Author Topic: Need Route and info from Georgia to San Diego  (Read 4789 times)

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Offline dwboca

Need Route and info from Georgia to San Diego
« on: July 07, 2012, 10:38:49 am »
Hello,

I am just starting to plan a cross-country ride (east to west) in which I have 5 weeks to complete.  The Southern Tier route is a little too long for the amount of time I have.  I know several people have done a Savannah, GA to San Diego, CA route and I have some useful maps/info from them.  What I have not been able to find in my web searches is a laid-out route with stops/places to camp/places to stay/bike shops/etc.  Anyone have one or know where I can get one?

I am good at using Google/Google Maps and the route I have in mind I can find places to stay, etc but I'd appreciate input from someone who has done it.  This will be a self-supported tour and the preliminary plan is to begin the last week of March, 2014.  I know it's a ways off but getting the route laid out will allow me to get the logistics figured out.   In the meantime, I will be buying a Surly LHT and doing some serious training - I live in south Florida so am also a little worried about hills and (gulp) mountains.

Thanks for any advice and info.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Need Route and info from Georgia to San Diego
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2012, 01:30:02 pm »
Interesting idea.  I'd expect the maps, information, and route from your acquaintances may well be the best resource you can find.  My only suggestion would be to pick up the ST from El Paso west, as it's fairly direct from there, and Adventure Cycling does a good job with routing and service information. 

How much do you expect to be able to cut off the Southern Tier distance?




Offline dwboca

Re: Need Route and info from Georgia to San Diego
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2012, 02:47:30 pm »
I will use Adventure Cycling maps from Phoenix to San Diego.  Savannah to San Diego is right around 2,600 miles compared to the Southern Tier at around 3,100 miles.   Since I have 35 days max, I need a shorter route.   I think I read on http://bikeacrossamerica.org that Steve's route was just under 2,500 in 2008 but had areas he would change.  He did another southern trip in 2011 but I didn't see the mileage posted - probably around 2600. 

I got a lot of data and my preliminary route from here:  http://bikeacrossus.chipeta.net/the-route¬

Online staehpj1

Re: Need Route and info from Georgia to San Diego
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2012, 04:06:54 pm »
We cut a good bit off of the AC recommended route on our ST.  I will say that US 90 and I-10 were decent to ride on much of the way.  I'd consider picking up US 90 and taking it until Van Horn and then riding I-10 most of the way.

Offline geegee

Re: Need Route and info from Georgia to San Diego
« Reply #4 on: July 12, 2012, 01:58:48 am »
I took a look at your proposed route, and I recommend taking US 70 between Roswell and Las Cruces (via Ruidoso and Alamogordo) and then following the I-10 corridor (sometimes there are small roads parallel to the interstate) to Phoenix. This should cut down your distance a bit more and avoid the steep climbs on shoulder-less roads in this portion of the ST.

Offline dwboca

Re: Need Route and info from Georgia to San Diego
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2012, 08:07:00 am »
Thanks for the input.  I will consider your input and make some changes.  Please keep advice/info coming on this route. 

I am a first-timer (54 yrs old) bicycling coast to coast but have experience on self-supported 8 to 10-day expedition style kayak/camping trips in the wilderness with long days.  I also enjoy endurance sports - running, triathlons and like to push myself and do what most people consider too far.  A coast to coast ride has always been a dream of mine and now I have the opportunity (5 weeks off from work and wife says "OK") so I just have to go for it.

dave

Offline litespeed

Re: Need Route and info from Georgia to San Diego
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2012, 04:40:25 pm »
I assume you are leaving from Savannah. If so, I'd recommend going down to US90 and taking it through the Florida panhandle at least. Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana are full of bad roads and bad food. This will avoid those states as much as possible. Avoid US190 across Louisiana at all costs. Except for the far western portion it is a very bad bicycling road - two lane, shoulderless and heavily trafficked. As far as I know the only bicycle trail in Louisiana is from Slidell to Covington. Once you get clear of the eastern third of Texas you will start getting proper shoulders on the roads.

Offline dwboca

Re: Need Route and info from Georgia to San Diego
« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2012, 08:10:16 pm »
Hi,  I guess I should have posted my proposed route.  Below is what I copied from another's blo and he said was a good route.
East to West ride.  I have concerns about mountains after Rosewell, NM.  Someone in this thread suggested to go south from Rosewell to avid shoulderless roads and a steeper climb.  I'm still leaning on doing the below.  From Phoenix to San Diego I will use the ST maps from Adventure Cycling - not sure if below route shows same since my map hasn't arrived yet. 

If anyone is familiar with these areas as far as camping, conditions, please chime in.  I plan to start last week of March 2014.  Will it be cold in the mountains?

Thanks again for all input - I appreciate it.  Hey, I am also getting ready to order a new Surly LHT 56 cm with 26 inch wheels for Christmas but would love a deal on a slightly used one if anyone knows of one.


