to 5 times the height of Mt. Everest - without the oxygen deprivation.

Elevation (Per Mile)

State Elevation (Feet/Mile)(4)
Missouri 48
Virginia 46
Illinois 44
Oregon 42
Colorado 38
Montana 36
Kentucky 34
Wyoming 31
Idaho 24
Kansas 15

(4) The way I look at this one is, how much of your time in the saddle will be spent climbing… not necessarily how difficult the climbing. To gauge the overall difficulty I don’t really have much to go on. I am pretty sure that Kansas will be the flattest. Note: It is scientifically proven to be “flatter than a pancake.” See: Is Kansas Flatter than a Pancake.

Probably the big surprise in these numbers is how much elevation Virginia dishes out. Before I dug into these numbers, I was planning to ride west to east. I changed my mind based on prevailing weather patterns around my anticipated May start date. I was also worried that it might not be a good idea for an old man to start the ride in a state that requires a lot of climbing. Well, now I know that Virginia will be kicking ass to the same degree that Oregon does, if not more.