Adventure Cycling Association Forum

Bicycle Travel => Routes => Topic started by: williamtaper on October 17, 2011, 05:26:43 pm

 
Title: Southern Tier - Oct 2012 Questions about maps and route
Post by: williamtaper on October 17, 2011, 05:26:43 pm
Hello all,

I have being reading and reading the posts, and think I am now ready to ask a couple of questions. A buddy and I are from London UK and planning on cycling East - West on the majority of the southern tier. St Augustine to San Diego.  The main questions are:

1) I am going to buy the ACA southern route maps, but do they also cover alternate routes, or does it simply show one road/trail? My friend and I like to go off route a bit, sometimes by judgement, othertimes because we have appauling sense of direction and get lost.
2) We are pretty short of time so would like a slightly shorter version and try and avoid the 8800 ft climb, any ideas? We google mapped the beta bike route application and it comes out around 2400 miles. Any feedback would be great e.g. definatley avoid this shortcut!!
3) Bike. I have a trek 2.1 road bike and wondered if this is going to work or do we need more of a tourer? We have a friend who is supporting us.

Thanks very much
Title: Re: Southern Tier - Oct 2012 Questions about maps and route
Post by: aggie on October 17, 2011, 08:01:49 pm
The Southern Tier maps pretty much cover just one route except where it notes an alternate route that is also mapped.  If you want to go off route you can get a state map at tourist centers.

Since you are traveling East to West you can expect to arrive in NM, AZ, and CA in late November or early December, depending on your pace.  You may run into snow so be prepared.  It will definitely be cold in the mountains. 

If you have sag support you should be fine on your road bike as you won't need to carry much of a load.
Title: Re: Southern Tier - Oct 2012 Questions about maps and route
Post by: John Nelson on October 17, 2011, 09:36:43 pm
I would not advise relying on a Google maps bike route. The routes produced sometimes include many confusing turns and possibly rugged and unpaved hiking trails. You'd be better off with driving directions with the "avoid highways" option. Both produce about the same distance, but the biking directions have 1244 steps and the avoid-highways driving directions only has 145 steps.

The ACA route does add about 500 miles, but the ACA has done a lot of work finding (mostly) safe roads. If you deviate off their route, you will save both distance and hills, but you will sometimes find yourself on dangerous and unpleasant roads.
Title: Re: Southern Tier - Oct 2012 Questions about maps and route
Post by: williamtaper on October 18, 2011, 04:12:17 pm
Thanks a lot that is really helpful, that was what i was looking for as couldnt really work out the googles maps cycle directions, seem to say turn left or right every 10 yards.

Do you guys know where I can try and make the shortcut?? I will try and pedal faster to avoid the cold. Are there any no go areas when it is cold? Sorry to be a noobie, maybe I should wait until i get the maps delivered.

Good to know the road bike should work out.
Thanks again, this website is great

Title: Re: Southern Tier - Oct 2012 Questions about maps and route
Post by: John Nelson on October 18, 2011, 09:54:55 pm
Quote from: williamtaper
Do you guys know where I can try and make the shortcut?
There will be many, many opportunities to cut off 5 miles here and 10 miles there. You can shave miles by taking a hundred little shortcuts (not that I would really advise it--you'd do better to try to figure out how to get more time).
Title: Re: Southern Tier - Oct 2012 Questions about maps and route
Post by: csykes on October 18, 2011, 10:10:10 pm
For the bike you may want to put on wider tires than the typical 23 or 25mm that are standard; something like 28mm which should work on your bike and improve your ride and reduce the possibility of pinch flats.  Many road bikes have a stem the lowers the handle bars but can be flipped over to raise it a little.  For long hours in the saddle you will probably want a slightly more upright position.  Your bike may be great as it is, but it's something to look consider.
Title: Re: Southern Tier - Oct 2012 Questions about maps and route
Post by: nthabiseng on October 19, 2011, 11:03:24 am
Where it might get cold and snowy is Silver City and Emory Pass in New Mexico.  You can avoid that area by taking Interstate 10 from Las Cruces to Lordsburg, then heading over to Safford, Arizona.  There is another highway that you can take to avoid being on the interstate the entire way, but the highway isn't terrible.
Title: Re: Southern Tier - Oct 2012 Questions about maps and route
Post by: williamtaper on October 20, 2011, 04:20:15 pm
Thanks a lot guys, that is really helpful. I will be back with more questions!

Title: Re: Southern Tier - Oct 2012 Questions about maps and route
Post by: BikeFreak on October 21, 2011, 12:56:58 am
I would say that the Southern Tier is a pretty fast route coast to coast ... the route is fairly straight. The mapping department has done a great job in picking out the quiet routes. If you try to make short cuts you might run into heavy traffic especially because state maps don't show the small idyllic county roads. I would stick to the original route and pedal faster.

Lucas
Title: Re: Southern Tier - Oct 2012 Questions about maps and route
Post by: rabbitoh on October 23, 2011, 10:20:38 pm
There are a couple of journals on CGOAB which might help you, especially as they are currently riding now, in October, which is what you are planning for next year. The first journalist has diverted from the ST route a number of times and it would seem that impassable bridges were the major concern.

Anyway, for what it is worth, here are the links.

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/SoTierFall2011

http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/vernsbiketour

Hope you have a great tour.
Title: Re: Southern Tier - Oct 2012 Questions about maps and route
Post by: williamtaper on October 25, 2011, 02:01:33 pm
Thanks again all, I think the southern tier sounds like the route to take, as you say, I should just pedal faster and enjoy the quiet beauty rather than head to the impassable bridges and bonkers traffic.
Title: Re: Southern Tier - Oct 2012 Questions about maps and route
Post by: jay clock on November 24, 2011, 02:50:31 pm
Re the bike, I have one of those for winter use (also UK).  It has eyelets for rack and mudguards but clearance for the latter is tight so bigger tyres not a great option. 

Heel clearance with a rack on is tight too (not got a rack on now but did on my old Trek 1.2 which was the same dimensions).  I would estimate that two small Ortliebs would be ok, but would not want to go heavier, so if you are camping I think this bike would not be ideal.

My model is the 2010 which has 105 kit with hidden gear cables, so fitting a bar bag would be easier than usual.

The key is comfort and reliability and personally I would be very happy using a 2.1 for a 3000 mile ride.  Having said that, I also have a Koga Miyata tourer which would be my first choice, but then when I do this ride one day I will be camping.

Bon voyage