Author Topic: southern tier in august  (Read 2926 times)

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Offline lmmaunz

southern tier in august
« on: May 17, 2008, 04:50:09 pm »
I am planning a southern tier tour in august.  I realize its a difficult time
to make the trip and was wondering if anyone had any tips or general
advice?  Has anyone out there done the tour at a similar time of the year?
Also, I'm assuming the best route is WtoE but am unsure if proximity to
the coast alters that assumption?  Any input at all would be greatly

Offline MrBent

southern tier in august
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2008, 08:42:34 pm »
I've ridden in the desert area you would cross, but I've only done it in late fall or winter.  For me, riding it in August would be pure misery.  Temps would almost always be over 100 deg. F. during the day.  And if you're  unlucky, you might flirt with 110 to 115 deg. F.  Not fun and actually pretty dangerous.  Once you've toasted across the deserts, you'll get all the fun of high humidity in the South to put icing on the cake.

To succeed on such a ride, you'd need a very high tolerance for suffering and pack ungodly amounts of water.  I'd consider light covering over legs and the whole of the upper body to minimize UV exposure.  Have some cash for motels/hotels/hostels to have a chance to recover with some AC.  The most "comfortable" way to ride would be moteling most nights, of course.

The ride is, of course, possible, but why do you want to do that route at that time of year?  Pure challenge and bragging rights?  You could do a modified Northern Tier with about the same mileage.  You'd still do plenty of sweating, but I suspect you'd have a more enjoyable time of it.  Why not start in Alaska and ride south to the USA?  Or some sort of loop tour in Western Canada?  Jeez, lots of choices that would be soooo nice.  

My 2 cents.

Have a great tour whatever you choose!


Offline staehpj1

southern tier in august
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2008, 09:15:17 am »
I mostly agree with Mr. Bent on this.  We had a lot of days in the low 100's on the TA last year.  It was do-able and we had fun, but I wouldn't want to ride when it was much hotter.

I would definitely either go at a different time or take a different route.  If you have the time the TA or the NT would be better choices that time of year.  If you need a shorter route there are lots of other great tours.  How about the Pacific coast for example.

BTW: Where I wonder about Mr. Bent's comments is where he says, "You could do a modified Northern Tier with about the same mileage".  Is that true?  Glancing at the map it doesn't look possible to shorten the NT by all that much.  The ST is over a thousand miles shorter after all.

I don't see how it is likely that an NT could be done in nearly as short a time as an ST could.

Offline staehpj1

southern tier in august
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2008, 09:19:54 am »
If you do decide to go in August anyway.  Be careful to drink enough and carry plenty of water.  Ride early in the morning and try to get most of your miles in during the cool part of the day.  If it winds up being too hot for even that I would ride at night.  I know that some people think that is dangerous, but I think that with decent blinkies you are actually more visible at night.