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  1. Default Fastest possible time NY - SF, CA

    Hi everyone,

    I'm wondering what the fastest possible time would be for a solo road trip from Ithaca, NY to SF, CA. Mapquest puts it at 2800 miles and something like 46 hours mostly via I-80.

    I love solo road trips and consider myself fairly adept at driving fast and staying awake for long stretches of time (really enjoy driving). The furthest I've done at once is only SF-Vegas (SF-LA is pretty frequent), about 550 miles, where I averaged 77mph on the trip computer, and stopped once for food and gas; about a 7:40 trip.

    Is 4 days / 700 miles a day a reasonable goal for this NY-CA drive? It would take place in either late May/early June or late July/early August.

    On a side note, how is the cell phone reception along I-80? Hwy 50?


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

    Default 4 Brutal Days

    Welcome to the RTA Forum!

    It is possible to cover the distance in 4 days. But that is 4 pretty brutal days where you can expect to be on the road for 12 hours a day minnimum. That doesn't leave time for anything other than driving, and I really wouldn't recommend it.

    The reality is, once you include stops, you can't average 70+ mph over a long trip without running 90-100mph. Just as an example, on my last 600 mile speed run, where I only stopped for gas (not even a food break), I still only averaged 62 mph, and that was despite not hitting any traffic and running at a cruising speed of 80-90 mph for almost the entire distance. 55 mph is really a good rule of thumb for calculating your time across the country, when you start to include traffic and taking just an average amount of time for food and fuel stops.

    Be sure to also read the Art of the Speed Run for more tips on this kind of trip.

  3. Default

    Hi Michael,

    Thanks for the input!

    When I averaged 77 on the SF-Vegas run, I was cruising around triple digits for much of the time, actually, as often as I could given traffic conditions.

    So, I certainly don't mind and do even enjoy driving at those speeds (traffic and weather permitting of course).

    Is I-80 the fastest route, as Mapquest suggests?


  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Green County, Wisconsin

    Default I-80

    Yes, I-80 should be your fastest and most direct route.

    Just remember, any time you spend pulled over on the side of the road talking to a police officer will also reduce your average speed!

  5. Default

    Duly noted! =)

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