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Old 02-04-19, 10:38 AM
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Originally Posted by BlarneyHammer View Post
Why ACA suggests doing almost all of their routes westbound and/or southbound, I'll never know (Pacific Coast is the only one that makes sense to do so). More headwind, and hotter areas later in summer. Brilliant, I tell you!

Most of the strong winds I experienced on the TransAm were south winds. As Jobst Brandt explained a while back, it feels like a headwind whether you're going east or west. The exception was west of Rawlins, WY going west where we hit a horrible headwind. Same stretch where an eastbound couple we talked to ran into a horrible headwind a few weeks earlier. Big west to east prevailing winds are at 30,000 feet; unless your bike has wings and you've got supplemental oxygen, don't worry about it.

Hotter areas later in summer? Leave westbound early May, finish in the PNW around the first of August; the last 4-6 weeks are in low humidity areas at altitude. Contrast that with eastbound, leave early June, you get to spend your last 4-6 weeks in July and August climbing the steepest hills on the route in the heat and brutal humidity of Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, and Virginia.

Do you like to hit the road early, or ride late in the day? If you're a morning person, go west; the sun at dawn will be in the eyes of oncoming traffic, on the other side of the road from you. That's a safer scenario than traffic coming up behind you in your lane and blinded by the sun so they don't see you. Reverse if you'd rather ride until sunset (or thereabouts). Of course, the weather will be cooler, and the wind much lower, from dawn to noon than noon to dusk: advantage westbound.
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