Author Topic: Southern Tier road surfaces  (Read 1774 times)

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Offline dan_t

Southern Tier road surfaces
« on: March 31, 2022, 04:57:55 pm »
I'm looking into riding the Southern Tier at some point in the next year. I rode the Northern Tier last summer, and one thing I didn't expect was the extent of chip seal roads, which shave about 2mph off my speed relative to smooth Maryland pavement. Washington, Idaho, Montana, and North Dakota were mostly chip seal, along with a lot of Illinois and Indiana. I'll be touring on vacation time, so my speed is a concern.

How are Southern Tier road surfaces? Rough chip seal? I've read that there is a lot in Texas.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Southern Tier road surfaces
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2022, 05:46:12 pm »
How are Southern Tier road surfaces? Rough chip seal? I've read that there is a lot in Texas.
Texas chip seal is some of the worst, but I still found that the ST lent itself well enough to long daily mileages when I rode it in a mid Feb - mid Mar time frame.  The shorter (by about an hour) days in late fall or early winter may make it a little harder to do long days though.  I wasn't especially fit starting out, was getting up in years enough to be slowing down a bit, and still did longer daily miles than on other tours.

I took 33 days to go 2,399 miles from San Diego to Pensacola more or less following the ST.  I wasn't pushing to get home real fast and did some fairly low mileage days at times, but I also found it not hard to do hundred mile days at times in Texas where there wasn't much to do or see other than riding.

Offline John Nettles

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Re: Southern Tier road surfaces
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2022, 05:53:47 pm »
Lots of chip seal since the west has lots of low population and wide open spaces.  That said, it wasn't that bad but as Pete said, Texas takes the cake on the size of its chips which does cause a definite 2-4mph drop.

Just plan on riding an extra hour per day compared to a "normal" tour.

Tailwinds, John