My dad, Steve, crossed the country on a ten speed Centurion bicycle in 1979. Not long ago, I was looking at the slides from his trip and wondering if the trail had changed much in twenty years. Complaining about the deteriorating condition of his knees, back, etc., Steve kidded that he may be old, but he could cross the country again. He said the best way to find out what the TransAmerica Trail looked like these days was to do it again. I took him up on is offer, and we set a date to leave: June 14, 2004.
I built up a Trek 520 that I purchased at the Bike Gallery in Portland. With the help of a few mechanics, I built a fairly sturdy touring bike. Compliments to Jens for building a set of bomb-proof wheels. Steve went with an assembled bike, a Giant OCR Touring bicycle. It is aluminum, which is a bit unconventional for touring bikes, but it is strong and comes equipped with some cool features like disc brakes and a spoke holder on the chainstay. We both have front and rear panniers and handlebar bags. I have made a complete list of our equipment. In addition to camping gear, I brought a laptop computer, a solar panel, and a cell phone. I am updating this website every few days via GPRS.
The TransAmerica Trail was developed by an organization called Adventure Cycling. When we decided to ride this trail, we bought a set of maps that detail the route turn by turn. All campgrounds, hotels, bike repair shops, and restaurants are noted on the maps as well. The route takes us Northeast through Oregon and Northern Idaho to Western Montana. From there, we head Southeast through the Rockies in Wyoming and Colorado, then head straight East through Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, and Virginia. We end at the Atlantic Ocean in Yorktown, Virginia. At an average rate of 50 miles per day, including rest days, we will be able to complete the 4,200 mile route in about 80 days.