Author Topic: Mid-summer heat on Route 66  (Read 2679 times)

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Offline Wrighteous

Mid-summer heat on Route 66
« on: March 30, 2015, 05:59:05 pm »
I'm looking at riding Route 66 this summer. My timeframe would have me leaving Chicago in July. My alternative is TransAm.

Everyone I've talked to has concerns about the heat. I wanted to hear if anyone has ridden this route, or parts of it, during the summer and what to expect.

I'm 29/male, and in great shape with lots of touring experience in climates, really, with the exception of long stretches in the southwest. I'm also a stubborn Chicagoan, so I'd likely toughen up and plow through the heat.

I posted this on Reddit, too. Here are the responses:

Can anyone corroborate these? What should I expect? Should or shouldn't I do this Route 66 self-supported?

Offline aggie

Re: Mid-summer heat on Route 66
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2015, 06:43:20 pm »
It will be hot in the South West.  However, it is doable.  There are plenty of posting on how to handle the heat.  Search for riding the Southern Tier during the summer.  I've ridden through AZ in July and yes its hot and dry but it was still good riding if you like that sort of thing.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Mid-summer heat on Route 66
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2015, 03:28:05 pm »
Different people tolerate the heat differently. I lived 20 years in Phoenix and ran 8 miles every day at noon, year round, including days above 120 degrees. The key to staying alive in the heat is to be carrying massive amounts of water, and drink it. Never, ever run out.

I can tolerate heat even better on a bicycle with the constant breeze created by the motion.

Offline roadrunner

Re: Mid-summer heat on Route 66
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2015, 01:29:57 am »
Another Arizonian here.  I think you'll find the heat + humidity in Missouri and Oklahoma more uncomfortable than the drier heat in New Mexico, Arizona, and California.  The largest factor determining temperatures in the Southwest is elevation.  Most of Route 66 in New Mexico and Arizona  is at fairly high elevations, 5,000 to 7,000 feet, so very high temperatures are not common.  I live at 4,600', the temperature exceeds 100° only a couple of days a year.  From Kingman, AZ, west, the route drops to lower elevations, so temperatures, especially in California, will be higher.

As mentioned previously, dehydration is more critical than temperature.  Relative humidity of 5-10% is common  (the renown "dry heat"), so having sufficient water is a necessity.  I've ridden most of Rt 66 in Arizona and New Mexico with a 70 oz. Camelbak and one water bottle and never run dry, because places to get water (gas stations, tourist traps, towns, etc.) are probably not more than about 30 miles apart.  I can't comment on the California portion; I've not ridden that.

Do take and use plenty of sunscreen.  I prefer long-sleeve shirts.

Google "average monthly temperatures" of town along the route to get an idea of what to expect.

Route 66 is a great ride.  Take your time and enjoy the many interesting places along the "Mother Road."

Offline jamawani

Re: Mid-summer heat on Route 66
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2015, 09:12:33 am »
I have more than 100,000 miles of riding over 30+ years -
In all places and climates.

I have done a lot of "threading the needle" **
Especially when I was younger.

Sometimes I lucked out - other times I was miserable.
In retrospect, I would have enjoyed many trips more -
Without the needle - and with no loss of moral value.


** Speaking of Needles -
Needles, CA - - Avg. July Hi - 109, Avg. July Lo - 84