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  1. Default Interstates 81 & 40 w

    Hi, We're taking a motorcycle ride cross country from richmond,va to san francisco. My question is when taking interstate 81 south in Richmond to interstate 40 is there alotf mountains...also, once on 40 west heading to CA when will we be in the mountains and in which states.comments about the speed and truck traffic is also welcom

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Southern California


    Welcome to RTA!

    I've been on that route a few times, but my husband (a former commercial trucker) spent a LOT of time running the country on those routes, back in the mid-2000s. So here's what he and I say about it:

    If you're worried about mountains, there are a lot of rolling ups and downs, but because those are interstates, they have maximum grades of 6% and those are marked. There are very few of those types of grades on either of those routes. It's mostly rolling hills. But never ever ever do you see the worrisome type.

    On I-40, you will be on gently rolling, gently rising elevations starting at about Oklahoma City, with the highest elevations near Flagstaff, AZ.

    As for traffic, this is a heavy truck route. The truck traffic is heaviest between Nashville and Little Rock, but there will be trucks the whole way. A little suggestion: as you head west, spend your overnights at places on the west side of a city, so that you won't have to deal with rush hour traffic as you depart in the morning.

    How long are you planning for the journey? Is it a round trip? How are you headed back, if it is? And, you do realize that you'll have to use 64 to connect with the 81, and on the other end, I'd suggest using CA-58 from Barstow (where 40 ends) to Bakersfield, then the 99 or the 5 up to the Bay Area. (Either of those are major truck routes, as well, but both are freeway quality.)


  3. Default

    Regarding I-40.

    Check the last two posts

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Joplin MO


    Quote Originally Posted by travelingman View Post
    Regarding I-40.

    Check the last two posts
    That does not apply here, you would not be using that stretch of I-40 if you are coming down I-81.

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