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  1. Default cross-country "speed run"

    My friend and I are going from Sacramento, CA to New York, NY. We think we can speed run it in 4 days: Sac to Salt Lake City, Salt Lake to Lincoln (or even Omaha) NE, NE to Toledo OH or thereabouts, OH to NYC. As seasoned long-distance drivers, I think we're up for the 2 long haul days...but time estimates would be 12 hrs not including stops. First and last days are about 9 hrs, no stops. (times estimated by googlemaps, I-80 the whole way).

    Reasonable or masochistic?

    So wish we had more time, but what can you do. We can actually do 5 days if absolutely necessary.

    I read "the Art of the Speed Run"- very informative so thanks!! I'm wondering if we chose the right route. Any alternate city suggestions also welcomed.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default right route

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    You are certainly going to be pushing things, and you'll be traveling longer days than what will be enjoyable. If you can do this in 5 days, I think you'll find the trip to be much less like a job, but if 4 days is really important you can make it happen.

    A few things to keep in mind though. You can't drive 600-700 miles without ever stopping, so your time estimates will be off pretty significantly. For example, Sac to SLC will almost certainly be at least an 11 hour trip, STL to Lincoln would be more like 15-16 hours.

    What I would strongly recommend is to break your days up into more even legs. Days pushing 900 miles are just too much in one sitting, especially if you have to do the same thing the following day. If anything, you'll want to make more time on your first day or two before the exhaustion starts to catch up with you.

    If I were doing this in 4 days, I'd be looking at stops in Evanston, WY, Grand Island, NE, and South Bend, IN. That would give you 4 days of even 700 mile, 12 hour trips on the road.

  3. #3

    Default Not much fun

    Hello Taxi-

    My son and I co-drove from Raleigh, NC to Ventura, CA back in late October. We drove a late model Chevy pickup truck and we had that girl in the wind all the way. We had a single non-meal stop of about 45 minutes duration when we purchased a new stick-on CB antenna in Oklahoma City (the old one's somewhere around Fort Smith, Arkansas, by the way). The remainder of the stops were fuel and snacks and one single sit-down meal each day. Most of our bathroom breaks were at fuel stops, as we had only about a 300 mile fuel range. Counting our start times to end times each day, and the aforementioned stops, we averaged around 68 mph. That means we ran a good 80-83 mph while on the highway, traffic allowing. We had no weather issues but for a stiff headwind one afternoon (the day we lost the CB antenna, in fact).

    The stretches of I-80 I'm familiar with start at Salt Lake City, UT and goes all the way into Iowa. From SLC to eastern Nebraska, if there's a speed limit, it's high enough my truck won't touch it. Not to encourage reckless driving, but the reality is in UT, WY, and NE, traffic on I-80 is very fast-moving. I well imagine you can add NV to that list, as well.

    A thorough inspection of tires, steering, and brakes is in order, as are other maintenance and safety checks. Losing a tire at speed can be fatal.

    Travel safe.


  4. #4

    Default Just for the info

    While your time is a bit fast for ordinary people, the trip from the Santa Monica pier to downtown NYC has been driven many times in under 48 hours by using two drivers.

    The known and certified record is 32 hours and 59 minutes set in 1979 by Al Alden and Richard Field. There have been books and a movie or two even written about it.

    The route you have selected is about as good as any. Once you get in the East traffic will pick up tremendously. You might want to consider taking I-74 at Cedar Rapids, Iowa down to I-70 and taking it into NY. You will bypass Chicago, Cleveland and more of the toll roads.

    Yes, you can do it in your time frame but think of all the joy you will be missing.


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