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Our Route and Planned Schedule

We have developed the following schedule for our tour, which may provide friends and family with the approximate dates that we will pass through certain cities and towns along the way.

We provide this information in the hope that some of you guys will show up on our route and offer to buy us a steak dinner with all the trimmings. One can only dream.

We depart San Francisco June 4, and plan to arrive in the following locations listed below:

  Fallon, NV
Cedar City, UT
Dolores, CO
Pueblo, CO
Alexander, KS
Girard, KS
Murphysboro, IL
Berea, KY
Christianburg, VA
Yorktown, VA
  - June 9
- June 13
- June 25
- July 2
- July 7
- July 13
- July 20
- July 28
- Aug 4
- Aug 11

We will update our daily progress on the state maps in this section. Please let us know if your path will cross ours.


The decision regarding which route to follow across the USA was actually an easy one. We were always planning to use The Adventure Cycling Association’s detailed cross country route maps. The Western Express Route passed through Carson City, NV, near to family and friends in Northern California and Nevada. We chose that route, which joins up with the Transamerica Route in Colorado, and proceeds to the end in Virginia. Besides, starting the trip in San Francisco is hard to beat.

California Nevada Utah Colorado Kansas
Missouri Illinois Kentucky Tennessee Virginia

Following is an extract from The Adventure Cycling Association’s website describing the route.

Western Express Route

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 Great Plains.

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 fall at any time in the Rocky Mountains, and the highest pass is over 11,000 feet. 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 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. 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.

A dozen climbs await the rider on “The Loneliest Road in America” as it traverses the rollercoaster range and basin country paralleling the route of the famous Pony Express. 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…Cedar Breaks, Escalante, and Natural Bridges National Monuments; Bryce Canyon and Capital Reef National Parks; and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. 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 Arkansas River to Cotopaxi. Here the route leaves busy U.S. Highway 50 and winds through quiet wooded foothills until reaching Pueblo.

Pueblo offers bike shops and great places to eat; it also serves as the halfway point of the TransAm Trail.


TransAmerica Trail

Things start to dry out as you get into the eastern part of Colorado and cross into western Kansas. Carrying extra water is a good idea here – this is hot, barren country. 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. The flat-as-a-pool-table terrain of the Great Plains will change quickly into the roller-coaster riding of Missouri.

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. 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 flat riding 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.

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