Author Topic: Fall ride starting in October--Need Advice  (Read 3015 times)

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Offline Visiting Lights

Fall ride starting in October--Need Advice
« on: September 09, 2012, 10:51:34 am »
Hey everyone,
I'm new to the forum and any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated. I'm an avid cyclist in NYC and I'm looking into doing my first big distance ride in mid-October.

I'll be starting in Council Bluffs, IA and ending in Damascus, VA. I'm looking into taking the Lewis & Clark south, a quick leg on the Great Rivers between Dutzow and Cave-in-Rock, and then taking the Transcontinental Trail over to Damascus.

Is this a doable in a month? I thrive in cold weather, but will it be too cold!?

I'm going solo and looking at picking up a Bob Yak trailer. Will be shooting a little video along the way.

What do you all think? What advice do you have? I'm not familiar with the weather in this part of the country. It looks like it gets cold in the evening, but will I make it?


Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Fall ride starting in October--Need Advice
« Reply #1 on: September 09, 2012, 09:00:02 pm »
Roughly 1,100 miles (from a quick google maps hack), that's easily done if you're in good shape.  As far as daylight, most people end up riding only 5-6 hours per day; if you can get out of bed and get rolling at a decent hour, you shouldn't have any problems there.

I'd advise having enough cash in reserve to hole up for two nights in a motel.  End of October and beginning of November is when the first snowfall often hits the southern Appalachians.  (For goodness' sake, learn how the natives say it before you hit the mountains.  It is NOT pronounced like appellation south of the Mason-Dixon line!!)

Check out for seasonal averages at some of the towns near where you'll be passing.  I'd expect temps down to around freezing in the Appalachians in late October overnight, with highs in the 50s and 60s.  That's a bit troublesome to ride in for me -- tights and jacket on, long gloves, jacket off, short gloves, jacket back on for a long downhill, jacket and tights off for the climb on the other side of the valley, lather, rinse, and repeat.

I think it sounds like a great trip.  If you leave early enough, you might hit some great color in the mountains if the leaves are at their peak!

Offline commuter

Re: Fall ride starting in October--Need Advice
« Reply #2 on: September 09, 2012, 09:19:59 pm »
Hi John
I have no idea how hard you want to push so it makes it hard to tell you if your goals are realistic or not. If it were me riding the route that you have outlined I think it would be more than enough time. For me, and for me only, I estimate that I can comfortably ride 500 miles a week. You can use that as a yardstick if you want but you are not me so it is a little risky to do so. That being said, part of your route will be on the Katy Trail and you can easily get a high mileage day or two there. I rode the L&C and got a couple of 100 mile days on that trail. At the least, my advice may give you someone to blame and that is always nice to have when things don't go as planned.
As far as the weather, you could run into some very cold rain but if you are prepared that can be dealt with. My guess is that would be the worst of the weather on your trip but you could run into snow. I will add that riding in the rain isn't as bad as it seems when you first take off on that rainy day. It can be a lot of fun. I have done Fall rides before and the colors can be breathtaking if your lucky and hit it right
 Happy Trails       Steve