Savannah
Reidsville, GA
Hawkinsville, GA
Talbotton, GA
 Deatsville, AL
 Payne Lake, AL
AL to Macon, MS
Tchula, MS
Montrose, AR
El Dorado, AR
Texarkana, TX
Paris, TX
Gainesville, TX
Wichita Falls, TX
Guthrie, TX
Lubbock, TX
 Crossroads, NM
 Roswell, NM
Nogal, NM
San Antonio, NM
Datil, NM
 Mule Creek, NM
Bylas, AZ
 Mesa, AZ
 Wickenburg, AZ
 Quartzsite, AZ
Imperial, CA
Pine Valley, CA
San Diego, CA

Offline geegee

Re: Need Route and info from Georgia to San Diego
« Reply #8 on: July 17, 2012, 04:30:06 pm »
Many who have done the ST have nightmares of this road : http://goo.gl/maps/LCf6 Beautiful area but that stretch of highway left me in a pretty foul mood. Heading east it's a nasty climb, heading west you'd be coming down a 6% grade hurling towards a narrow tunnel against the guard rails with possibly some dump trucks carrying copper ore from the mines on your tail. I personally would never ride that road again until they've improved it

Offline dwboca

Re: Need Route and info from Georgia to San Diego
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2012, 07:54:12 pm »
I saw that in someone else's blog.  Luckily, the route I am looking into turns south and goes thru Gila Nat'l Forest and approaches Globe on 70 from the south east.  Thanks for the location of that tunnel - I've been wondering if I would see it or not.  Not is better!

Appreciate the input from everyone so far.  Keep it coming!

Love to hear about places to camp/avoid/stay at hotel/church/etc on my route or in cities I noted.  As noted earlier, I will be ordering my Surley LHT 56 cm in December but if I find a good used one before then, I'd buy it.  Let me know if anyone knows of one for sale please.

dave

Offline geegee

Re: Need Route and info from Georgia to San Diego
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2012, 08:31:00 pm »
I saw that in someone else's blog.  Luckily, the route I am looking into turns south and goes thru Gila Nat'l Forest and approaches Globe on 70 from the south east.  Thanks for the location of that tunnel - I've been wondering if I would see it or not.  Not is better!

So how are you planning to get from Bylas to Mesa without passing through that tunnel?

Online staehpj1

Re: Need Route and info from Georgia to San Diego
« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2012, 06:50:16 am »
Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana are full of bad roads and bad food. This will avoid those states as much as possible.
I am surprised to read that.  My experience in those states is limited to one crossing, but I found the roads OK and the food excellent.  In many ways it was my favorite part of the southern tier.

Offline dwboca

Re: Need Route and info from Georgia to San Diego
« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2012, 09:47:18 pm »
"So how are you planning to get from Bylas to Mesa without passing through that tunnel?"

I misread my map (I am still in process of downloading from someone else).  I guess I will get to experience that dang tunnel.  I will have a headlight and tail light just for it.  Heck, it is an adventure, right?

As far as the other states east, I am looking forward to the roads and food in each.  In my travels, I have always had mostly good unexpected experiences I believe because of my positive attitude and luck.  I've been on trips/to diners that I thought were great while my companion thought was lousy.  I have already verified with another who did same route that it is good for bicycling and enjoyable so I'm confident I will do fine.

Thanks for all your input (route, food, roads) and getting me to realize that I will go though that dangerous tunnel.

Still appreciate any advice/info anyone cares to give. 

Summary:
First time tourer, 54 years old.  I will be on a Surly LHT, self-supported, east to west from Savannah to San Diego.  Mostly camping but plan for 5 to 7 days at motels.  2,600 miles - goal to complete in 29 days and do 90 to 110 mile days.  May have a companion or two for part/all of trip but will go solo if needed.

Offline weshallseeii

Re: Need Route and info from Georgia to San Diego
« Reply #13 on: August 16, 2012, 10:07:54 pm »
I did the southern tier as my fist tour a couple of years ago - similar age to you. It is definitely possible to do it 4 weeks see:
http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/wss

Have fun - Paul

Offline rabbitoh

Re: Need Route and info from Georgia to San Diego
« Reply #14 on: August 16, 2012, 11:40:24 pm »
G'day dwboca.

I've only just caught up with this thread and associated it with your "departure date" thread.

The Queen Creek tunnel between Globe AZ and Superior AZ is not too bad, but you will hit the entrance at pace. I found that as I entered it at pace, I quickly realised that I couldn't see the edge of the road, so I veered out as far left as I dared. It is not particularly long and you will pass through it fairly quickly. It is better to be descending than climbing through this tunnel.

Route 70 out of Bylas AZ has a particularly poor shoulder. ACA maps do have an alternate route (San Carlos alternate). They advise that this alternate has poor surfaces, but very little traffic. It is 17 miles longer than the main route. If I were riding this section again, I would ride the alternate route, even though I don't know what the road is like. That's how bad I thought the shoulder on route 70 was.

Good Cycling
Dennis