Author Topic: Atlantic Coast Route - so many questions, where to begin...  (Read 1882 times)

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Offline TheWanderingJu

Atlantic Coast Route - so many questions, where to begin...
« on: September 16, 2011, 11:29:39 am »
I am seriously considering cycling the Atlantic Coast Route in 2012 and find myself constantly mumbling about so many details - especially these two. Time of year and direction.

I thought if I started in Florida (I live in South Florida) I would be much stronger by the time I got to locations where there is climbing. But what time of year to begin in Florida? We have 12-months a year when we can ride, but I do not ride in summer's heat. However. heading north one must take weather into consideration when riding any time other than summer. At the same time, I feel that beginning in Maine just after labor day would mean a few things - after summer tourists and before the leaf-peepers and avoiding the heat of summer. Hurricanes? Least of my concerns.

I've never done a self-contained tour, but have done a number of fully supported long distance tours. My plan - no camping, visiting friends and family along the way, taking my time, and celebrating every peddle stroke. Any and all help on these particular topics - and any other advice you may be able to share in general - greatly appreciated. Judi a/k/a TheWanderingJu

thewanderingju@gmail.com

Offline John Nelson

Re: Atlantic Coast Route - so many questions, where to begin...
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2011, 12:18:05 pm »
When in doubt, see when the ACA guided tour is going. They usually pick the best time and direction to go. In this case, the 2012 Atlantic Coast tour starts in the north on August 19 and finished in the south on October 18. You might stay somewhere in that ballpark.

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Atlantic Coast Route - so many questions, where to begin...
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2011, 10:58:37 am »
I am seriously considering cycling the Atlantic Coast Route in 2012 and find myself constantly mumbling about so many details - especially these two. Time of year and direction.

I thought if I started in Florida (I live in South Florida) I would be much stronger by the time I got to locations where there is climbing. But what time of year to begin in Florida? We have 12-months a year when we can ride, but I do not ride in summer's heat. However. heading north one must take weather into consideration when riding any time other than summer. At the same time, I feel that beginning in Maine just after labor day would mean a few things - after summer tourists and before the leaf-peepers and avoiding the heat of summer. Hurricanes? Least of my concerns.

I've never done a self-contained tour, but have done a number of fully supported long distance tours. My plan - no camping, visiting friends and family along the way, taking my time, and celebrating every peddle stroke. Any and all help on these particular topics - and any other advice you may be able to share in general - greatly appreciated. Judi a/k/a TheWanderingJu

thewanderingju@gmail.com


You might want to check the history of temperatures at certain times of year along your route. Starting from Florida is fine. Try to choose a time when it will be cool / cold in the south, but far enough out of winter that the cold in the north will be low enough that you can stay out all day in it without being overly discomforted. Temperatures at freezing F are easily enough cycled in.

Offline litespeed

Re: Atlantic Coast Route - so many questions, where to begin...
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2011, 09:04:25 am »
Above all, you want to avoid black fly season in New England. It is roughly between Mother's Day and Father's Day - the first half of June. According to my brother, who has a condo in New Hampshire, it is so bad that they close the golf courses for a couple of weeks. I would suggest you leave south Florida right after Memorial Day, to miss the crowds, and head north.

Offline indyfabz

Re: Atlantic Coast Route - so many questions, where to begin...
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2011, 09:15:03 am »
After completing the Northern Tier in '99 I rode home to Philadelphia using the Atlantic Coast Route with one detour from Windsor Locks to New Haven and then back on route somewhere. Left Bar Harbor August 25th. Enjoyed that time of year immensley. There were still some crowds in ME, but it wasn't that bad.

Funny that you mention hurricanes. I had to take refuge from Floyd that year just north of Pt. Jervis, NY. Some towns in NJ were under water. And we all saw what Irene did. Let's hope that was a 100 year event.

Offline dkoloko

Re: Atlantic Coast Route - so many questions, where to begin...
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2011, 11:15:10 pm »
I don't understand "self contained", but "no camping". Expect number of campgrounds to be closed after Labor Day. Other than that Sept would be a good time to be touring New England. I experienced temperatures down to the 20's, hail, and snow flurries touring New England in Oct.

Offline walt

Re: Atlantic Coast Route - so many questions, where to begin...
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2011, 05:14:29 pm »
We just finished a trip from MA to FL, starting Oct. 16 and ending in FL Nov. 7.
Our hope that the wind would be at our back and it wouldn't be too hot cycling during that time. It turned out that the wind was not too helpful, but the temperatures were pretty good. We preferred starting with the hillier terrain in the north and finishing with the flatter terrain of the south. We started out using the Adventure Cycling maps, but found that they meandered a lot and that there weren't many motels along their route. So we followed along the Route 95 corridor the rest of the way which is more direct and made it easier to find motels. You're right about taking your time. We wished we had had more time to enjoy the sights and take more rest days.