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Reply to Elevation gain?
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Mike from Irvine, CA on 3/11/2024 11:46:00 AM:
I am trying to plan a trip to ride the cowboy trail later this year. Is there a big elevation gain difference or overall difficulty difference between riding it west to east vs east to west? Thanks in advance.

 
Mike from Irvine, CA on 3/11/2024 11:52:03 AM:
Nevermind. I just found the elevation chart. It appears that elevation isn't much of an issue.

 
Alex from Lincoln on 3/12/2024 7:22:30 AM:
The grade is really mild - technically you lose elevation going west to east, but the other factor is wind. Going west to east you have higher likelihood of winds being in your favor but it is not a sure thing. For folks from coming out of state, I recommend ending up closer to where you came in from (or need to go) so if you're flying back out of Omaha, end in Norfolk so it's only a 2.5 hour drive back vs 6. Just something to consider in trip planning. Hope you enjoy the trail on your trip!

 
Mike from Irvine, CA on 3/14/2024 1:09:00 PM:
Thanks Alex. I think it works out great for me then. I'm in California and would therefore just start on the west side. I was thinking about trying to Do Valentine to Norfolk in two days (staying in Atkinson over night), take a rest day in Norfolk, and doing the return trip in two days. That might be a bit ambitious for me these days, so I'll probably arrange a shuttle for the return trip.

 
Alex from Lincoln on 3/14/2024 1:39:48 PM:
Yeah I've seen people do Norfolk to Valentine in two days but I think the conditions need to be just right...high 60's, partly cloudy, and a tailwind. If one of those things are not in your favor, it can be brutal going that distance on the trail in a day. The trail is not as efficient of a surface as pavement either, so you'll notice working a bit harder than normal, but some folks enjoy that sort of challenge. If the going gets tough, you can always opt for the paved highway 275 / 20 shoulder. It's fairly low traffic and drivers are pretty courteous in NE, in my experience.

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