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Messages - stevey

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General Discussion / Re: Southern Tier -- Austin to New Orleans
« on: February 12, 2024, 06:59:15 pm »
For prime Southern Tier info and wisdom, look to the Facebook Southern Tier Bicycle Route Support Group,

Thanks, John. This is helpful.

We're about to take the plunge into Warmshowers, as both hosts and guests, and would love to hear your recent experience doing either, especially in the past year.
Until now, we've always camped or stayed at lodging recommended on the ACA maps on our cross-country tours. There seems to have been some debate about WS a few years ago, but the most recent dedicated post about WS that search finds on this forum is 3 years old.
Thanks much.

General Discussion / Shipping bike home from St. Augustine?
« on: November 29, 2022, 07:00:07 am »
How are y’all shipping your bikes home from St. Augustine after Southern Tier? Is there a bike shop that ACA members tend to use that can box and ship?
We’re a few days to the finish on our tandem. We could box it ourselves if need, but would be happy to pay someone. We won’t be flying directly home, so flying with it won’t be practical.
Last year at the end of the TransAm, we had Village Bicycles in Newport News box and ship the bike. They did a great job at reasonable price and it saved us time and hassle.

We just crossed this closed section of 90 two days ago with no trouble. Several locals assured us ahead of time that people bike and jog there, skirting the barriers, so we decided to chance it. We were at the “Road Closed” sign at the western bridge when a pickup driver approached us and told us “you can get through, no problem,” so we did.
Here’s our instagram post of the day @KarenSteveTandem

Thanks, Juan. Yes west-to-east. My stoker is convince she can sweet-talk a pickup driver to take us over. I was pondering the U-Haul option. But a boat does sound like it might be a rewarding option! I’ll have to give them a call.
Do let me know if you have other ideas.
I agree that the DOTs—and the US DOT—should provide a shuttle or other option. We pay our taxes just like drivers do, and we should expect services.

Ah, OK. Thanks for the explanation.

OP here.
Thanks so much for this work, Amy!
I'm just catching up on this forum, having set off on the Southern Tier with my stoker on the tandem after biking to the Mexican border from SF. Last week, we chanced upon the ACA ST group--and the hospitable leaders Ankur and Tammy--in Alpine, Calif., and again in Ocotillo, and we hit Phoenix yesterday. This detour info will be hugely useful down the road.
One thought: Any chance the authorities (federal? state?) could be persuaded to designate the critical I-10 section as cyclists-allowed? We've just ridden multiple miles on cyclist-approved sections of I-10 and I-8 in section 1 of the ACA ST route, so why not this small stretch of I-10?

This may be one of those situations where you can still cross the bridge on a bike.  It doesn't even sound like it is being worked on as they evaluate what to do.  If I were going to ride this route again, I would call or email and get the current status and if it is being worked on.  Also, maybe call a local business (one right at the bridge) and see what they say.  If it is not being worked on but it is still up, I personally would cross it. 

Otherwise, it looks like you would have to bypass New Orleans, i.e ride the original route  :-\ .
Tailwinds, John
Thanks, John. Great advice. From the photos in the article I attached, it looks like there are Jersey barriers across with no room for even a thin pedestrian. But we will call around first. My wife/stoker says if all else fails she'll sweet-talk some pickup driver to take us across on I-10!

Just east of New Orleans on the revised route on the 2021 map, it appears a bridge has been out since spring on route 90 over the Pearl River area, in the section between New Orleans and Pearlington.
Here's a local article:
The two crossings north are Interstates, requiring a 100-mile detour if biking, according to my ridewithGPS mapping (see attached).
Has anyone found a better detour? I wonder how the ACA tour this fall plans to navigate it.
Sorry if I missed mention of this in my searches, but I don't find it here nor on the updates page online.

