Author Topic: Southern Tier in March of 2013  (Read 3256 times)

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Offline Mark Baker

Southern Tier in March of 2013
« on: October 07, 2012, 09:51:27 am »
HI to all, I am planning to leave home (Sun City, Az) and drive to San Diego to start my Southern Tier ride in early March. I know I could just leave from home and go East as I 'm on the ACA route. Also a Warm Shower Host. But I want to ride from "pond to pond". I would appreciate any advice regarding camping sites as I'll be using Warm Showers whenever possible and maybe a motel or two. Also what is the advice in regards to fenders? My ride is a Novaro Randonee with Ortlieb ft and rear.BTW,I just finished the Oregon Coast in August and would highly recommend it to anyone.

Thanks
Mark

Offline staehpj1

Re: Southern Tier in March of 2013
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2012, 09:53:20 am »
I did most of the ST in Feb-Mar of this year (San Diego to Sarasota).  I found that the AC maps listed a lot of camping opportunities, but since I improvised the route a good bit of the way I also improvised some of the camping.  It was pretty easy to just throw down a sleeping bag in the roadside picnic areas especially in Texas.  I also chose to sleep in a few other improvised campsites in places like under a bridge.

I normally avoid RV parks but on the ST a number of them let cyclists camp on a patch of grass for $10.  I also stayed at a casino campsite once.  It was nice because the casino had excellent good food.

I did get a room quite a few times on that trip, overall it was mostly pretty easy to find places to camp.

I didn't use fenders and didn't miss them.

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Southern Tier in March of 2013
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2012, 05:21:27 am »
I've cycled the ST a number of times summer and winter. Nearly all my camping was in wooded areas, and hardly ever in camp grounds.  Showers can be had. I'd just go dirty a few days, and find a motel for one or two full days of rest, and carry on.

Offline Bike Hermit

Re: Southern Tier in March of 2013
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2012, 11:34:54 am »
Not sure why you would event think about not using full coverage fenders. They are light and cheap and make things much more pleasant when the roads are wet (which they will be at some point). Two things I can almost guarantee is that you will be caught out in the wet and that you will get caught out in the dark....use good lights too!

Offline staehpj1

Re: Southern Tier in March of 2013
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2012, 12:18:51 pm »
Not sure why you would event think about not using full coverage fenders. They are light and cheap and make things much more pleasant when the roads are wet (which they will be at some point). Two things I can almost guarantee is that you will be caught out in the wet and that you will get caught out in the dark....use good lights too!

FWIW, I did the Southern Tier without fenders and with only a minimal blinkie light and was well satisfied with those choices.  Not knocking those who do otherwise, but it is a matter of personal preference and IMO neither fenders or more elaborate lighting systems are a slam dunk.  For me the lighter the packing style the less likely I am to use fenders or more than just a $5 blinkie.

Offline bobbys beard

Re: Southern Tier in March of 2013
« Reply #5 on: November 11, 2012, 07:58:08 am »
i don't think fenders make a big difference to tourers. you probably have a rack and rear panniers anyhow, which do a good job of keeping you dry.    and i did the southern tier without a light at all, so i wasn't tempted to ride at night. a lot of those deep south drivers are even crazier after dark..... ;)

the more elaborate your equipment, the more you have to lose or break.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Southern Tier in March of 2013
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2012, 11:53:57 am »
Fenders are a personal thing, I guess.  They add what, half a pound?, to my 250+ pound total load.  I've had them on my touring bikes for a decade, and lost my first bolt this summer.  If only everything else on the bike were as trouble-free.

Racks and bags don't do a thing for the front wheel, and keeping that shoe-drenching splash away in a downpour is be well worth it to me.  And if you tour with someone else, whomever is in the rear will appreciate a rear fender.

Offline RussSeaton

Re: Southern Tier in March of 2013
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2012, 10:56:16 pm »
For a full-on heavily loaded touring bike, I think you must have fenders.  Full coverage ones.  Not sure why anyone would have a loaded touring bike without fenders.  But not everyone tours with loaded touring bikes.  If you tour with minimal gear on a racing/sport touring type bike, then I can understand not putting on fenders.  If I ever get around to taking a minimal equipment tour with my "racing" bike with a triple crankset and a saddlebag and rack top bag for luggage, I won't bother to put on fenders.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Southern Tier in March of 2013
« Reply #8 on: November 12, 2012, 07:10:49 am »
For a full-on heavily loaded touring bike, I think you must have fenders.  Full coverage ones.  Not sure why anyone would have a loaded touring bike without fenders.
I am not knocking fenders, but they certainly aren't a necessity and they do have some drawbacks (less clearance, more expense and weight, more fiddle factor, etc.).  It comes down to a personal choice.  I have ridden in the rain a lot without them and never found it to be all that bad.  Maybe that comes from my mountain bike racing background or the fact that I have done a lot of other activities where being wet is a given (like whitewater kayaking and trail running).

I don't use my heavy touring bike much these days, having moved on to a minimalist packing style.  If I go back to the heavy touring bike I probably wouldn't take off the fenders, but depending on when and where I planned to tour, I am not sure I would bother to add them if they weren't already mounted.  I guess if I lived in the PNW or spent all my touring time there I might value them a bit more.

There was one time in all of my touring where I was really happy to have them, but it was kind of a weird exception.  That was the time a Missouri road had been tarred and not had enough gravel added.  It was 100F or so and the tar and gravel would have been on everything without the fenders.  The fenders weren't perfect either though as we had to keep stopping and digging out the tar an gravel as they built up to the point where they stopped the wheel.

Offline bobbys beard

Re: Southern Tier in March of 2013
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2012, 08:36:09 am »
yeah, i ride fully loaded too. the southern tier especially, means you have to carry loooooots of water and food. never have ridden with fenders, so i can't say if they're better or not. but i figure that rain comes down too, so i'm getting wet whatever happens ;)

Offline indyfabz

Re: Southern Tier in March of 2013
« Reply #10 on: November 12, 2012, 10:20:52 am »
I have ridden fully loaded in some very wet places, including the western part of Northern Tier starting in late May twice. I have never once used fenders.
The gear on my rear rack sits parallel to the bike, preventing any spray from hitting me. And if it's raining hard eneough, my feet are going to get wet
with or without a front fender. In fact, I don't think any one of the 12 on our cross country trip used fenders.

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Southern Tier in March of 2013
« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2012, 03:45:22 am »
Motels in Van Horn, Texas will probably be the least expensive ones you will come across on the ST. The motels I have used there are small, well heated and cooled, clean and neat, with no frills, e.g., bed, TV, shower, table, 2 chairs, carpet, maybe a refrigerator or a microwave. There are quite a few watering holes in VH in case you like to knock back a few beers once in a while like I do.

The Gardner Hotel in El Paso was fairly nice and inexpensive. It is a hostel.

Offline tonythomson

Re: Southern Tier in March of 2013
« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2012, 11:48:01 am »
Oh I love a discussion about fenders or better still mud guards and it's the Brits name "mud guards" give you a clue as to why I will always use them.  Like us all we expect and don't worry too much about getting wet.  What I want to avoid is the mud and grot that gets thrown up by my tires or tyres off the road and makes you just so dirty.  Now I know we all get hot and dirty but I personally try to avoid being covered in muck especially if you are wanting a stranger to offer you a bed as with "Warm Showers" etc - but in the end it's what you as an individual are comfortable with.
That's what makes cycling so interesting it meets everyone's needs.

Have fun whether you are muddy and wet or just wet  :)
Just starting to record my trips  www.tonystravels.com