Author Topic: Southern Tier San Diego -> San Antonio Dec-Jan  (Read 585 times)

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Offline filip

Southern Tier San Diego -> San Antonio Dec-Jan
« on: December 08, 2021, 12:59:27 am »
Hello!
I did a lots of reading and I know this is not the best time of year to do this but now we(two of us) have the time so yeah.

My main question would be how do you find places to stay during this time of year? (starting probably in a week) I am guessing it's mostly camping. It seems like warmshowers is not what it used to and the alternatives dont have many people along the route on it.

Also how much snow should we expect on the mountain passes in New Mexico?

thanks!

Offline staehpj1

Re: Southern Tier San Diego -> San Antonio Dec-Jan
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2021, 07:32:12 am »
The days will be pretty short (that is why I prefer to start mid February), but otherwise it should be an okay time to go.  I don't see why you'd have an especially hard time finding places to stay this time of year.  The route is typically done in the cooler months.  The AC maps document places to stay pretty well and worst case there are places to improvise camping spots.  I camped under an overpass once and in a couple roadsie picnic area in TX.  Cops rode by numerous times and a few even waved.  Someone told me that I might have had a problem with the roadside picnic areas if I had pitched a tent (I slept in a bivy next to a picnic table).  There was a lot of truck traffic with truck rolling in and out all night taking breaks, but noise doesn't bother me much so I found it an okay spot.  I probably could have camped 50-100 yards away in the dry grass.

You probably could stay only in places listed on the ACA maps.  At times they are fairly widely spaced.  Also check that they are open, by checking the addenda and maybe calling ahead where that is possible.

Snow is hit or miss.  I saw very little in NM in February on my ride.  Just a little on the side of the roads on the passes.  I am told that you might need to sit out a few days and wait for some melting at times some years.  Weather is likely to be cool in the day time and chilly at night with a few cold nights.  A lot of the time it was just cold enough for there to be frost and warmed to 50F pretty quickly in the daytime.

Offline CMajernik

Re: Southern Tier San Diego -> San Antonio Dec-Jan
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2021, 09:55:53 am »
Emory Pass in NM is at 8,228 feet. The highway (SR 152) that goes over it stays open all year around, so plows will be out if a snow storm has blown through. Also, depending on weather, you might not want to follow the Gila Cliff Dwellings Alternate since it goes over the Continental Divide several times.
Carla Majernik
Routes and Mapping Program Director

Adventure Cycling Association
Inspiring people of all ages to travel by bicycle.
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Offline filip

Re: Southern Tier San Diego -> San Antonio Dec-Jan
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2021, 11:54:06 pm »
The days will be pretty short (that is why I prefer to start mid February), but otherwise it should be an okay time to go.  I don't see why you'd have an especially hard time finding places to stay this time of year.  The route is typically done in the cooler months.  The AC maps document places to stay pretty well and worst case there are places to improvise camping spots.  I camped under an overpass once and in a couple roadsie picnic area in TX.  Cops rode by numerous times and a few even waved.  Someone told me that I might have had a problem with the roadside picnic areas if I had pitched a tent (I slept in a bivy next to a picnic table).  There was a lot of truck traffic with truck rolling in and out all night taking breaks, but noise doesn't bother me much so I found it an okay spot.  I probably could have camped 50-100 yards away in the dry grass.

You probably could stay only in places listed on the ACA maps.  At times they are fairly widely spaced.  Also check that they are open, by checking the addenda and maybe calling ahead where that is possible.

Snow is hit or miss.  I saw very little in NM in February on my ride.  Just a little on the side of the roads on the passes.A lot of the time it was just cold enough for there to be frost and warmed to 50F pretty quickly in the daytime.

Lots of great overall info, thanks!

Offline filip

Re: Southern Tier San Diego -> San Antonio Dec-Jan
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2021, 11:54:39 pm »
Emory Pass in NM is at 8,228 feet. The highway (SR 152) that goes over it stays open all year around, so plows will be out if a snow storm has blown through. Also, depending on weather, you might not want to follow the Gila Cliff Dwellings Alternate since it goes over the Continental Divide several times.

This is good to know and thanks for the tip!

Offline OHRider

Re: Southern Tier San Diego -> San Antonio Dec-Jan
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2021, 09:19:55 am »
Hi, I might be a bit late answering this- I finished riding San Diego to El Paso in November.

We took an alternate route south and didn't go to through the New Mexico passes.  It turned out to be a very nice route and I can recommend it.  The hyperlink shows the route we took.  NOTE- I DO NOT recommend the route from Gila Bend to Maricopa unless you take it on a Sunday- very bad truck traffic last 10 miles with almost no berm.  Also, US 60 out of the Phoenix area has some really dicey spots with narrow berms and heavy truck traffic (this is the section past Superior where you have to go through a tunnel- loudest riding I have ever experienced.

https://ridewithgps.com/routes/37993295

The alternate to avoid the mountains goes south to Lordsburg. You then have to ride a crappy berm on I10 until you turn south on CR 113.  When we rode this section of I10 it was under construction- on one part of it we crossed the active lane and rode on the construction section as the berm on the single lane portion was not wide enough).  From CR 113 you then turn left (east) on 9 and basically take that all the way to El Paso- it is excellent riding with low traffic.  We stayed at the Bicycle Ranch in Hachita (you can also camp in the community center by the store) and then camped at Pancho Villa St Park in Columbus.  We did take a quick ride into Mexico just south of Columbus.  There are a couple of Warm Showers hosts in El Paso as well.

Let me know if you want further details.