Author Topic: Warm tour ideas (US)  (Read 3802 times)

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Offline jkbrooks

Re: Warm tour ideas (US)
« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2021, 12:49:38 am »
Thank you again for all the input, ideas, coaching & guidance. I'll have a look at the florida routes. That's interesting. Resistant to flying cross country (because I dislike long flights not because of anything else.) I like the El Paso idea. I'll look at that. Was thinking about taking the Southern Tier route to El Paso. I can catch a train there back to San Diego (with a change in LA.) That might be a cool trip although I'm a bit intimidated by the distance; 950 miles is a legit trek in my little world (here's the route I'm starting with in my thinking; https://ridewithgps.com/routes/35086590?highlight=13219-30587)

I'm settling on 40-60 miles/day depending on climbing & lodging. That seems plenty ambitious. Appreciate the guidance about finding suitable places to stay. I was planning a trip near Tuscon (from a tour company itinerary that I totally ripped off as a base line.) Ran into an issue with no services in Madera Canyon. Called one of the places and they said I could ship a box of food that they'd hold for me. Microwave & hotplate in the room. I've certainly eaten worse than canned chili for breakfast while on the bike but it did make the point for me that planning will pay serious dividends I imagine.

Offline John Nettles

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  • I ride for smiles, not miles.
Re: Warm tour ideas (US)
« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2021, 05:35:42 am »
Note that ACA just issued a major re-route of the ST between El Centro and the Phoenix area.  Pluses are you avoid the somewhat dangerous Route CA-78 but replace it with the annoying I-8 corridor.  To me, the new route is definitely better route if riding CA-78 during the weekend / holiday but a toss up in my opinion otherwise.  However, for a beginner, the I-8 route might be less stressful overall actually as CA-78 is also a bit of a pain, though a much more scenic pain.

Do not be intimidated by riding on the interstate.  They are not bad, just more of a "miles, not smiles" situation as the truck noise can be quite annoying. You typically have a full shoulder but two full traffic lanes so plenty of room for vehicles to go by.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Warm tour ideas (US)
« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2021, 07:27:47 am »
Note that ACA just issued a major re-route of the ST between El Centro and the Phoenix area.  Pluses are you avoid the somewhat dangerous Route CA-78 but replace it with the annoying I-8 corridor.  To me, the new route is definitely better route if riding CA-78 during the weekend / holiday but a toss up in my opinion otherwise.  However, for a beginner, the I-8 route might be less stressful overall actually as CA-78 is also a bit of a pain, though a much more scenic pain.

Do not be intimidated by riding on the interstate.  They are not bad, just more of a "miles, not smiles" situation as the truck noise can be quite annoying. You typically have a full shoulder but two full traffic lanes so plenty of room for vehicles to go by.
Funny I had just mentioned riding and not minding sections others complained about.  CA-78 was one that I had in mind.  I actually enjoyed it.  Folks suggested rerouting to avoid it.  I didn't and afterwards I wondered why they suggested it.

On the other hand the alternate using a bit of interstate isn't a huge negative for me either.

Offline John Nettles

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Re: Warm tour ideas (US)
« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2021, 07:39:13 am »
Pete, out of curiosity, did you ride CA-78 on a weekday or weekend?  We rode on a fairly quiet weekday so it wasn't too bad but we did have enough RVs with buddy trailers pass us that it made us see that it would not be fun, at least for us, on a Friday to Sunday (or holiday) when I am sure the number of RVs dramatically increase going to and from Glamis. Otherwise, it was an enjoyable ride.  Shame that they can not add some shoulders.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Warm tour ideas (US)
« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2021, 08:18:47 am »
We were east bound and arrived at friends house in Mesa on Friday afternoon.  So we just got the very beginning of some week end traffic.  That said I still think I'd ride 78 even on the weekend.  I'd choose the hours I rode to ride early morning as much as possible, but otherwise I'd just suck it up.  I typically am inclined to just deal with traffic and not obsess over it much, especially when it is somewhere with redeeming qualities like CA-78 or Yellowstone or Yosemite or the PCH.  Avoiding the hours when rental RV traffic is highest helps a lot.

By the way, tractor trailer traffic doesn't worry me much since most professional drivers drive like pros IME.  It is the folks who have never driven a full sized pickup truck and rent a behemoth of an RV that worry me most.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Warm tour ideas (US)
« Reply #20 on: January 28, 2021, 08:49:46 am »
It just occurred to me that that hat section has maybe the second most vivid memory of my touring.  Not that the road is super unique or anything, but I am glad I didn't miss it...  There are a few times/places where a few notes of music transport me in a very powerful way to a previous time and place.  It always involves a scent and the music that was in my head at the time and is always from a time I was kind of zoned out on a tour.  It occurs to me that a spot on this section is one such example.  I hear an instrumental reprise of Ben Sollee's Sweet Marie and the smell of the desert and the feel of the heat washes over me.  I am instantly transported to a moment in February of 2012 on CA-78.  These things are crazy powerful.  I think Sweet Marie was in my head at the time because there was an RV place called Crazy Larry and Sweet Marie's.  Weird how the mind works.

Similarly the first three notes of The Wind Cries Mary puts me on the Mississippi levee in 100F heat in 2011 with smell of the corn dry and it rustling in the breeze.  The Hendryx version was in my head at the time, but the Jamie Cullum version sets me off more for some reason.  It happens before I recognize that the song is playing.  These are the most vivid memories from my tours and probably from my life.

