Author Topic: Warm tour ideas (US)  (Read 5939 times)

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Offline jkbrooks

Warm tour ideas (US)
« on: January 21, 2021, 10:34:28 pm »
Thinking of a three week tour in March. Could be four. Might be two. I live in Seattle so was thinking the Southwest; both warmer & drier than my native environs. Thinking 300-500 miles & 10k to 20k in elevation. Plan is also to stay in hotels (not camp) so looking for routes that have towns along the way.

I'd love to start in a place with an airport (eg Tuscon) & train back to that town when done. I'm sure I can pay someone to drive me back if that's what I need to do. The airport/train bit arent deal breakers but they'd make my life simpler

Open to lots of input here. From "ride from town A to town B" to "here's a route list . . . " or "here's a route layout in RWGPS that you can start with as a base for your plan."

Appreciate your suggestions. Thank you :)

Offline jkbrooks

Re: Warm tour ideas (US)
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2021, 10:38:48 pm »

Offline John Nettles

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Re: Warm tour ideas (US)
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2021, 10:41:48 pm »
Couple of things.  1) When you say "warm", what temps are you saying?  2) When you say "10k to 20K in elevation". I assume you mean total climbing as opposed to 10K feet in elevation above sea level, correct?  Are you open to gravel/dirt roads or only paved?  Are you open to Mexico?  What is your daily mile limit?

Tailwinds, John

Offline staehpj1

Re: Warm tour ideas (US)
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2021, 08:58:50 am »
I was going to say a section of the Southern Tier would be nice, but then I reread your criteria and am not so sure.  I rode from San Diego to Pensacola in 31 days from Mid Feb. through mid Mar. and it was nice, but it doesn't suit your criteria well at all.  Services are way too far apart for the short days that a 300-500 mile 3-4 week tour would involve.  Were you really thinking of averaging 15-20 mile days?  Nowhere I have toured in the SW was very well suited to that kind of daily mileage unless you were planning much longer days with long multi day layovers and I didn't see many places where that would have appealed to me either.

That is a decent time to ride across Florida if that appeals to you.  When I moved to Florida, I was surprised to learn that spring is a relatively dry season here and temperatures are generally not bad in March.  Services can be longish distances apart in the panhandle so plan ahead if you need to do short mileage days.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2021, 09:49:03 am by staehpj1 »

Offline TCS

Re: Warm tour ideas (US)
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2021, 09:47:05 am »
Thinking of a three week tour in March.

I got some ideas, but March...2021?  Are you or will you be vaccinated?
"My name is Pither.  I am at present on a cycling tour of the North Cornwall area taking in Bude and..."

Offline staehpj1

Re: Warm tour ideas (US)
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2021, 10:03:56 am »
Thinking of a three week tour in March.

I got some ideas, but March...2021?  Are you or will you be vaccinated?
Also consider that the soda fountains where we typically refill water bottles are closed as are the restrooms, at least according to reports I have read.  I am told that staff in stores won't touch or fill your bottles either during these covid times.  So plan on buying a lot of bottled water unless you carry your whole days water from the start.  At least one guy told me that on his recent long tour there were no open soda fountains or restrooms in the convenience stores.

None of this is first hand info for me since I have been staying home and social distancing.  At almost age 70 I figure that is prudent.  I get my second dose of the Pfizer vaccine on the 30th and am unsure of how much I will relax my caution after that.  When I do venture out again it is likely to be a car tour of the national parks with my wife who no longer rides so not a bike tour.  Also probably some canoe tripping, so it may be quite a while before I get around to another bike tour.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Warm tour ideas (US)
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2021, 10:17:18 am »
I've enjoyed a few springtime rides in southern Arizona, but let me ask a couple questions (and give you a big caveat) before I get to my suggestions.  First, what's a "good" daily mileage for you?  If you start with the idea of 500 miles and plan to split it over three weeks, that's 25 miles a day.  It's going to be hard to get from point A to point B on that schedule.  Second, will you have the capability to carry water and food for a full day's ride?  Also, how much interstate riding can you tolerate?  (IME, 10 miles is novel and OK, and then it gets long and noisy.)

Caveat: most of my ideas that don't involve riding the cycle paths around Tucson involve 50-75 mile days.

OK, first idea.  Try a couple of loops around Tucson.  Tucson to Picacho to Chandler to Florence to Oracle Junction to the airport (5 days).  Tucson - Green Valley - Sonoita - Sierra Vista - Bisbee - Tombstone - Benson - Tucson (5-7 days).

