Both cyclist and non-cyclists are heartily welcomed into this delightful work.
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Enjoy the ride. Wiseman pries open the heart of cycling as a sport, as a diversion, and as an escape from what ails you. Few today realize that bike racing was a premier participant and spectator sport in s and 30's America, and Wiseman is part of, and an author for, the rebirth of this great human pursuit in the U. In prose that evokes all the sensory experience that bicycling provides, Wiseman takes us along as she pedals throughout the Great Plains and the West.
Along the way we are given lyrical reflections on the way cycling connects her to childhood memories, to her father and grandfather, as well as her beloved dog Echo. Ultimately, this book does what the best bicycling books do; it makes you want to get out and ride! There is a meditative depth to these essays that transcends the page and encourages all of us to consider our place in time anew.
Both insightful and rich, I found in these linked essays an invitation to reflect on big questions about the human condition and what it means to hold on whether or not the wind is at my back. The scenery quickly changes from dry, high desert to alpine as you reach Kremmling, Colorado. Touristy Breckenridge in Summit County is another great place for a layover day.
You begin a long climb to crest the Continental Divide at Hoosier Pass, 11, feet, up amongst snow-covered peaks. As the route leaves the Rockies, Royal Gorge Park offers a fun layover day, either for hanging out at the Arkansas River bridge or 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 - it's the largest city you'll pass through until Carbondale, Illinois.
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. 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 Cooky'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. 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 Cave 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 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.
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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.
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The descents from these passes are, of course, a blast. Most of Kansas is beautifully flat.
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Missouri through the Ozarks and eastern Kentucky through the Appalachians offers short, steep climbs. You might even have to walk up some hills. The Virginia portion of the route, surprisingly, has more total elevation gain than any other state. 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, feet in Colorado. 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.
Camping choices will vary across the country between small private campgrounds, city parks, state and national parks, national forests, and the occasional back yard. 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.
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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. Kansas is legendary for its hospitality. Camping in city parks is the norm through Kansas and Missouri.