Offline driftlessregion

Re: Warm tour ideas (US)
« Reply #21 on: January 28, 2021, 01:07:44 pm »
The Natches Trace would be lovely this time of year.
I toured the Keeweenaw Peninsulao (the part of Michigan directly north of Wisconsin)  in July with no problems finding water.

Offline ZiZohn

Re: Warm tour ideas (US)
« Reply #22 on: January 28, 2021, 03:12:34 pm »
Having rode  most of the southern Tier in sections, I am very partial to the Southern Tier western area for starting late February to the 2nd week in March. I live in Iowa and hate the Iowa winters. It is my "go to" area to do early season riding with my buddy Hal, who lives in Fort Davis, TX. The last time we time we rode it was pre-Covid era, 2019. I have only from Safford, AZ to Austin to have completed the entire route. In 2019, I drove down to his place, picked him up and drove over to Mesa, AZ. We parked at the long-term parking near the small airport there, and took off for the Southern Tier, which wasn't very far from our parking spot. While it was city riding, the roads weren't overly busy for us to get to the route, plus had plenty of room for bikes and cars to share when needed. We only made it to Globe that year, when weather turned nasty for us and we pulled the plug. While we camped most nights and only stayed in motels as needed, I would suggest checking into doing this route if the OP is limited on time and mileage that he could do. While our plan was to get over to Fort Davis, where Hal resides, the route has changed a bit, and doesn't go through Fort Davis any longer. I believe there are less places without services on the new route.  Good if planning to motel it, or need to bail. But I would still suggest anyone riding it to carry at least a bivy, sleeping bag and sleeping pad in case they get stuck in between rooms due to weather, or anything else unforeseen. This year Hal and I are leaving Fort Davis the 2nd week of March, catching the route in Alpine, TX, and heading over to Austin. This will hopefully complete another section for me, leaving only about 500 miles yet to do. I am semi-retired, but have recently had both doses of the Moderna vaccine, as I work as a Paramedic on an ambulance part-time. But Hal is still waiting for his 1st dose of a vaccine.  We're hoping his vaccinations start soon, as he is in the 1B group.

Offline dfege

Re: Warm tour ideas (US)
« Reply #23 on: February 04, 2021, 03:02:13 pm »
I have cycled several times in Southern Arizona.  Scenery is great, there are some challenging hills, and towns are close enough together.  Jbrooks, here are some ideas to lengthen your trip.  You could go as far south as Nogales.  Nogales is a lovely little town, you feel almost like you are in Mexico.  From Nogales, you could cycle through Patagonia on your way to Sonoita or Sierra Vista.  And then on to Bisbee.  Bisbee is a great town.  If things are open, you may want to spend an extra day.  There are a few galleries and small shops to explore.  And the tour of the former copper mine at the south of town is  definitely worth it.  BTW, the Copper Queen is a great choice.  Its a fabulous old hotel with lots of history.  To add miles you could go further south to Douglas.  And to really lengthen the trip you could go to Lordsburg, New Mexico before returning to Tucson.  Be safe.

Offline jkbrooks

Re: Warm tour ideas (US)
« Reply #24 on: February 28, 2021, 04:03:01 pm »
thank you for the help and input. Sorry to disappear. Had some health stuff. Thinking I'll head out first week in April. One option is Santa Barbara to Palm Desert. ACA pacific route to long beach then head east for Palm Desert. I've tried to break the route down into 40-50 mile days. Last day is a sorta long one because services are limited.

After re-reading all of your input, I'm seriously considering scraping my CA plan (and my visit to friends and relatives in Palm Desert) and heading to AZ)  :)

I'd be grateful for thoughts about the route. Long Beach to Palm Desert is a route I simply hijacked from RWGPS . . . could be a complete fantasy . . . that has happened to me more than once  ;)

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/35282364

Offline CannonBill

Re: Warm tour ideas (US)
« Reply #25 on: March 07, 2021, 09:56:22 pm »
I do what I call the SoCal loop. Starting in San Diego, north along the I-15 corridor (friendly side roads) to Corona. Take the Santa Ana River Trail to San Bernardino. From there you take the google map route to the Pacific Electric Trail to Azuza. Ride the San Gabriel River Trail west to Long Beach. South through Huntington down the coast back to San Diego. Not strenuous by any means, and can be done in a week or less. The SGR Trail near Azuza is spectacular.

Offline jkbrooks

Re: Warm tour ideas (US)
« Reply #26 on: May 08, 2021, 02:04:50 pm »
Well, thought I'd circle back with a wrap up. Thank you again for all of the input and ideas. I'm grateful and humbled by your generosity of spirit; thank you!

I ended up riding from San Luis Obispo to San Diego. A buddy went with me which I was grateful for given I'd had a some heart issues the first quarter of the year. We did about 40-50 miles/day and followed the ACA route along the coast. I routed us inland a bit to Santa Maria first day because thin lodging options looked to make a very long day. Came up Drum Canyon out of Los Alamos which was both hard and wicked cool on the backside (roughly southbound.) Routed thru Solvang as well. Also beautiful and a legit climb (for me) up Alisal Road.

Fun ride. Feel like I've got a good base going into the spring and a foundation to recover my resilience. Thank you again!