Second, Tucson to El Paso, or the other way around.  I'd look at routing through Sonoita, Sierra Vista, Douglas, AZ, and then Lordsburg and Las Cruces, NM.  You'll be looking at a couple 70-80 mile days, and the rest would be around 50 miles a day.  Could be tight housing a couple nights (Sonoita and Rodeo, one place to stay in each town).

Either way, I'd expect morning lows around 40F (but be prepared for frost), and highs 60-80F.  Passes will be cooler, of course.  I wouldn't expect much rain, although thunderstorms can be spectacular.

Offline John Nettles

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Re: Warm tour ideas (US)
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2021, 10:20:04 am »
I get my second dose of the Pfizer vaccine on the 30th and am unsure of how much I will relax my caution after that.
Congrats on getting the vaccine! 

My lovely bride is a Hospitalist (internist who deals only with hospitalized patients) and has been treating covid patients each work day since mid-Febrary.  She tells me the first vaccine provides an average of 42% efficacy and basically 100% two weeks after the second dose.  The reason you hear 95% is that other 5% did in fact get the virus but the effects were basically like a typical flu (1 out of 32k were hospitalized and NO deaths).  Since the 5% did contract the virus it is consider a failure testing wise, ergo 95%.  That said, while it is wise to keep up the masking & relative social distancing, you should be able to go on tour.  I know I will.

As a side note, the vast majority of people getting the 2nd dose say they feel sick for about 24-36 hours (beginning 12 hours after the shot).  Everyone has a very sore arm but it really elps if you keep the arm moving from the time of the shot.  Also, take tylenol every 6 hours religiously for 36 hours until the pain subsides.  After, that, everyone feel "back to normal".

Tailwinds, John


Offline staehpj1

Re: Warm tour ideas (US)
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2021, 10:46:35 am »
If you start with the idea of 500 miles and plan to split it over three weeks, that's 25 miles a day.
OOPS.  Yeah I divided 300 by 21, and not 500 by 21.  Still 500 was his high number and three week his low number.  500/21 is a little under 25.  300/28 is just a little over 10 miles per day assuming no rest days.  So the range is more like 10 to 25 miles per day without figuring in rest days.  I kind of wonder if maybe the OP really intended those numbers.  They just don't allow much ability to get from town to town in places I have travelled in the south west.  I guess if there were a LOT of rest days thrown in the daily mileage numbers might be a lot higher though.

I remember needing to ride 100 miles or close to it at times on my southern tier ride at times (I wasn't necessarily following the ACA route all the time) and I was camping.  I could have gone much shorter days by rough camping, but would have needed to carry multiple days of water to do so.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Warm tour ideas (US)
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2021, 01:13:51 pm »
As a side note, the vast majority of people getting the 2nd dose say they feel sick for about 24-36 hours (beginning 12 hours after the shot).  Everyone has a very sore arm but it really helps if you keep the arm moving from the time of the shot.  Also, take tylenol every 6 hours religiously for 36 hours until the pain subsides.  After, that, everyone feel "back to normal".

I was in a cluster of "lab rats," and we had a range of experiences.  My arm was pretty stiff and aching from about 6-30 hours after my first shot, and mildly stiff from 6-18 hours after the second.  Didn't stop me from riding a metric the day after the second shot!  My wife, on the other hand, was popping Tylenol as you describe and stayed in bed most of the day.

FWIW, every one of this group who's been un-blinded guessed correctly as to whether they had the vaccine or the placebo.


Offline staehpj1

Re: Warm tour ideas (US)
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2021, 07:33:02 pm »
I got my email from the ACA after renewing my membership.  The part that caught my eye said "Covid-19. At this time, we're recommending cyclists avoid long trips and instead plan shorter excursions in their area. We also have some advice on how to do a self-supported trip and find a campsite near you."  I have to say that notion kind of bums me out.  I really don't care for that kind of tours.  Short bike trips to a local campsite do not appeal to me at all.  For me it is usually a minimum of 10 days on the road or I don't bother.  Also so far none of my trips have been very close to home.  I think I have always started at least 1000 miles from home.  I have finished closer to home though.

