We have been spending a lot of time analyzing routes, and we are locked in on Trans America Trail, with a couple of route modifications that cut the milage down to 3,900 miles (from 4,300).
The big news, is we will be riding West to East, from Oregon Coast to the North Carolina beach. Here's why:
--It's hard to believe, but the western mountain grades are actually easier to ride (long ascents and descents in the west at a more moderate grade, vs constant short up and downs at steep grades in the east).
--Going west to east will increase the odds of getting prevailing tailwinds.
--We will be able to spend some sight seeing time in Yellowstone earlier in the trip, thus creating a more relaxed environment for the overall trip completion.
--The simpler logistics of riding home (no bikes to box, transportation issues, etc) will allow for more days on the road to complete the ride, if needed.
--We will be able to book scout airfare in advance, lowering cost. Additionally parents will see the crew off at RDU, and thus welcome the crew home at big beach party in North Carolina, again lowering costs and logistical issues.
--It's the traditional way to route the Trans America Trail. It's like being a Northbound thru hiker on the AT.