Routes / Re: Western Express versus TransAmerica
« on: August 12, 2022, 12:39:33 pm »
OP, it looks like you're getting good advice. I've never done TA west of Pueblo.
My two cents on the WE:
We took the WE last summer (2021), SF to Pueblo, joining TA there to Va. We did the Nevada-Utah portion in June, riding through two major heat waves (one made national news) and an unusually-strong-wind wave.
We were a fully loaded unsupported tandem team, ages 64 and 63. It was our first tour of over 3 weeks.
We did just fine, despite 90-110F temps (32-43C) and some 25 mph headwinds. It was probably the favorite leg of our trip. Utah, in particular, is stunning, but we also loved the long stretches of high desert in Nevada.
A few revisions to what people have said above:
-We met quite a few cyclists west of Pueblo.
-The longest stretch without services was 84 miles from Baker, Nev, to Milford, Utah.
-The distance between towns/services in Nevada was 50 to 80 miles.
-Highway 50 in Nevada is high desert, hot, but not as hot as our mental image from southern Nev.
-There is enough traffic on the route that we didn't feel we'd be stranded. Drivers were constantly stopping to offer us water or aid.
-Yes, it is about 125 miles from Hanksville to Blanding, but:
     -Hite Outpost, 52 mi from Hanksville, was very much open last year, with a convenience story, camping, nice bathrooms, outdoor showers. It appears they're closed temporarily while they look for a new concessioner, but I'd think they'd be open by next year.
     -If the next leg is too long and you're camping, there's Natural Bridges, and a BLM campground in Comb Wash (not on ACA maps) 60 miles from Hite. No water, but I just want out to the highway and held up a bottle and in 20 minutes had 2 gallons and a bag of ice from drivers who stopped.
-There are free or cheap camping options, mostly city parks, in every town or crossroads west of Cedar City, except in Ely. In Milford, Austin and Eureka, that included use of the town pool.

We were prepared, having toured in 100+ temps before, and we did adjust our routine to the heat:
-Start each day with 4 gallons of water (for 2 people).
-Leave camp by 4:30 a.m. to beat the heat, ride when traffic is low, enjoy the sunrise. We could ride many hours before the heat started to set in. From Hite Outpost, we took off at 3 a.m. (and yes, we have lots of flashy lights).
-We drank water constantly and let perspiration be our natural air conditioning: While riding, it never felt as hot as the temperature reading, but we really had to chug water regularly.

Frankly, we found the Ozarks and Appalachians more taxing. That's just us, though, and the TA west of Pueblo sounds fantastic!

Carla, +1 on the thanks for all you do!
Have y'all gotten any reports from members on the detour vs. the old route?
This aging tandem team plans to tackle the ST this fall and eager for compare/contrasts.

Routes / Anyone done the Southern Tier Sec. 1 detour around SR78?
« on: August 02, 2022, 04:41:57 pm »
The ACA ST 1 map updates and the below forum post, "Southern Tier Sec. 1, maps 5-15 major detour Jan. 2021," suggest a major detour to avoid SR78. It involves about 45 miles of Interstate riding. Some posters in the below discussion take issue with the detour.
Has anyone ridden this detour, and how was it?
Has anyone recently ridden the original route, which is still on the paper map, and how was it?
-forum post:
-map update:

Routes / Re: Southern Tier Interstate-highway segments: your experience?
« on: September 22, 2021, 11:49:36 am »
None of the interstate on the ST was bad IMO.  As far as debris on the shoulder I recall it being less of an issue than in othe places I rode on interstate. I will say that the daylight hours are much shorter in the late Fall when it has cooled off enough to be pleasant than at a similar time in the late winter or Spring.  I don't mind a bit of chilly weather and found mid Feb. through mid Mar. a nice time.
All good to know. Thanks!
I'm slowly making my way through the maps at my desk, zooming in with satellite views and such.

Routes / Re: Southern Tier Interstate-highway segments: your experience?
« on: September 21, 2021, 01:53:15 pm »
For ST Section 1, maps 5-15, there is a discussion about this topic. Go to
There is no interstate riding on Sections 2 or 3.
Or did you mean maps 1 - 3 on Section 1?
Ya, sorry, I meant Sections, the first three entire multi-map sections. You're right about in Interstate in Section 2; I misremembered. There is definitely Interstate in Section 3: Maps 37, 38, 39 and 40 all have I-10 segments. So it's those and the ones in Section 1, I'm asking about.
We've ridden on big busy 4-6 lane highways many times (Highway 50 east out of Pueblo comes to mind), but not many limited-access Interstates.

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