Author Topic: planning the Southern Tier for January?  (Read 2372 times)

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Offline GHR

planning the Southern Tier for January?
« on: October 08, 2012, 05:00:22 pm »
I'm planning on doing the Southern Tier a year from this January, but since I'm not native to the area I'm looking for input.

The ride benefits Human Trafficking awareness and since January is the official awareness month for the cause, I would like to do it then. Is that feasible for weather? Are there specific websites that would be helpful for supplies I will need? Any tips that I should know about as a beginner? I haven't done a cross country trip before so any websites, blogs, or contacts would be great too!

Thank you,
Georgia

Offline Fred Hiltz

Re: planning the Southern Tier for January?
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2012, 05:17:45 pm »
Hi Georgia. You have found the right place. The best starting point for all the cycling-related questions is the How-To Department linked on http://www.adventurecycling.org/.

There you will find much information about the Underground Railroad Bicycle Route (UGRR), which honors the bravery of those who fled bondage and those who provided shelter. Unless you have a particular desire for the Southern Tier, UGRR would seem like a great way to take advantage of 2,000 miles linking points of interest, complete with brochures, histories, museums, and photos.

FRed

Offline DaveB

Re: planning the Southern Tier for January?
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2012, 06:59:51 pm »
There you will find much information about the Underground Railroad Bicycle Route (UGRR), which honors the bravery of those who fled bondage and those who provided shelter. Unless you have a particular desire for the Southern Tier, UGRR would seem like a great way to take advantage of 2,000 miles linking points of interest, complete with brochures, histories, museums, and photos.

FRed
Do you really think the UGRR route is suitable for January?  The Southern Tier can be iffy enough that time of year.

Georgia, where are you from and what do you know about US winter weather, even in the South?

Offline Fred Hiltz

Re: planning the Southern Tier for January?
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2012, 07:34:44 pm »
Do you really think the UGRR route is suitable for January?

Not all of it, for sure. Certainly not north of Kentucky.

 I get the impression from the OP that everything is still flexible and up for change right now, picking January just because it is the "official awareness month."

This ride presents so many competing priorities! It will be be interesting to see how Georgia sorts them out.

Fred

Offline Westinghouse

Re: planning the Southern Tier for January?
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2012, 06:56:34 am »
Winter is better than summer for the ST. I have done it more than once in winter. Late fall and early spring are good too.

Offline staehpj1

Re: planning the Southern Tier for January?
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2012, 08:24:04 am »
Winter is better than summer for the ST. I have done it more than once in winter. Late fall and early spring are good too.
+1 February or March would be my first choice though.  It helps a bit that the days are getting a little longer by then.  Much later than that and it is likely to be hotter than I like for some of the trip.  I hate hot weather though.

Offline Rick.in.AZ

Re: planning the Southern Tier for January?
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2012, 12:00:22 am »
As someone living in Arizona, I will definitely say to avoid April - October unless heat doesn't bother you.
On the other hand, the higher terain will be chilly in January, so plan accordingly.
I live only 3 miles south of the route through Tempe/Mesa, so if your looking for lodging here, PM me.

Offline staehpj1

Re: planning the Southern Tier for January?
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2012, 07:22:56 am »
As someone living in Arizona, I will definitely say to avoid April - October unless heat doesn't bother you.
On the other hand, the higher terain will be chilly in January, so plan accordingly.
I live only 3 miles south of the route through Tempe/Mesa, so if your looking for lodging here, PM me.
Good advice.

To quantify that a bit...  On my trip there in February/March, I will say that I had one night where it hit 18F, but that was on top of a pass (6,300ft elevation) at Black Jack USFS Camp in Arizona.  It would have been warmer if I camped lower.  Additionally there were a number of nights where there was frost, but only that one night cold enough to freeze my water bottles.  Since there are only a couple of passes that are very high it wasn't too bad wrt the cold.

I think that the experience I describe is probably pretty typical for that time of year and I would much prefer it to hot weather.  That said, some people my hate the cold and be OK with hot weather.

Offline Westinghouse

Re: planning the Southern Tier for January?
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2012, 05:03:19 am »
I wouldn't say I was too OK with the hot weather and drinking about three gallons of liquids a day to keep hydrated, but I did do it. I'd take the dead of winter any day over the high temperatures of summer. My ST does not follow ACA's, or only roughly in some regions, and precisely in others. I take I-10 west out of Las Cruces instead of the Silver City route. That way I avoid those high passes in winter. It gets deadly cold that far south. Covering up is definitely a necessity. My last ST tour went from SE coastal Florida on December 7, 2009 to San Diego, CA on January 30, 2010. It was 54 days total with 43-44 days actual cycling. I got Amtrak back to Florida.