Offline John Nettles

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Re: Warm tour ideas (US)
« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2021, 09:01:30 pm »
I agree mostly.  While I enjoy overnighters with the local bike club (it is about socializing vs. new territory), I definitely prefer longer trips.  What bothers me is how "activist" ACA has become in the past few years.  Even their new endeavor to get more people to cycletour "prioritizes" a certain group  of people.  While I understand their desire to broaden the demographics of cycletouring (it appears that only white heterosexuals tour), to me a lot of this reeks of exclusiveness instead of just being inclusive to all.  I really wish they would stick to their foundation, i.e. making bicycle touring maps, and leave the activism to others.  We have purposely removed ACA from our family trust due to ACA's activism and getting away from its foundation resulting in ACA losing a substantial amount of donations in the future when my wife and I are on the great bike path in the sky (God can't be against bikes!).

That rant aside, I plan to tour this May (Atlanta to Charleston) regardless of if I get the vaccine in time or not.  In the summer, I am trying to determine where I will tour for a month or so.  And in the fall, I will probably ride west from Amarillo, to work on completing that route.  I figure I will just practice decent distancing, i.e. getting take out or making my own meals, wear a mask when inside a store, etc.  Basically, all the things I do in my home town. I may have to skip a few closed attractions, but the trade off is worth it to me.

I know not everyone agrees with the above but if you actually read about and follow the science and are diligent in your behavior, the chances of contracting or giving the virus is minimal, especially once you are vaccinated.

Tailwinds, John




Offline jkbrooks

Re: Warm tour ideas (US)
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2021, 12:20:35 am »
Thank you all for your thoughts, concerns, ideas and input! Very helpful. I do realize my details were a bit sketchy; sorry. I'm thinking 50-75 miles / day. So, (having done absolutely brilliantly as a fourth grade math student) I guess that means I'm thinking a 700-1000 mile trip depending on climbing. I did three "town-to-town" multiday trips solo last summer. No camping; not my thing. (I did 2,000km throughout France on foot one year and grew pretty fond of a warm meal, a bed, and a shower every day . . . could be I'm high maintenance! :) ) I did a 5 day trip in mostly central oregon on dirt roads. Type 2 fun. Was hard. Think I'll stick to one and two day gravel trips in the future (unless I decide to make that ride an "annual thing". . . you know, because ::)) I got about 5,000 miles in on the bike in 2020 and about 3,500 in last year. I turn the cranks 3-5 days / week but I plod along; I'm not one of the fast kids. :(

For the trip, I'm thinking somewhere south of 50ft/mile. More than that would set me up for a wicked summer on the bike but I'm pretty sure I'd be miserable and might end up putting my bike in a dumpster.

The ideas about Arizona were intriguing. Here's a shorter plan I was playing around with;
https://ridewithgps.com/routes/35012709

After looking at the ACA route, I thought about doing San Diego to Tuscon via Phoenix/Tempe. I havent mapped out the route from Tempe to Tuscon yet. But here's what I think is the ACA route that I found on RWGPS (I paid them $65 for the annual and would gladly buy their maps if I take their route.)
https://ridewithgps.com/routes/35059347



Offline staehpj1

Re: Warm tour ideas (US)
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2021, 07:41:40 am »
I think that is basically the route I rode in 2012.  It took 7 days.  I don't think there were a ton of options for stopping places to split up the days even when camping.  It may take some careful planning and some longer and or shorter days than you want in order to split it up for motel stays.  I'd guess it will be hard to split it up into as many days as you want, but I may be wrong since I was camping and wasn't looking for anything but places to camp without going off route.

I have started in San Diego a couple times and the first day out was pretty hard, but after that the terrain was fairly pleasant if a bit boring to my eye.  It is fairly easy to ride right out of the airport if that interests you.  The ride from there was nice when I did that on my Sierra Cascades Route ride (I did the southern portion).  The ride from the airport briefly is along the water.  There is an Ayres Hotel at Alpine after 38 miles of mostly climbing.  It is nice but quite expensive for my budget.  I stayed there once though.

Offline TCS

Re: Warm tour ideas (US)
« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2021, 09:28:07 am »
Hmm.  Other possibilities...

Tampa, east on Florida's Coast-to-Coast Trail, then Adventure Cycling's Atlantic Coast either north to Savanah or south to Palm Beach/Miami.

https://floridadep.gov/parks/ogt/content/florida-coast-coast-trail#:~:text=The%20Florida%20Coast%2Dto%2DCoast,kind%20in%20the%20United%20States.

New Orleans - Austin on Adventure Cycling's Southern Tier.

Corpus Christi - Dallas:
https://ridewithgps.com/routes/29360687
https://ridewithgps.com/routes/34587746
"My name is Pither.  I am at present on a cycling tour of the North Cornwall area taking in Bude and..."